Review: Tony Moly The White Tea Brightening Cream

Plastic Bottle with a Screw Lid

Where to purchase: On TonyMoly’s US website HERE

Volume: 60ml

Price: $25

Made in: South Korea

What is it: A gel cream

Description: A 73% White Tea Brightening Cream providing hydration and skin hydration. Brightens dark spots, acne scars and hyperpigmentation (mainly due to the Niacinamide I imagine). Lightweight gel cream ‘absorbs deep into the skin without leaving any sticky or greasy residue’ so the skin feels well hydrated. This depends on how much you use in my opinion and how many products are layered underneath. If this is the only product you use or this and another product, like a serum – then this does absorb well and efficiently. For people who use more than 2 steps in their routine or like using thick layers of cream, this wont absorb as fast or efficiently in my opinion.

NOTE: Tony Moly says: White Tea collection is gentle enough to use on all skin types, especially for sensitive and easily irritated skin. I am a bit iffy about this statement as this contains essential oils so if you are sensitive to essential oils, this may not work for you – HOWEVER as a retinol user, this has not stung me.

Who is it for: Oily skins / Dehydrated skins / skin in the summer (humid). I think this is quite thick for a gel cream, so dry skins might be able to use this.


  1. Apply as needed to face and neck.
  2. Can be used morning and night

How I use it: I use this after my products to seal them in as an occlusive layer. However mainly I use this cream as a sleeping mask.


Key Ingredients: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (the tea part of this formula) – skin soothing, antioxidant / Niacinamide (brightening) / Glycerin – hydration / Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract / Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract – Skin Conditioning / Allantoin – also skin conditioning.

Full Ingredients List: Skincarisma have a breakdown of the ingredients: HERE

NOTE: The lemon oil in here might mean it may be best not to wear this cream in direct sunlight.


Texture: This is a gel cream, It takes a while for this too fully absorb into the skin, so less is more. I tried to use this as a sleeping mask once (so just adding a thick layer) and this remained sticky and didn’t seem to really sink in. So i’d say this cream is better if you don’t have products underneath / use very few products underneath or add a very thin amount.

Video Swatch

Fragrance?: Yes: Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil / Citrus Aurantium Dulcis  – can’t stand fragrance. The fragrance doesn’t appear as strong later but is still there. Those sensitive to essential oils will not like this.

Good Under Makeup?: I’ve found it fine. The sticky/tackiness I felt meant that this was actually not a bad priming base for makeup application, for foundation to stick to. But I do think with something like this – less is more.

How long have I been using this product?: 2 weeks

The effect?: I haven’t been using this for brightening – I use many other products that contain brightening ingredients i.e. Niacinamide so I cannot state if this SOLELY brightened my skin tone, but of course it is a nice additional benefit. The main reason why I wanted to use this was as a sleeping mask, but it didn’t absorb in/form an occlusive layer on top and remained sticky. I felt like this was too thick for me in the hot and humid summer to use as a moisturiser cream on top of other products so used this simply after cleansing and toning if I wanted to use it. This cream is relatively hydrating (not bursting with water and moisture) – but not terrible.


What I like:

  • I do think this is good for hydration and even dry skins may enjoy this as its thicker than a typical gel in my opinion (not as watery and light).
  • Fine for use in hot and humid weathers (again if not too much is used).
  • This actually came with a spatula! yay!

What I don’t like:

  • Absolutely not a fan of the essential oils / fragrance. So this isn’t great for skins sensitive to essential oils.
  • I’m also not a fan of the thicker residue I feel compared to other gel creams.
  • Couldn’t use as a sleeping mask.

Rating and Conclusion: 3/5 – not my favourite gel cream out there because I find it a bit thicker than most. I like my gel creams to dry down / absorb asap and I don’t think this does. And of course it has essential oils. It’s not terrible by any means, but not my favourite.

Would I repurchase?: No I would not. If I were to use a Tonymoly gel cream for hot and humid weather, I would much prefer their green tea chok chok cream which is a lot lighter, feels more like pudding i.e. like the dear Klairs vitamin E pudding cream (but way less messier) however that also contains essential oils. If you’re looking for a non-scented gel cream then the Etude House Soon Jung line has a gel cream.


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