8 Best Korean Brightening Serums

Enhance and brighten the complexion of your delicate skin with these Korean serums.

Reviewed by Lisa Lee, Licensed Esthetician Lisa Lee Lisa LeeLicensed Esthetician facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
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If you want to enhance the radiance of your skin, brightness, and texture, all you need to do is, get your hands on the best Korean brightening serum available in the market. These serums are genuinely a game-changer are they are enriched with skin-loving ingredients and can provide you with targeted effects. Knowing this, we have created a list of the eight most effective Korean brightening serums after much scrutiny of formulations and reviews that will give your skin the love it deserves. So, go ahead and check it out.

Top Picks
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Best Cruelty-Free:Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For Oily Skin:The Crème Shop x Hello Kitty Apple Essence Serum
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Best Moisturizing:AHC Aqualuronic Serum
Price on Amazon
Best Long-Lasting:Skin & Lab Dr. Color Effect Red Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For Daily Use:Madeca Derma Revitalizing Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For All Skin Types:Meebak Cica Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For Hyperpigmentation:iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For Anti-Aging:Enough Project All-In-One Essence
Price on Amazon

8 Best Korean Brightening Serum

1. Best Cruelty-Free:Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum

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4.2
Seoul Cuticles Day Glow Serum- To Moisturize Your Skin And Prevent Breakouts Image: Seoulceuticals

The Day Glow Serum from Seoul Ceuticals features potent and active skin-friendly ingredients like ferulic acid to brighten your dull skin and block environmental stressors. It works by clearing acne, minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores, preventing breakouts, and fading the scars to reveal flawlessly bright skin. This results-driven anti-aging serum contains the powerful antioxidant, vitamin C, which also helps in diminishing wrinkles, crow’s feet, and fine lines, and ensures bright and youthful skin. Further, it is not tested on animals.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 3 inches | Weight: 2.5 Ounces

Pros

  • Refreshing citrus scent
  • Contains skin brightening ingredients
  • Suits all skin types
  • 98% natural
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Expensive
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 17,000 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

2. Best For Oily Skin:The Crème Shop x Hello Kitty Apple Essence Serum

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4.5

The Crème Shop x Hello Kitty Apple Essence Serum is a popular product that has a skin-protecting formula to combat free radicals and leave your skin glowing, moisturized, and youthful. This apple-ceramide serum prevents wrinkles and fine lines while strengthening the skin barrier, boosting hydration, and plumping the skin. It contains apple essence to retain moisture and ceramides beads to prevent moisture loss from the skin. Apples are also rich in vitamin C and have astringent properties that rejuvenate the skin and may fade acne scars and marks. This serum is suitable for oily, acne-prone skin as it helps in toning the skin naturally.

Skin Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 4 inches | Weight: 4.97 Ounces.

Pros

  • Non-oily
  • Boosts skin whitening
  • Pleasant scent
  • Quick absorbing
  • Combats free radical damage
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • None
My Personal Experience

"I was a bit wary, thinking the vitamin E beads in this serum might make me break out. To my surprise, it turned out to be a game-changer, significantly increasing my skin's hydration without making it oilier. The beads are gentle on delicate skin, which is a relief, even though they might leave a slight tinge of color at times. It pairs well with different moisturizers as well."

3. Best Moisturizing:AHC Aqualuronic Serum

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4.3

AHC’s Aqualuronic Serum has a moisture-balancing formula to lock in moisture. This K-beauty serum contains triple hyaluronic acid that hydrates the skin and has a lightweight formula that gets absorbed quickly to reveal bright and healthy skin. The hyaluronic acid used in the serum has a low molecular weight, allowing it to penetrate the skin layers for intense moisturization. This brightening skincare product fades wrinkles, fine lines, prevents water loss, and plumps the skin. The ceramides in the formula boost moisture retention and French seawater further enhances hydration capability.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.63 x 4.56 inches | Weight: 3.68 Ounces.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Gives radiant complexion
  • Suits all skin types
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Refines texture
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • None

My Personal Experience

"I've tried a few hyaluronic acid serums, and this one really sticks out to me. Its dreamy, thin, and silky texture makes it ideal for layering. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling nourished without leaving a stickiness. It applies smoothly and controls sebum production. It's a worthy addition to my collection!"


protip_icon Quick Tip
Apply on slightly damp skin to allow for better absorption of the formula.

4. Best Long-Lasting:Skin & Lab Dr. Color Effect Red Serum

The Dr. Color Effect Red Serum from Skin & Lab is a luxurious serum with a gentle formula that provides all-day-long protection to the skin. It contains adenosine and niacinamide to hydrate, soothe, and moisturize the skin. This glow-enhancing serum minimizes the appearance of clogged pores, restores glow and prevents sun damage to reveal youthful-looking skin. It also contains pomegranate extract to revitalize the skin, raspberry extract to boost firmness, and blueberry extract to minimize oxidation. The formula also contains acai berry to brighten the skin, cloudberry to soothe, and goji berry to moisturize the skin. The phyto-red complex of the serum containing lycopene and ellagic prevents collagen damage and protects the skin.

Skin Type: Sensitive Skin,Oily | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 4 inches | Weight: 6.4 Ounces

Pros

  • Pleasant scent
  • For all skin types
  • Reduces skin pigmentation
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Repairs sun damage
  • Cruelty-free
  • KFDA-approved
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • None

5. Best For Daily Use:Madeca Derma Revitalizing Serum

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4
Madeca Derma Revitalizing Serum Image: Madeca Derma

The Madeca Derma Revitalizing Serum is a K-beauty product developed with TECA technology to nourish dull and dry skin. This skin-friendly serum contains clinically-proven ingredients like centella asiatica extract to revitalize and add glow to the skin. With regular use, this serum strengthens the skin barrier, reduces inflammation and redness while promoting cell regeneration. Its plant bases extract moisturizes the skin while offering rejuvenating benefits. This hydrating serum contains skin-firming marine collagen to fade wrinkles and fine lines. The triple hyaluronic acid in the formula moisturizes, soothes, and hydrates the skin. This serum has a non-greasy and quick-absorbing texture.

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination, and Oily Skin

Pros

  • Suits all skin types
  • Lightweight
  • Promotes skin rejuvenation
  • Pleasant scent
  • Non-greasy
  • No artificial fragrance

Cons

  • May feel sticky

My Personal Experience

"This serum absorbs rapidly, feels very thin and silky, and leaves my skin feeling nourished. I apply just a little bit of the product as too much can leave a sticky residue. It's perfect for layering. It can get an even base with your foundation. It hasn't broken my skin out, instead, it left my skin rejuvenated. Worth trying, I'd say."


6. Best For All Skin Types:Meebak Cica Serum

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4.3

This incredible serum, Cica Serum from Meebak, heals and soothes irritated skin by strengthening the skin barrier and offering deep hydration. Its super-concentrated formula penetrates deep into the skin to boost skin radiance. It contains skin-nourishing and protecting cica or centella asiatica extract that promotes collagen synthesis and tones the skin. The combination of niacinamide and retinol in the formula fades dark spots, dark circles, and other aging signs while improving uneven skin tone. The presence of hyaluronic acid boosts moisture and hydration levels to smoothen and plump the skin. To follow a Korean skincare routine, add this serum to your routine today.

Skin Type: All, Oily, Combination, Sensitive | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.6 x 1.75 x 1.75 inches; 1 Ounces

Pros

  • Suits all skin types
  • Reduces skin discoloration
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalates-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Expensive

7. Best For Hyperpigmentation:iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum

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4.4

The Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum by iUNIK is a powerful serum that has a highly concentrated and potent formulation to protect, nourish, and soothe the skin. It is infused with centella asiatica and propolis extracts to quickly calm and nourish the skin by supplying essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. This serum is suitable for sensitive skin. The propolis extract soothes and protects the skin, while hippophae rhamnoides fruit extract provides additional nourishment. This serum repairs dull and dry skin, fades dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and reduces irritation, acne, and breakouts. This moisture-rich serum is suitable for all skin types

Note: Avoid the product if you are allergic to propolis and beeswax.

Skin Type: Blemish, Irritated Skin, Combination, Dry and Sensitive, Rosacea

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Improves skin elasticity
  • Lightweight
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Mat cause allergic reactions

My Personal Experience

"I'm very pleased with this serum because it has wonderful moisturizing qualities, absorbs quickly, and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin at all. It's incredible how my skin appears healthy due to the jelly-like texture. Regular use helps to lighten my complexion and gives my skin a more even tone. It has become a trusty favorite in my skincare routine!"


protip_icon Quick Tip
The best technique to apply serum is to pat it onto the skin with your fingertips and then spread it outward. Avoid massaging and let the formula absorb naturally.

8. Best For Anti-Aging:Enough Project All-In-One Essence

The Korean skincare product, Enough Project All-In-One Essence, reveals bright and youthful-looking skin that stays soft, plump, and hydrated throughout the day. Its lightweight and quick-absorbing formula deeply nourishes the skin without leaving any residue. This essence contains beta-hyaluronic acid to boost hydration, elasticity, and skin regeneration. It also contains peptides derived from white lupine seeds to nourish the skin and improve firmness. The refreshing woody and floral scent of the product provides a rejuvenating experience. Further, it is free from animal testing.

Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Fresh fragrance
  • Improves skin tone
  • Lightweight
  • Boosts skin hydration
  • Artificial color-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Triethanolamine-free

Cons

  • None
My Personal Experience

"This moisturizing serum has a subtle floral powder aroma that I find quite pleasing. It uplifts my mood while also taking care of my skin. It doesn't feel greasy or sticky on my skin. Rather, it makes my skin feel fresh and thoroughly soothed. I reach out for this serum on slightly dry days. On drier days, I recommend you top it with a face cream."

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Korean brightening serum enhances the skin’s natural radiance by targeting dark spots, decreasing wrinkles, and improving the overall tone. This is a popular item for Korean cosmetics as it brightens your complexion quickly and effectively. There are plenty of serums in the market and finding the right one may become a bit puzzling. So, you can use the guide below to make an informed decision.

What To Consider When Buying Korean Brightening Serums

Skin Type: You need to know your skin type well before making a purchase. Choose a serum with salicylic acid for skin prone to acne. It has soothing effects so it will not itch your skin. A serum that contains niacinamide or hyaluronic acid is best for all skin types. Centella asiatica is good for soothing irritated dry skin. It also promotes collagen production and is a good choice for mature skin. For sensitive skin, choose serums that are scientifically formulated and dermatologically tested to prevent irritation.

Gentleness: Choose a serum with a gentle, non-irritating formula with proven efficacy to deliver visible results within a few uses. It should be lightweight and get absorbed easily. It should be able to deliver nutrients deep down into the skin cells. But not so strong that it drys out the skin instead.

Organic Ingredients: Don’t forget to check the powerful ingredients listed in the product you are going to buy. Look for brightening serums with organic ingredients. These are safe to use and will not cause any harm to your skin. They are ideal for sensitive skin as they don’t have chemicals to irritate your skin. Goji berries and acai berries are common ingredients used in Korean serums. Different seaweeds are also common antiaging ingredients in Korean serums.

Ingredients To Avoid: Avoid using serums made with harsh ingredients or toxins like parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and artificial colors or fragrances. They can irritate the skin, aggravate existing conditions, and trigger allergic reactions or premature aging signs.

Additional Factors: Make sure the serum is non-greasy and does not leave a sticky feeling on troubled skin. Choose a non-comedogenic serum with active ingredients that deliver premium benefits to the skin. It should be safe to use on sensitive facial skin.

Infographic: How To Use Korean Brightening Serums

A good Korean brightening serum helps rejuvenate and restore the skin’s natural glow. However, not using it the right way may not produce the optimum results and cause skin damage. Check out the infographic below to learn the right way to use Korean brightening serums.

How To Use Korean Brightening Serums (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

There is no denying that everything about K-beauty is great, and they have been ruling over the skin care industry for a while now due to their promises of providing glass skin texture. To enhance your skin’s texture, brightness, and overall appearance while maintaining your skin’s health, you need to try out the best Korean brightening serums. Add the Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum to your daily skin care routine for its potent formula that works for all skin types. The Crème Shop x Hello Kitty Apple Essence Serum is ideal for dull and dry skin, while the iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum is most perfect for sensitive skin. These serums are enriched with skin-friendly ingredients that have healing properties and address targeted skin concerns. They have a hypoallergenic and quick-absorbing formula that gets well-absorbed into your skin on application. These serums will add nourishment and hydration to dull and dehydrated skin.

Why Trust Stylecraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author, is a certified skin care coach who loves keeping up with the latest trends in skin care. In this article, she lists the best Korean serums to brighten your complexion. Don’t worry, each of these products and their reviews was thoroughly studied and researched. These serums were selected based on their ingredients, skin care benefits, absence of harmful elements, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What goes first, ampoule or serum?

Apply a few drops of the ampoule to your skin before using a serum. The higher concentration of active ingredients seeps into your skin quickly and prepares your skin for the following skin care steps.

When should I apply Korean brightening serum?

Apply a Korean brightening serum as the fifth step of skin care after using a cleanser, toner, essence, and ampoule.

How quickly does Korean brightening serum work?

Korean brightening serum takes four to six weeks to show effective results on your skin.

How often should you use Korean brightening serum?

Use a Korean brightening serum daily to achieve healthy, glowing skin within a month.

Is brightening the same as whitening?

No. Skin brightening means having healthy, glowing skin with fewer dark spots and an even skin tone. Whitening means making your face appear a few shades lighter.


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Lisa Lee

Lisa LeeLicensed Esthetician

Lisa Lee is a licensed esthetician with over two decades of professional experience in skin care and makeup. Having struggled with her skin issues practically her whole life, she understands the frustration as well as the toll it can take on one's self-image. She guides clients about their skin issues and provides advice on maintaining excellent results at home through...read full bio

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