Skin79 White Reviving Skin Radiance Solution Review

Well, it's finally arrived; the Review That Almost Wasn't, meaning that reviewing this product caused me to abandon blogging for almost a year.   As I mentioned in my "where have I been?!" post, the review for this product was the last straw in a growing frustration with how asian skincare products were being reviewed in general (read: half-assed testing before posting a review). If you want to hear more on my rant about that, feel free to click on the above link, and if you just want to hear about whitening (note: not bleaching) goodness, read on!

I actually started using this Solution in January 2013, and used 2 full bottles before I was confident enough in the results to post a review.  Whitening products are usually long-term reviews because they work so slowly and they're often used in combination with other products that have a whitening effect themselves, so it can be a challenge to identify if something is actually working.

Look at that golden pearlescence.  This packaging is so gorgeous.

Plus if you think about it, would you really want a whitening product that works quickly?  Imagine what sort of chemical warfare you'd be inflicting on your face for a fast turnaround.  That wouldn't be whitening in the Korean sense, that would be straight up bleaching.  Repeat after me:  whitening is not bleaching.

Read on for the full review!


Full product name: Skin79 White Reviving Skin Radiance Solution
Purpose: A treatment that provides the most intense whitening action out of the White Reviving lineup.
Scent: Floral but not overpowering. Milder than the White Reviving cream.
Texture:  A liquid barely more vicious than water, so be careful with it or it will run/drip everywhere.
Quantity: 30ml, and it's a very tiny bottle.  Do not be deceived by the zoomed-in picture.
Availability:  Testerkorea, Koreadepart, prettyandcute, and ebay
Price:  I bought mine off RoseRoseShop's ebay site for $17.99 with free shipping, but it looks like the price has gone up since.
The cheapest I could find was on ebay for around $20, ranging up to $28 on testerkorea, $32 on koreadepart, and $31 on prettyandcute.  So between $0.67 to $1.07 per ml.  It's also available in sample size from testerkorea for around $1.20 USD for 10 packets of 1ml, so 0.12 per ml.  Heck, for that price, I might just sterilize my current bottle, buy some samples, and decant them in there!
PH Level: Between 5 and 5.5, so right in the butter zone.
Rating:  4/5 although I would have liked more whitening effect, it was nicely hydrating.
Repurchase:  I am experimenting with AHAs and BHAs right now, and some other whitening products, but I would definitely come back to this if they did not pan out.

Full Review:

So first, let's revisit a controversial topic that continues to cause consternation for anyone new to asian beauty products: whitening.   Many asian countries, including beauty trend juggernaut South Korea, believe fair skin is more beautiful than tan skin.  This is a very old, tradition-steeped cultural preference which stems from the visual distinction between the wealthy who stayed indoors, and the peasants who worked all day under the harsh sun.

Even western beauty ideals once prized ultra fair skin (and a plumper body) especially for women:
The Three Muses, by Rubens

The reason was the same.  It's actually the same reason almost any look is desirable, even today: it's how wealthy people look(ed).  Wealthy people could afford to lounge around indoors, eating rich and plentiful foods while not exerting themselves, while poor folk were tanned and thin from working outside all day on meager diets.

Nowadays, the western ideal of beauty has shifted to being tanned and extremely thin, while being pale and fat is abhorred.  Why?  Wealthy people can afford to lounge around on beaches and go sailing to work on their tan, and hire personal trainers to fill their leisure hours with exercise, while poor folk are trapped indoors, sitting immobile at a desk all day, eating cheap, high-calorie, poor-nutrition food.

I do find it interesting that asian countries still maintain the fair-is-beautiful belief even after migrating to a more indoor workforce population.  I wonder if this is because there is still a significant outdoor workforce in countries such as China, or more due to firmly entrenched cultural norms, such as those that generate terms like Bai Fu Mei.  Or the Chinese and Japanese expressions about white skin compensating for other flaws.

So, to say that 'whitening' products are hooking buyers purely from a 'fades age spots and acne scars' perspective is a little disingenuous, but it's also important to note that these types of products are not bleaching skin.  A better translation would be 'brightening' as they're meant to break up melanin deposits from sun damage, age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) aka acne scars.  Are there actual skin bleaching products used in asian countries?  I have zero doubt of that.   Is this cream, and other 'whitening' products, examples of bleaching products?  Hell no.  If you want to lighten your actual skin tone, this will not do that.  Look elsewhere, this is not the product type you are looking for.  

However, if you are like me and want to enhance your natural skin tone with youthful glow, and undo sun-darkened patches and fade acne scars, then 'whitening' products are just what you need.

The Skin79 White Reviving Skin Radiance Solution is the most concentrated product in their White Reviving line, which I mentioned in my Layering Multiple Products (Pt. II) post.

I use the White Reviving Skin Radiance cream (Reviewed here) from this line as my winter moisturizer, and although the cream has a more subtle whitening effect, the two together are noticeable.

I actually stopped using the Solution for about a month after finishing my first bottle, unconvinced that it was actually doing anything.  I noticed that my overall skin tone seemed to be darkening (and not the healthy tanned kind of way, I'm talking the I-just-washed-my-face-but-it-still-looks-dirty kind of way) so I purchased a second bottle just to make sure.  The lifecycle of skin cells is 28 days (source) as it is, and whitening products are so gradual in their effect, you really need to be prepared to test whitening products for months to judge their effectiveness.  I'd be scared of something that acted quickly, because that would be skin bleaching territory and ain't nobody got time fo dat.

The packaging is of course gorgeous, with a luminescent golden pearl effect embedded into the heavy frosted plastic of the bottle.  The cream was the same.

I don't plan on testing other products from this line, but here's the details on the whole range:

  • Softener (uses salicylic acid to dissolve dead skin and prep it for product absorption)
  • Solution (strongest concentration of whitening)
  • Emulsion (thin, hydrating lotion)
  • Eye serum (standard eye cream)
  • Cream (standard moisturizing cream, reviewed)
  • Sunblock (SPF 40, PA++.  I'm surprised it's so low)
  • Sheet mask (this mask is so expensive, pass)
That sunscreen in particular shocks me a bit, because PA++ is quite low.  Even my Skin79 Orange Vita BB cream (reviewed) has SPF 50+ and PA+++.

I'm also not a big fan of using an entire range because I prefer to mix and match my products and brands to tailor things to my skin.

Now let's SCIENCE!

(Click on images for full size)

I am beyond thrilled that this already exists on cosdna (link) so I don't have to type all of the ingredients out by hand.  Woooo!

The copy on the box mentions Flora-WH, Niacinamide, Neurocell "composed of ingredients like Salicylic Acid and Acetyl Glucosamine", Skin Renew Complex with "Fullerenes", Platinum, and "Aqua Insulation".  Uh-huh.

 Directions: After using softner [sic], evenly spread a moderate amount on entire face and allow to absorb.

I will never stop being entertained by made-up "science" terms, but let's look at what's actually in this thing.

The Bad:

The cosdna flags are:
  • Alcohol Denat, which scores a Irritant 5, is simply alcohol with a denaturant added to it so people won't drink it.  According to, it's required that non-food/beverage/drug uses of alcohol be denatured, so it would seem it's got the same risk as alcohol normally does.  If your skin is an anti-alcohol teetotaling jerk, avoid this.
  • PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, which is a solvent.  According to cosmeticsinfo PPG-17 is a form of polypropylene glycol polymer, and was originally established with a limit of 50% concentration to prevent human irritation/sensitization, but then revised their findings with an update that the correct formulation for cosmetic products can be used at higher concentrations.  
  • Triethanol amine, which is a PH adjuster.  I get really happy when I see PH adjusters, because it means that they've adjusted the PH of the product deliberately so it's within the 'ideal' range.  It's already reacted in this product, so it's taken one for the team and is no longer active.
  • Salicylic Acid.  Ah no, I am sure in high concentrations it's bad, but this belongs in this next category:
The Good:
  • Salicylic Acid.  Oooo Baby, gimme dat sweet, sweet BHA action.  Get on wit your magical skincare benefit self.  Me and my pores welcome you.  Sink into my skin and renew my collagen production!  Clear my pores!  Uncork the elixir of youth!  GET ON MY FACE.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate, also known as Hyaluronic Acid, which is a humectant. HA is a very popular ingredient in asian skincare because it draws moisture into your skin and keeps it plump and smooth.  You want to be careful using HAs and layer them under other moisturizers, so they're drawing moisture from outside into your skin, instead of the other way around.  If you live in the rainforest, or say, Florida or Houston Texas, you're good, but if you live in an ultra dry area like me, I need moisture to travel on a one-way street into my face, not out of it.

Final Thoughts:

Did it work?  Yes, but it was quite subtle and took several months to really give a measurable result.  Now that I am on the AHA/BHA train, I suspect that re-introducing this solution might give me a better effect this time around.  I did find it to be a nicely hydrating 'first essence' type of treatment which sinks quickly into the skin and should be used before any other hydrating products.  

It also has reflective particles in it (pearl and platinum powder are listed in the ingredients), which brings a nice subtle glow to the skin without making me look shiny.  Not an HG, and I continue my whitening explorations elsewhere, but a solid if subtle option.

Do you have a whitening product that you swear by?   Let me know in the comments!

**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. 


  1. Hm, I may need to try this on my acne scars. I've been using the snail recovery repair gel and it's done wonders for the surface texture of my skin, but years of acne and picking it compulsively have left me with a permanent blush of red scars on my cheeks. Do you think this would help?

    1. It sounds like what you are describing is PIH (Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and yes, this should help but it may take a few months. If you want something that will have a quicker (but still safe) effect, I recommend that you do some research into AHAs (and BHAs) to assist with significant PIH issues. :)

    2. Thanks to you, I have now gotten AHA and BHA products and also fallen down a rabbit hole of skincare review blogs, amazon sellers, and snail slime. On one hand, I have spent more on skincare in the last month than I have in the last five years combined. On the other hand, my skin has never been softer or less acne-ridden, and my PIH is slowly fading.

    3. Makes all those hits to your wallet worthwhile, eh? If you are already noticing your PIH fading, imagine what your skin will look like in 6 months' time of continued use. Today I noticed the deep wrinkle forming at the edge of my mouth is not as prominent as it once was, and I nearly hugged my bottle of AHA peeling serum.

    4. Hi,
      I have the same problem you used to have.
      After travelling to Australia last year, leaving the cold - 30°C Norwegian winter and staying in the Australian desert with temperature well above 40°C, my skin went mad and I got acne all over my face. Thankfully the acne has cleared up, however like you, I am now left with red scars on my cheeks and forehead. Its been well over a year now and the scars are still there. I am happy that the AHA and BHA products have helped you and that your skin is getting better :) What are some of the products you use that have helped fade the PIH?

  2. Oh I am sure you know this but Chanel made a tan in Western countries popular in the 1920s :)

    1. Really? I had no idea! I wanted to believe that it was because she was liberating women to be more outdoorsy/sporty/less home bound, but it actually just proved my point:

      "After an accidental sunburn while on vacation in the French Riviera, Coco Chanel returned to Paris with tanned skin. The look sparked a trend, which was seen as status symbol."

      That's fascinating that it's just blatantly called out as tan = rich people like that. I mean, I knew that's why it's popular today, but it's interesting to see when that impression sparked.

  3. I haven't tried that many whitening products so I don't really have a lot to compare it to, but I really liked OST's C20 Vitamin C serum (one of my absolute favorite serums) and Skinfood's Tomato Whitening Line (but I only bought a sample set with cream/lotion/serum/toner so I can't really say if it's really effective), Hanyul's Optimizing Serum and their White Chrysanthemum Powder Serum were also really good but too expensive for me :/ one of my favorite bloggers has compiled a list of brightening/whitening products here: