This week's review is of the Skin79 White Reviving Skin Radiance Cream. It's part of a line of whitening products, but I was reluctant to invest in an entire line when there were so few reviews for the products and because I wasn't sure I wanted or needed them all.
That's right. Whitening. It does not mean what you think it means. It has nothing to do with bleaching. I'll get into the details in the full review, but the short version is that it fades hyperpigmentation such as acne scars, age spots, and sun damage.
Skin79 (official site) is fairly well-known to western audiences as the makers of the ever-popular Hot Pink BB cream which has become known as a good 'starter' BB cream but sadly with notoriety comes imitation and Skin79 is one of the most-faked BB cream brands out there. They are lesser-known to westerners as a skincare line, which is a shame because if the cutesy teen styling of Tonymoly or Holika Holika isn't your style, Skin79 is a great option for mid-range skincare from an established, mature-friendly brand.
Full product name: Skin79 White Reviving Skin Radiance Cream
Purpose: Whitening cream moisturizer
Texture: Midway between a lotion and a cream, absorbs easily. Leaves a subtle luminous finish so watch out for Shiny Face if you are layering other reflective products over it.
Scent: Mildly fragranced, with a soft floral scent which fades quickly after application.
Packaging: The jar feels and looks luxurious despite being plastic; it has a frosted clear exterior and a rounded opaque white interior to block light from damaging the product, which is a nice touch. It does not come with a spatula so you will want one of your own.
Availability: I purchased mine from prettyandcute.com, also available from Skin79's official site and various places online, but keep in mind that Skin79 products are famous for being targets for fakes, so be extra cautious when purchasing their products online.
Repurchase: Yes, in fact I have already purchased this for my mother-in-law, who is looking for something to combat her age spots.
First, what kind of pale person is crazy enough to want to be paler? Aren't we supposed to be tanned, that fine layer of sun-damaged skin that we describe as being healthy, glowing, radiant?
In my case, I do not tan, I burn. I freckle. My skin does nothing except become visibly damaged by the sun, which makes me dread what kind of damage might be lurking under the surface. When my skin does 'tan' it does so unevenly, in blotches. After 4 years in the desert without sunscreen, my skin had darkened but it just looked dirty and uneven, there was no "healthy glow". Ironically, because I always cover my arms and legs against the sun, my body is a lot lighter than my face, which leaves me looking like I got ready in the dark and mistook bronzer for face cream. :\
As I said in my post on why I started this blog, being introduced to Asian skincare was a godsend for my sun-ravaged skin, because as much as western beauty is preoccupied with being more tanned, Asian beauty is as preoccupied with preventing it. Not only are almost all products laced with sun protection, they often contain whitening ingredients to reverse sun damage.
I admit it, I was initially shy of anything "whitening" because like most westerners, I was suspicious of anything for lightening the skin. Coming from an area of Canada with a 40% Asian population, I was already aware of a preference for lighter skin in a lot of Asian countries. (Here's PBunnieP's explanation for those unfamiliar with it.) In my student days I lived with a Chinese friend and her family, which introduced me to amazing food, mahjong, and some very strong opinions about female beauty.
However, as I read more on "whitening" and what it meant in Korean skincare terms, I learned it's meant to break up deposits of melanin in the skin due to damage. That means hyperpigmentation from scars and especially acne (which I desperately needed as my skin purged 4 years of grime), age spots, and sun damage. I didn't want to bleach my skin, I just wanted to undo all the sun damage and get rid of my visible acne more quickly. I also needed something heavier than my Holika Holika Water March Moisture Full Cream for fall/winter. As always, I asked the Pretty&Cute girls what they recommended for reversing sun damage, and they recommended the Skin79 White Reviving Skin Radiance products as being specifically designed for just that.
Not going to lie, I found the solution vs emulsion vs cream vs softener vs serum confusing as hell, so that meant: RESEARCH TIME! Unfortunately, like 99% of the Asian skincare products I research, reviews are thin and are usually just shills for a particular retailer.
So, here's the rundown of the line from what I understand:
Softener = exfoliant, but the non-abrasive, peel/chemical style
Emulsion = thin lotion suited for acne control
Solution = serum, packed with the strongest "whitening" ingredients/concentration
Cream = traditional moisturizing cream, but not necessarily heavy
Eye serum, SPF, Face Mask = self-explanatory
I needed a winter moisturizer, so I went with the cream. It's surprisingly not as heavy as I expected, and absorbs quickly into the skin. It's nicely moisturizing but it does leave a soft glow on the skin, so I avoid applying it thickly in my t-zone during the day (I'm more generous with it at night) to avoid excess oil/too many layers of reflective particles on my forehead once I put on BB cream. I find it absorbs better by patting on the skin rather than smoothing it on.
And lastly, does it work?
Yes! It faded my tan, my sun spots, and my acne scars beautifully. It gave my skin back the luminous, translucent quality it had before I moved here, although after two months of usage it hasn't quite faded me back to the colour I was before. I have been avoiding my t-zone to prevent Shiny Face so I think I might step it up and give the Solution a go now that I know it won't bleach my skin off.
It's also a beautiful moisturizer outside of the whitening effect, and the thin cream texture is perfect for my combination skin as it moisturizes it nicely without crossing the line into greasy territory. Despite the cream texture, it did not cause breakouts, and it sinks in quickly enough that I can wear it under makeup. The only negative is I only have a tiny amount left!
Leave me a comment below if you found this helpful, or if you have any questions!
All the best,
**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.