Korean Brightening Skincare Routine: Can You Guess the Secret Brightening Ingredient?

Joy, CEO and Co-Founder of Eunogo, shares her Brightening skincare routine as well as the secret ingredient that brightens our skin tone. 


Brightening is one of the top skincare concerns for many people, and there's actually a secret ingredient that's used in many brightening skincare products and treatments. 

Related: Korean Glass Skin: A Home Skincare Routine with Products used by Korean Skin Clinics!

I've shared my own brightening skincare routine at home using medical aesthetic skincare products used by many dermatology clinics in Korea in the video below. If you haven't seen the video, check it out here:

What is Skin Brightening?

Before we start, let’s talk about the definition of skin brightening. I have friends who have very tanned skin, but also friends who have pale skin. Some say that skin brightening is not really for them because they like to keep my skin tanned, while others say they already have pale skin. Well, for me, skin brightening is not about whitening your skin tone. Skin brightening is all about maintaining the smooth, even skin tone, as well as keeping your radiance. Speaking of even skin tone, my brightening skincare routine will help minimize dark spots, pigmentation and redness as well as dark circles. Also, the natural tone-up effect after this brightening skincare routine will give us a natural radiance.

The Secret Brightening Ingredient, Glutathione

The key product in this routine is the Glutathione ToneUp Kit which uses glutathione as its main ingredient. I also used this product in my Korean Glass Skin routine previously, and the thing about glutathione is that it’s a molecule that converts melanin into a lighter color. This ingredient is used by a lot of Korean skin clinics, especially for IV (intravenous) injections, to brighten up our skin tone.

I also use the Yourfit Perfect Custom Ampoule & Mask Dual Solution Kit, which comes with a brightening ampoule and a sheet mask. The thing about this ampoule is it contains high amounts of niacinamide as well as mulberry leaf extract, which is known to help reduce discoloration in our skin as well as brightening up the overall skin tone.

Last but not least, I use the Caviar Protein Fluid, which is a brightening and anti-aging targeted serum, made of obviously caviar, which gives the right nutrients to our skin, as well as high concentration of niacinamide, which is known to brighten our skin tone.

Step 1: Cleansing

Although I did not include this part in the video, cleansing is absolutely essential in every routine. After using a makeup remover and cleanser, I also used an exfoliator to peel off all the dead cells on my skin, and cleanse the pores. I think it’s important as part of the brightening skincare routine to decrease the skin dullness, but if you have dry skin, I’d only use an exfoliator maybe once a week, so make sure you don’t overdo it. If you have oily or combination skin, maybe once or twice a week will be the right frequency.

Step 2: Toning

Next step is toning, and I use the Cica+ Cotton Pad Toner. Cica really helps to calm down any irritation, especially after using the exfoliator. Gently swipe it across your skin. It smells very refreshing as well.

Besides the toner pads from Patchholic, which are very convenient, I'd also recommend the new and improved version of the Pure Energy Cica+ Toner. It contains a much higher concentration (85.9%) of centella asiatica leaf (cica) extract and madecassoside from Madagascar.

Step 3: Eye Serum & Eye Cream

Next, I apply eye serum and cream. I use the 360 Eye Perfection Duo which comes with a serum and a cream. So the thing about my eyes is, I have a bit of dark circles as well as fine lines and wrinkles. This 360 Eye Perfection Duo helps me to solve all of these problems. I start with the Age Defying Eye Serum, which is good for fine lines but also targeted to lighten dark circles. I apply just a little bit under my eyes and then just gently massage.This serum is very very light. I’ll use it in the morning as well as at night, twice a day. I’ll let it absorb fully before applying the cream.

After that, I follow up with the cream, which is more targeted for wrinkles and fine lines. I apply just a little bit and pat it into my eye area and under the eyebrows. Gently massage by circling. I also use a little bit of this on my smile lines, because I have wrinkles there too.

Step 4: Glutathione Ampoule

The next step is finally the Glutathione Ampoule. This ampoule has 5 times higher concentration than the Glutathione Cream, so I use a very small amount. It’s also quite expensive and it comes in a small bottle. If you'd like, you can apply it to your full face.

I use it on my full face occasionally, but on a daily basis, I would only use it on the dark spots and chin area. This ampoule is also very light, and after applying, I wait until it fully absorbs.

Step 5: Yourfit Brightening Ampoule & Massage

Let's double up on the ampoules by using the brightening ampoule from the Yourfit Perfect Custom Ampoule & Mask Dual Solution Kit. The kit contains a custom ampoule and 3 sheet masks. For this brightening routine, I chose the brightening ampoule, which contains high niacinamide content as well as mulberry extract which brightens the skin tone. I use this one on my full face and nack and gently massage to let it fully absorb.

After the ampoule, if I have time, I'd always do a massage using my hands or anything you have like a roller or guasha tool. Giving a little massage will help the blood circulation in the muscle and also relax your muscles fully. I do this once or twice a week.

Step 6: Yourfit Sheet Mask

And then, sheet masking time. These Yourfit sheet masks contain SO. MUCH. ESSENCE. Applying this sheet mask after the ampoule helps to keep all the brightening ampoule ingredients inside the skin. The essence from the sheet mask is made of aloe vera, so it’s very, very soothing and hydrating.

After putting on the sheet mask, I’d relax for 20 minutes before taking it off. You can already see my skin tone getting much brighter. I let the remaining essence absorb into my skin by patting gently. In Korea, we call this patting action ‘tok tok’! There's still essence left in the sheet mask, so I usually rub it on my neck and collarbone so as to not waste the essence.

Step 7: Caviar Protein Fluid

As the next step, I apply the Caviar Protein Fluid as a serum. This one contains, as you can guess, caviar. You'll be able to see that there’s little black caviar bits inside which gives our skin the right nutrients as well as improves skin elasticity. It also contains high niacinamide content, which brightens the skin tone, treats fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. I love the ingredients in this because it’s kind of like an All-In-One treatment. I twist open the cap on the serum, and put a little bit all over my face. It smells good, nothing strong, just a very gentle and mild scent, but very very refreshing. Always make sure to treat the neck as well. My skin feels very smooth, silky and hydrated after the fluid.

Step 8: Glutathione Tone Up Cream

After the serum, I use the Glutathione ToneUp Cream. Remember the kit that I  introduced early with the Glutathione Ampoule? They come as a set and I use this one after serum. The Glutathione ToneUp Cream is not tinted, so you can use it during the day as well as at night before you go to bed. It has a very natural tone-up effect, which you'll be able to see almost immediately. This one also needs to be applied on the neck, so that there’s no obvious difference in skin tone between your face and neck.

Even without putting on makeup, my skin is a lot more brightened and radiant after doing just this skincare routine with the tone-up cream. I don’t feel the need to put on any extra skin makeup.

Step 9: Rovectin Sunscreen

Because it's daytime, I put on sunscreen as my last step. I use the Rovectin Anti-Irritant Line Tinted Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++. This one is a bit tinted, but it will not get smudged on your mask or your phone. This also has a very silky smooth texture, and has no fragrance. You might have heard of Rovectin because it’s a famous K-beauty brand, but this Anti-Irritant line is a specific medical line that is distributed at clinics in Korea. This line of products are recommended to people who have very sensitive skin, especially after skin treatments, because it has no irritation, no harmful ingredients, and it really helps to soothe and calm the skin. It not only brightens up the skin tone, but makes my skin extra, extra smooth and silky. I wish there’s a way to show you the texture, but when I touch it, it feels velvet smooth, which I love.

Since we’re all wearing masks these days, it's great that this tinted sunscreen brightens your skin tone without leaving smudges on your mask. These days, I don’t really wear skin makeup at all. I get by with just the tone-up cream and tinted sunscreen from Rovectin, and that’s it. I apply a lip gloss before heading out and I'm all ready.

I hope you found this routine useful to add on to your own skin brightening routine. Feel free to leave a comment on our YouTube video or DM us on Instagram if you have any questions or feedback!


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