VOGUE: This Korean Skin-Brightening Powder Is the Next Cult Product From Seoul

Truth be told, the Korean beauty world can make even a self-confessed skin-care maniac feel slightly jaded—when a new innovation hits shelves every other week, it takes a truly game-changing product to turn heads. Yet that’s exactly what happened last month when I first heard about a new form of vitamin C that promised to actually brighten skin and, after a few weeks of testing, has delivered real results.

It’s called Vitabrid C12 and it relies on an advanced form of vitamin C that penetrates the skin and continues to be time-released for 12 hours, developed by Dr. Jinho Choy, a chemist working at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University. Yet it’s the practical application that first drew me in—packed in a white palm-size bottle with a clear strip along the side to let you see how much is left. The instructions suggest two taps of the bottle, dropped into a favorite essence, toner, or just a bit of water in the palm.

After a whirlwind month of near nonstop travel, and with a long-haul flight to Tokyo and then Seoul just ahead, my complexion had started to look dull—to the point where rigorous exfoliation and vitamin C serums had no effect, so I decided to blend my Vitabrid with a small pool of SK-II essence to create a cloudy white mixture. Twice a day, I patted it over my face and neck and performed a quick lymphatic drainage massage. One week later, I looked healthy again; one month later, my face was brighter and more even-toned than ever before. Now, it’s an indispensable part of my regimen, single-handedly keeping my skin intact through sleepless nights and time zone changes—I call it a K-beauty miracle.