28 Apr 2017

Comparison Review: Belif The True - Whitening Cream vs. Belif The White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Cream

Ever wonder after Aqua Bomb, which cream will come hit me on the head and make me want to use it every day? It will be this The True - Whitening Cream from Belif! I listed it as my top 9 skincare products in 2016 on my Instagram and called this one of my holy grail creams that I cannot live without. But sadly... it has been discontinued. Belif reformulates, repackages and replaces it with "The White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Cream" last year and I will run out of the product soon when I finish my last bottle in reserve.

In today's review, we are gonna talk about this discontinued holy grail cream of mine, and look at whether or not the newer version is a better version of the Belif whitening cream.

The older version is housed in an elegant, frosted plastic jar. It claims to make your skin appears more radiant and moisturized after using. Basically, your whitening and moisturizing creams in one.

The cream comes in a clear gel consistency that feels really hydrating and soothing on the skin. It is not that smooth though since it contains silica. You might even take that as grained nutmeg. It smells really nice, like a cottony version of the Aqua Bomb.


Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Trehalose, Panthenol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Silica, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Nepeta Cataria Extract*, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract*, Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract*, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract*, Archillea Millefolium Flower Extract**, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract**, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract**, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract**, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Extract, Algae Extract, Tocopherol, Macelignan, Alantyl Glutamine, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 2, Butylene Glycol, Triethylhexanoin, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cholesterol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Potassium C11-15 Alkyl Phosphate, Phytosphingosine, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alky Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Trisodium EDTA, Tromethamine, Fragrance, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool


There are some real good stuffs in this cream. In term of scientifically-proven skin benefiting ingredients, we have niacinamide, trehalose, panthenol, ceramide and so on for brightening, skin elasticity-improving, soothing and moisturizing purposes. I always look for niacinamide in my whitening products because this ingredient in particular works really well for my freckles and sun spot. And it is also a potent anti-aging and elasticity-improving ingredient for any skin types! Panthenol is another great ingredient that normally compliments hyaluronic acid due to its water binding and soothing properties. My beloved AHC products use panthenol (B5) as their key ingredient!

And then we have Belif’s signature "Napiers Original Formula*", consisted of oat kernel extract, calendula flower extract, catnip flower extract, raspberry leaf extract, chickweed extract, althea flower extract, matricaria flower extract, and so on. Basically, Napier’s Original Formula intends to offer anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits for the skin. Oat kernel extract is a commonly seen ingredient in products that target to calm and mitigate many skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, acne and flakiness. Calendula flower extract is the key ingredient in Kiehl’s calendula line and is really popular in bringing down any potential irritation on the skin. A friend of mine with inflamed and super sensitive skin fares well with calendula-infused products. Calendula is also exceptionally beneficial for acne-prone and oily skin as it can soften and regulate sebum production on the skin. Raspberry leaf extract is found in astringent or toner as it can tighten the pores and increase the skin’s resilience to external damages. All these ingredients add up to offer really good soothing, anti-oxidizing and moisturizing benefits for the skin, making it stronger against external stressors.

Then we have Napier’s Whitening Formula**, which is consisted of yarrow extract, rose flower extract, lavender flower extract and matricaria flower extract. Yarrow extract is a potent astringent for the skin and is used primarily to reduce the appearance of pores as well as firm up the skin. It is also a good anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Lavender extract is commonly used in products offering anti-acne, brightening and soothing benefits. It is one of the key ingredient in Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, and is said to possess soothing, anti-bacterial and moisturizing benefits for the skin. And then we have rose flower extract and chamomile flower extract for additional moisturizing and skin protecting benefits.

Now for nutmeg, the key ingredient here. Actually, I couldn’t find any article supporting the skin brightening benefits of nutmeg. There is one article claims that nutmeg can brighten up dull complexion, though there is nothing in here or other sources really saying about any melanin suppression or exfoliating benefits of nutmeg. But nutmeg is not entirely obsolete, it is a great anti-bacterial, anti-acne and anti-oxidizing ingredient on its own though.

At this point of time, I can finally conclude that this product is more suitable for normal-to-oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin, or any sensitive skin looking for whitening benefits in a cream. It contains silica and a bunch of anti-acne and soothing ingredient, which makes it really suitable for oily and troubled skin. Normally, brightening cream can be a little tricky for sensitive or oily skin because it normally involves active ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin A, AHA, or some natural herbal extracts, which can be quite irritating for sensitive skin. Instead of whitening, this cream seems to work better for radiant-imparting, which is adding glow by properly hydrate the skin.

Now, let's look at this reformulated and renewed version of my beloved The True - Whitening Cream and whether or not it is a better version of the Whitening Cream?

bought this for a friend, borrowed the product for illustration purpose

Belif repackages, reformulates and changes the name of the new whitening cream to "The White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Cream". This time, it claims that this product is officially certified for whitening. I guess the reformulation is probably due to the lack of popularity of their older whitening line in Korea, which is probably why they change the name to "brightening" instead of "whitening".

And they change basically everything about this cream. Now, it comes in a creamy and buttery consistency like the Belif Moisturizing Bomb instead of its original gel cream form.


Water, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprate, Urea, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Calluna Vulgaris Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium Extract, Dipsacus Sylvestris Extract, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract, Rubus Idaeus Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Stellaria Media Extract, Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract, Nepeta Cataria Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia Flower Extract, Achillea Millefolium Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica Extract, Apium Graveolens Root/Seed Extract, Asparagus Officinalis Stem Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum Stem Extract, Pisum Sativum Extract, Carum Petroselinum Extract, Brassica Oleracea Capitata Leaf Extract, Ceramide NP, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Stearic Acid, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Tromethamine, Trisodium EDTA, Fragrance, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool


The newer formulation includes more emollients than the older formulation. This time, we have hydrogenated polydecene, which is a non-sticky emollient that will form a smooth and silky film on the skin. This ingredient is also present in the Belif Moisturizing Bomb, but it contains cyclohexasiloxane enhance product absorption but this one doesn’t. Fortunately, both products are really similar in consistency so if you like the Moisturizing Bomb you will love this too. 

Niacinamide is also present in this cream to offer extra boost in skin elasticity, moisture, and melanin inhibiting benefits. Subsequently, we have urea, HEPES, shea butter, panthenol B5, sodium hyaluronate and so on added to moisturize and protect the skin from colder environment. This time, we can clearly see that this is a whitening and nourishing cream for drier skin and colder environment.

In term of herbal extracts, we have newer herbs joining us, such as heather, kiku flower, dipsacus sylvestris, brussel sprout, celery, asparagus, mushroom, pea, parsley and cabbage. A lot of these are still new for me (and the industry) so I can hardly find a lot of credible articles supporting their skincare benefits. For those that are available, heather extract is really effective at protecting the skin against sun damageKiku flower is traditionally been used in Korea to reduce signs of aging and soothe sensitive skin. It contains compounds like ascorbic acid, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, niacin, and so on to “detoxify” and diagnose possible oxidizing harms from external aggressors. Brussel sprout extract is an astringent and antioxidant, which is a key ingredient in Primera Mild Peeling Gel to detoxify and clarify the skin as well as getting rid of harmful radicals. Asparagus extract is found to have skin brightening, antioxidizing, and anti-inflammatory benefits with its ferulic acid components. We also have pea extract that is also found to possess skin brightening benefits. But pea works better for sun damage-related hyperpigmentation on the skin. It can also defend the skin against sun damage and delay premature aging.


So, whether or not this reformulated The White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Cream is a better version of Belif The True - Whitening Cream?

Packaging-wise, the newer version looks glossier, classier and prettier than the older version. But the older version with its transparent external packaging looks unique and elegant in its own way too.

Consistency-wise, I find the older version's clear gel texture is easier to spread, more lightweight and gets absorbed into the skin better. It is more suitable for those with normal to oily skin or those who prefers lightweight gel cream. The newer version is creamier and bouncier with really good spreadability with its greater emollient content. It takes a while to get fully absorbed but its absorbency is fairly good for a rich cream like this. It leaves the skin smooth, soft and plump. It is more suitable for those with drier skin or living in a colder climate.


For me, I don't think this is a better version of the The True - Whitening Cream. I don't think the ingredients have much improved. Major brightening ingredients remain niacinamide, and maybe the pea extract and asparagus extract, the rest doesn't have clear research indicating their skin brightening benefits. And I personally prefer the gel cream consistency of the older version. The smell, too. So you can see that I didn't buy the full size product, only the trial sizes. And my friend feedbacks that there is nothing really special about the new whitening cream (to be fair, she didn't use the older version) so I am even more driven away from the newer version after her feedback.

As for those of you who ask me whether or not the The True - Whitening Cream brightened up my skin, it did, but rather temporarily. I think it achieved that by moisturizing and reflecting light off my skin so making it appears radiant and dewy. And it is a really nice hydrating cream as well, so it will correct my skin tone by supplying it with a lot of moisture. But, if you want real brightening goodness, better opt for vitamin C, niacinamide, AHA, arbutin, mulberry and so on.

If you have drier skin or living in a colder environment and want brightening benefits from your daily moisturizer, then the Belif The White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Cream is a good option. Other than that, be ready to say goodbye to The True - Whitening Cream and start looking for alternatives.

Belif The True - Whitening Cream
packaging: ★★★★☆
scent: ★★★★
texture: ★★★★☆
ingredients: ★★★★
performance - hydrating: ★★★★☆
performance - brightening: ★★★★
general impression: ★★★★☆ (I love this very much but -☆ because it is kinda pricey for the performance)

Belif The White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Cream
packaging: ★★★★☆
scent: ★★★
texture: ★★★★
ingredients: ★★★★
performance - moisturizing: ★★★★☆ (emollient cream, rich)
performance - brightening: ★ (finished using 30ml, didn't notice any)
general impression (comment): ★★★ (good emollient cream with brightening ingredients; -★★ lack of performance, expensive, dislike its consistency)

You can get this from: Belif Malaysia | Goshop | Gmarket | Althea | Hermo
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.

1 comment:

  1. Just want to say your blog is as amazing. The clearness in your submit is simply great and that i could think you are a professional in this subject.


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