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In the realm of skincare, brightening products are arguably one of the trickiest things to use. One, it’s always confused with whitening products – for the umpteenth time, they are not the same!

Brightening skincare does not whiten your skin to make you look like Snow White – what it really does is clear the skin of discoloration and restore a youthful radiance, which makes it something that can benefit light and dark skin tones.

However, some brightening products may contain extra-potent skincare ingredients that can effectively brighten the skin but also potentially irritate the skin. To let you reap the best brightening results without inadvertently damaging your skin, Korean skincare brand GTNC has formed a power duo for this sole purpose: the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel and GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence.

To find out just how effective the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel and Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence are, Daily Vanity has invited ten readers with various skin types and concerns to try the products for two weeks. You’ll be pleased to know that the average verdict for the power brightening duo was a commendable 4.2-star rating out of five!

Before we get into the in-depth reviews, let’s learn a little more about the skin exfoliator and brightening essence.

About GTNC Pure Peeling Gel and Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence

Gtnc Pure Peeling Gel Small

We all know regular exfoliation – that’s one to two times a week – is key to unlocking a brighter, smoother complexion, but not all skin exfoliators are created equal. For one that gets the job done without aggravating your skin, try the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel.

The gentle skin exfoliator is developed to slough away trapped grime and dead skin while respecting skin’s harmony, thanks to a blend of glutathione and GTNC’s exclusive patented forsythia suspensa fruit extract that visibly brightens the complexion while inhibiting the activation of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin production in the skin.

You’ll be glad to know that this powerful ingredient combination offers skin-calming benefits while fending off free radical damage too!

In fact, the product has even undergone a skin irritation test by independent labs in Korea to confidently claim that it has zero chance of irritating your skin. What’s more, you can pair the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel with your favourite toner as it’s designed to be versatile and compatible with facial toners of any brand.

Gtnc Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence Small

Powered by ascorbyl glucoside (a stable form of vitamin C), GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence is formulated to effectively help brighten your skin, tackle dark spots, retain moisture, and improve skin elasticity all at once.

In addition to working on uneven skin tone, blemishes, and wrinkles, the formula also contains a blend of collagen as well as sea fennel and mallotus japonicus bark extracts for added anti-ageing properties.

What’s interesting about this formula is that it first comes in a powder form inside the tiny bottle to preserve the freshness of the vitamin C, which then turns into a fast-absorbing liquid the moment you apply it onto your skin.

The lightweight essence comes in a set of four bottles and each bottle is meant for a week’s usage. It’s recommended to use the entire system consistently for a month, so that the product can work synergistically with your skin’s renewal cycle to produce visible results.

When used in the morning, it must be followed by sunscreen to protect the skin. (Besides, why would you step out without wearing SPF in the first place?)

GTNC Pure Peeling Gel retails for S$30 online at the official GTNC website. GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence retails for S$180 (5g x 4) online at the official GTNC website.

For the best value for money, don’t miss out on GTNC’s Limited Edition Brightening Set which lets you get the entire GTNC skincare line-up in full sizes for just the price of Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence (S$180). There are only 200 sets available while stocks last, which you can purchase here.

GTNC Pure Peeling Gel and Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence review: 10 reviewers give their honest opinions on the power brightening duo

GTNC brightening skincare
  • GTNC Pure Peeling Gel
  • GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence


All reviewers were pleasantly surprised with GTNC’s Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence, which transformed into a lightweight, fast-absorbing liquid that didn’t leave behind any greasiness or stickiness.

All of them also said that the powdered essence was able to brighten their complexion in just one week; some of them even saw visible results on their drab-looking skin after using it for the first time.

Similarly, most readers were impressed by the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel’s gentle formula that helped brighten and refine their skin within the first usage.

Out of 10 reviewers, seven of them reported a reduction in pore size after using the mild skin exfoliator for two weeks. While some of our readers found it to be a little too drying for their skin, they didn’t mind using it sparingly as they saw noticeable results instantaneously.

Overall, all reviewers loved how fast-acting both formulas were while remaining gentle on their skin. This allowed them to use the products safely without risking a major breakout.

Ellavester, 29

Skin type: Combination-dry, sensitive skin
Skin concerns: Dull skin, uneven skin tone, dehydration

Gtnc Readers Review Ellavester Before After

It’s my first time using a vitamin C formula in powder form and I was not expecting to like it, let alone prefer this version to the conventional vitamin C serums!

With the GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence, I like how the product absorbed really easily without leaving any oily residue on my skin. Within seven days of using it, I’ve noticed that my skin tone is brighter and more even which was pretty impressive.

The GTNC Pure Peeling Gel managed to turn my skin tone and texture around too, as my face looked more radiant after just one use. My only gripe is that it felt very drying for my skin after rinsing.

While that discomfort was alleviated after I applied my toner and moisturiser, I reckon it’s better for my skin if I use this sparingly per month instead of twice a week.

Diana, 38

Skin type: Combination-dry skin
Skin concerns: Dull skin, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone

Gtnc Readers Review Diana Before After

I go for a brightening facial every month and I’m a regular user of brightening serums, essences, face scrubs, and sunscreens, but most of the at-home products I’ve used didn’t deliver any visible results.

When I used the GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence, I was taken aback by how radiant my skin looked immediately after the first use. After two weeks, my skin texture was smoother and my pores looked more refined. It took care of the appearance of my dark spots too.

I used the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel two to three times a week after removing my makeup with a cleansing oil, and I love how the gel-like formula improved my skin dullness, unevenness, and texture within the first week of trial.

What’s more, it doubles up as a cleanser too which means I get to save time with my routine whenever I use the product.

Sin Yee, 30

Skin type: Combination-dry, sensitive skin
Skin concerns: Dull skin, uneven skin tone, textured skin, dehydration, visible/enlarged pores, blackheads/whiteheads

Gtnc Readers Review Sin Yee Selfie With Products

I was intrigued by the special powder format of the GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence as I’ve always only used liquid essences, so I was excited to try it.

While previous brightening serums I’ve tried took at least a month to produce results, the brightening benefits from the GTNC formula were really significant and obvious on my skin within just one week of use, so much so that my partner even asked me if I’d undergone laser treatment to brighten my skin!

What’s more, I noticed that the appearance of dark spots on my face had visibly reduced as well at the end of my two-week trial. Best of all, the product did not sting my sensitive skin at all despite its effectiveness.

The GTNC Pure Peeling Gel worked very well for my skin too, as I could see the amount of debris and dead skin that it was able to remove after each usage. In fact, I noticed a reduction in pore size in my T-zone right after the first use, which was really impressive.

After two weeks, my skin looked brighter and felt softer and smoother to touch. I realise that it is now able to absorb subsequent skincare products better too. The calming citrus scent is such a bonus as well, makes me feel like I’m having a great in-salon facial right in the comfort of my home!

Kaylen, 26

Skin type: Combination-dry skin
Skin concerns: Dull skin, uneven skin tone, blackheads/whiteheads

Gtnc Readers Review Kuan Hui Before After

I’m always on the lookout for a fast-absorbing brightening essence that is lightweight and easy to use, and I’m very happy to have discovered GTNC’s Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence because it’s exactly the type of formula I’d choose to use.

Not only did my skin look more radiant and even-toned after a week, but my skin texture has also visibly improved after using this product. On top of that, my dark spots are now less noticeable after trying the velvety serum for 14 days.

I’m also surprised by the effectiveness of GTNC’s Pure Peeling Gel as it delivered visible improvement in skin brightness and texture within three uses, which was a lot faster than other products I’ve previously tried.

Aside from making my skin feel really clean, I find that it’s helped take care of my clogged pores too – something that my previous exfoliators couldn’t do. The only downside for me would be the drying after-feel that the product leaves on my skin and fingers afterwards.

The gel-like skin exfoliator also gets extra brownie points from me for its pleasant aroma. Overall, it’s a really decent product that I’d recommend to my family and friends.

Chui Ping, 39

Skin type: Combination-dry skin
Skin concerns: Dull skin, uneven skin tone, dehydration, visible/enlarged pores

Gtnc Readers Review Chui Ping Before After

The first thing I noticed about GTNC’s Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence was its magical formula – how does the powder even transform into a quick-absorbing liquid within seconds?!

Apart from the novel snow-like formula that got me excited about trialling the product, I’m also pleased that it worked so well as a makeup base. My skin felt softer and looked healthier with a glow within the first use too.

I even experimented with the essence by popping it into the freezer, which gave me a skin-tightening effect and a morning-dew feel on my face, though keeping it in the fridge will probably suffice next time as it might be too cold for your skin.

I also enjoyed using the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel too, which felt really light on my skin and did not clog my pores. Within two weeks, I definitely saw positive changes in skin tone unevenness, texture, and brightness.

However, I feel that this product may be the kind that first gets your skin into a purging state to expel all the trapped impurities before it gets better as a few spots emerged around my brows not long after I tried the product.

Minyi, 38

Skin type: Combination-dry skin
Skin concerns: Pigmentation

Gtnc Readers Review Min Yi Before After

In contrast with the current brightening system in my daily routine that showed really little improvement, GTNC’s Vitamin C Snow Powder actually helped my complexion look brighter and more even within a week. My skin texture is more refined and my lines and wrinkles seem to have reduced as well, thanks to the product.

The GTNC Pure Peeling Gel, on the other hand, gave my complexion an added boost in the skin vibrancy department after using it for the second time.

After trying it for two weeks, my skin felt more refined and my pores appeared to be smaller too. I also like the fact that it’s a non-clogging and non-irritating formula so that I can use it with peace of mind.

Hui Ping, 31

Skin type: Combination-oily, acne-prone skin
Skin concerns: Uneven skin tone, textured skin, visible/enlarged pores, blackheads/whiteheads

Gtnc Readers Review Hui Ping Before After

While I’ve been using vitamin C serums in my morning routine and retinoids in my evening ritual, I actually am unsure if they’re helping with my dark spots and uneven skin tone. Plus. the vitamin C serum especially took a long time to show results.

With the GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence, however, I observed glowing results from the first moment I used it, and over time, I even noticed that my pores appeared smaller.

It also left a cooling afterfeel on my skin, which I appreciated especially in our humid weather. In addition to its light-as-air texture and quick absorption rate, I also like that it doesn’t come with an overwhelming smell that vitamin C-based products typically do.

The only setback that I have to highlight is that the application can get a little messy if you’re not careful, as the slightest gust of wind could blow the powder off your palm. While it’s definitely one of the top brightening products in my book, I wish there’s a better way to apply this product.

However, I do understand that the product is made in a powder format to preserve the freshness of the active ingredients and also to prevent oxidation.

As for the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel, I appreciate that the gentle skin exfoliator comes in an easy-to-rinse formula and has helped improve my overall skin texture after two weeks but personally, it’s too mild for my liking.

Overall, I am very happy with the results that I obtained from this brightening duo which I looked forward to using every day during the trial.

Candy, 27

Skin type: Combination-oily, sensitive skin
Skin concerns: Uneven skin tone, visible/enlarged pores, blackheads/whiteheads

Gtnc Readers Review Candy Before After

As you can probably tell in my picture, my skin is quite sensitive but to my surprise, the GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence was super gentle on my skin thanks to its ultra-lightweight and soft texture.

It did take a while for me to get used to it at first as I’ve never used a powdered essence before, but I’m glad I persevered because just within two days of trying it out, I could see parts of my face looking brighter and more even-toned. Bonus points for packing lots of product inside the small packaging as well.

Likewise, the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel was equally as gentle but it delivered what it promised to do pretty instantly. I’d even thought the product won’t give me any result at all as the consistency is somewhat runnier than other skin exfoliators out there but boy, have I been proven wrong!

After rinsing the gentle formula off my face, my skin immediately felt softer to the touch and after using it for the third time, I was sold! It comes with a mild lemony scent, which doesn’t smell too artificial so you don’t have to worry about any off-putting smell.

After two weeks of trialling this brightening duo, my skin definitely feels smoother and looks brighter. I’m happy to find something effective that works for my sensitive skin without aggravating it.

Sin Neen, 27

Skin type: Combination-oily skin
Skin concerns: Dull skin, uneven skin tone, textured skin, dehydration, visible/enlarged pores, blackheads/whiteheads

Gtnc Readers Review Sin Neen Before After

Prior to this trial, I was using a drugstore brightening serum that took more than a month to produce visible results. While I appreciate that my skin didn’t react adversely to it, I certainly would like for it to show results faster.

When I used the GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence for the first time, I’d wanted to write it off as I thought it’d be hard for my skin to absorb the powdered formula. To my surprise, it turned into liquid almost instantly and was quickly absorbed by my skin just as fast!

I also noticed that it didn’t leave any greasy or sticky residue on my skin. My skin not only felt softer, but it was also more hydrated and supple immediately after using the product. It even looked brighter and more radiant.

Similarly, the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel worked really well for my skin and delivered visible results instantly despite being such a mild skin exfoliator.

I could actually see all the dirt, dead skin, blackheads, and whiteheads being lifted from my skin, yet the formula didn’t provoke my skin at all. On top of smoother, softer skin, my complexion sported a natural glow after using the product.

The skin-refining formula also has a slightly fruity scent, which made the application a comfortable, sensorial experience every time. All in all, I’m very satisfied with the instantaneous results that these brightening products had given me.

Tiffany, 29

Skin type: Combination-oily skin
Skin concerns: Dull skin, visible/enlarged pores, blackheads/whiteheads, pigmentation

Gtnc Readers Review Tiffany Before After

Previously, I used a couple of brightening products from premium skincare brands but sadly, I did not reap any noticeable benefits even after emptying the bottles. Some of them also oxidised really quickly after opening, which I feel led to a drop in the product’s efficacy. I also didn’t like the uncomfortably tacky feeling that the products left on my skin.

GTNC’s Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence took me by surprise not just with its intriguing powder format, but also its potency because I saw a boost in my skin brightness and softness within five days of usage without causing any irritation to my skin.

Because the essence was so lightweight, non-sticky, and easy to spread on the skin, I wanted to continue using it in my routine after the first time.

On the flip side, the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel fell a little short for me as the gel-like formula dried off really quickly upon massaging it on my skin and I needed several top-ups of product in order to cover my entire face. I also felt that it left my skin a little dry after rinsing.

That said, my skin definitely felt cleaner and more refined after using the skin exfoliator. I also appreciate that it’s thoughtfully packaged in a leakproof, travel-friendly tube.

About GTNC

Gtnc Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence With Snow Bg Small

For those new to the brand, GTNC formulates highly effective products that provide results to time-starved urbanites in a short amount of time without putting your skin health in jeopardy.

To do so, the brand forgoes strong, toxic chemicals and instead relies on active ingredients that are tested stringently on a regular basis to ensure that its products are safe and do not harm the skin’s delicate balance.

This article is brought to you by GTNC.