SMD Cosmetics Saromae Radiance Emulsion Brightening Moisturizer Review

SMD Cosmetics is a premium Korean skincare brand that is now available in the United States. They sent me the Radiance Emulsion Brightening Moisturizer from their Saromae line to try.

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.


SMD Cosmetics is one of the most popular and prestigious skincare lines in South Korea, and I was excited to try their products because I was born in Busan and I love finding new Korean brands. Their formulas are made with over 40 powerful ingredients that are expertly blended by accredited doctors.

They have two main lines, the Inhyunjin for ageless skin and Saromae for brightening. The Saromae line uses beer yeast extract, Uva Ursi (bear berry) extract, and Mitracarpus Scaber Extract for natural skin-lightening properties. The formulas work to reduce the appearance of dark spots, uneven sin tone, age spots, acne scars, and dullness caused by sun exposure and enviromental stressors. Also, I had no idea what Mitracarpus Scaber was, but it's a flower.

Now, here's where I have to take a bit of a detour. In Korean culture, light skin is favored. I won't go into a whole long sidebar about colorism, but I will say that I prefer to celebrate your natural skin tone, however light or dark that may be. That being said, this lotion is called a "Brightening" lotion but the front of the bottle (click photo above to enlarge) does say "Whitening" lotion and some of the ingredients are known to have bleaching properties. So if you are looking to truly whiten/lighten your skin, this lotion will likely be a good option for you. Also, I don't mean this to be a total dig at SMD Cosmetics. Like I said, Korean skincare is full of products like this and to having bleaching ingredients is not at all uncommon, but I wanted to make any readers who are not familiar with Korean skincare and culture aware of this.

Edited: SMD Cosmetics has clarified that although the lotion contains natural bleaching ingredients, they are not strong enough to lighten your entire skin. I mention this later in the review, but I will say that after a month's use it did not lighten/bleach my skin. The ingredients are concentrated in such a way that they only work to brighten discoloration and skin pigmentation issues.



Okay, this is me stepping down from my soapbox and getting on with the review.

The bottle for the Saromae Radiance Emulsion Brightening Moisturizer is sleek and beautiful and would look lovely on anyone's vanity. I unfortunately do not speak or read Korean, but I love the Hangul (what the Korean language is called) on the bottle and the rest of the packaging.


The box has directions and ingredients listed in English. This is step three in the Saromae line, but I didn't receive the first two steps to try along with this so I can't comment on how they all work together.

So what about the lotion itself? It's a very light and silky formula that glided onto my skin and absorbed quickly. I liked this more as a day moisturizer because it was so light, and I prefer a heavier night cream. It's also cruelty-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic (won't clog your pores). I used this for a month and it moisturized without feeling heavy or greasy. I will say that my skin didn't become any lighter in a month's time, but I discontinued use after that because I don't want to lighten my skin tone.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for a premium moisturizer and are not averse to skin lightening/brightening, the Saromae Radiance Emulsion Brightening Moisturizer is a good option. I loved how light and silky this was and I think it would work well alone or with the rest of the Saromae line from SMD Cosmetics.

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