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What Is a Tone Up Cream and Why Do You Need It in Your Regimen?

What Is a Tone Up Cream and Why Do You Need It in Your Regimen?
IMAGE Kiehls, Sephora, Son & Park
Here's everything you need to know about this brightening skincare product.

The Korean beauty industry is famous for introducing the world to new makeup and skincare concepts—like BB creams, facial essences, and cushion compacts. Their latest skincare innovation...or should we say "skinnovation"? Tone up cream. Ever heard of it? Yes? No?

If you're unsure about what it is and what exactly it can do for your skin (and why it's even called that), don't worry. Below, we list down everything you need to know about tone up creams:

1. It's not a toner—it's a special kind of moisturizer.

It's because it has the word "tone" in it, right? But nope, a tone up cream is a type of moisturizer that's supposed to be used as the last step of your day and night skincare regimen.

2. It brightens your complexion.

"Tone up" means the cream works by brightening and evening out your skin tone. They usually contain brightening ingredients such as niacinamide and fruit extracts.


3. It gets rid of dark marks.

Tone up creams won't just temporarily brighten your skin, they'll fight discoloration and hyperpigmentation as well. So if you have a stubborn acne mark that just won't go away, you can trust the cream will work hard to erase it.

4. It reduces the size of your pores.

Tone up creams contain skin-perfecting ingredients to help tighten pores and refine your skin's texture. This way your complexion will always look clear, plump, and smooth.

5. It doesn't only come in cream form.

While tone up creams are commonly known as moisturizers, there are actually tone-up eye creams, sunscreens, primers, and powders. They all have different uses; for example, a tone up eye cream can aid in reducing the appearance of dark circles, while a tone up primer evens out your skin to prep it for foundation.

6. It's perfect for oily skin types.

Tone up creams have a lightweight consistency, which means it won't clog your pores and leave your complexion shiny. While they tend to have a moisturizing effect, they don't feel heavy and sticky on the skin.

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Here are a few tone up products you can find locally if you want to try this skin brightener ASAP:

Pond's Instabright Tone Up Milk Cream

Enriched with milk essence and vitamin B3, the Tone Up Milk Cream instantly brightens your skin and leaves it matte but not flat, allowing it to double as a makeup base.


Instabright tone up milk cream, P259, POND'S, Lazada

Pond's Instabright Tone Up Milk Powder

Pond's Tone Up Milk Powder is perfect to take with you on the go. Similar to the Milk Cream, it mattifies and freshens up your complexion.


Instabright tone up milk powder, P89, POND'S, Lazada


Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Tone Up Cream SPF 50 PA+++

Kiehl's fast-absorbing sunscreen instantly hydrates and brightens your skin while protecting it from UVA and UVB rays and pollution.


Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Tone Up Cream SPF 50 PA+++, P2400, KIEHL'S, SM Megamall

Son & Park Tone Up Base SPF 30 PA+++

Here's a lightweight makeup base that preps your skin for other products by evening out your complexion and balancing your skin's oil production and hydration levels. It contains nourishing oils to leave your complexion radiant and healthy.

PHOTO BY Son & Park

Tone up base SPF 30 PA+++, P1190, SON & PARK, Althea

Sephora Collection Lemon Seed Brightening Tone Up Cream

This moisturizer contains glow-inducing ingredients like lemon seed extract and lemon essence. The same ingredients can even remove post-acne marks and hyperpigmentation!

PHOTO BY Sephora

Lemon seed brightening tone up cream, P1395, SEPHORA COLLECTION,

Etude House Sweet Pudding Tone-Up Cream

Does your skin look dull and grey lately? Try this complexion-correcting cream. It brightens, fills in fine lines and wrinkles, and controls excess sebum production for skin that looks rejuvenated and refreshed.

PHOTO BY Etude House

Sweet Pudding Tone-Up Cream, P598, ETUDE HOUSE, Trinoma

*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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