As I was browsing the K-Beauty section at CVS a few weeks ago, the Frudia Citrus Brightening Cream caught my eye. When I scanned the ingredient list, the most intriguing one was also the first: citrus unshiu peel extract. I decided to give it a try to see if it would be able to live up to its “brightening” claim.
Frudia Citrus Brightening Cream Ingredients
citrus unshiu peel extract (61%), glycerin, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, water, butylene glycol, dimethicone/divinyldimethicone/silsesquioxane crosspolymer, diisostearyl malate, hydrogenated polydecene, niacinamide, 1,2-hexanediol, cetearyl alcohol, betaine, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, dimethicone, glycereth-26, glyceryl caprylate, phenyl trimethicone, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, sodium acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, arginine, carbomer, chlorphenesin, tocopheryl acetate, isohexadecane, polyquaternium-51, polysorbate 80, fragrance, disodium edta, sodium hyaluronate, phenoxyethanol, sorbitan oleate, 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid, coco-caprylate/caprate, ethylhexylglycerin, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, ci 19140, ci 15510, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) seed oil, mangifera indica (mango) seed oil, punica granatum seed oil, solanum lycopersicum (tomato) seed oil, ci 14700, tocopherol
After a bit of Googling I learned a bit more about some of these ingredients. Here are the highlights:
- Citrus unshiu peel extract: If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see “derived from fruit” as the tagline, right under Frudia—and indeed, the first ingredient was derived from fruit. According to Wikipedia, citrus unshiu is the same as a mandarin orange or tangerine. Supposedly, this extract provides Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that brightens dull skin.
- Glycerin: Paula’s Choice calls glycerin a hydrating ingredient.
- Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate is used for thickening.
- Tocopherol is a synthetic Vitamin E.
A direct dispatch from my Dad the Chemist
I emailed my dad to see what he thought about this cream. I sent him the ingredient list, and also mentioned that it was a facial moisturizer. I didn’t tell him anything about the brand or the price. Here was his reply:
Dear Emily, this formula looks like having more and better ingredients than other facial moisturizers.
The first ingredient and Niacinamide are the most beneficial ones, then glycerin. However, I don't know whether Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract (61%) will irritate your skin, you may try, hopefully it woulf [*sic*] just peel and renew your skin without irritation.
Hook [*sic*] Luck!
“Hook Luck” should really be a thing. But I digress. Here are my key takeaways from his letter:
- This moisturizer is formulated with quality ingredients
- citrus unshiu peel extract is integral to the “brightening” aspect of this product, so the name isn’t just marketing copy—it actually means something. This extract helps “peel and renew” with vitamin C—and it’s the first ingredient, so they don’t skimp out on the good stuff.
- However, this same ingredient may also irritate your skin, so it’s probably a good idea to try applying it to a small patch of your skin first, before slathering it all over your face.
- The other two noteworthy (aka “beneficial”) ingredients in this formula are niacinamide and glycerin (niacinamide > glycerin)
Frudia Citrus Brightening Cream review
I’ve been using Frudia Citrus Brightening Cream for about two weeks now, and I really like it so far. It has helped lighten some of the red spots that were lingering from old acne flareups, and I haven’t noticed any new pimples popping up. And it has reduced the flakiness/dryness that occurs around the edges of my nose (probably a side effect of using Differin). I apply a light scoop of Frudia cream every night, after washing my face and applying a thin layer of Differin.
- It includes a tiny plastic spoon so you don’t have to scoop out the product with your fingers.
- The packaging is really cute! The jar is glass, which makes it feel like a higher-quality product. However, if you’re a klutz who drops things a lot, this might actually be a con. :)
- You don’t have to use very much product at a time. You really only need to skim the top of the jar with the spoon, since it’s so thick and creamy. In fact, Frudia describes it as a “smoothie for your skin,” but I think it’s more like a yogurt for your skin (not as thick as Greek yogurt, but not as liquidy as a smoothie).
Neutral note: - The fragrance is light and pleasantly fruity, not overwhelming. I’m usually pretty sensitive to fragrance, but I tend to tolerate/gravitate toward citrus-based fragrances more than floral scents (maybe because they remind me of food?), so YMMV.
- It can sometimes sting a bit initially (especially if I don’t wait long enough between applying Differin and the Frudia cream). But the stinging usually goes away pretty quickly, in my experience.
- Washing the spoon every night after using it is a bit of a pain. I wish it was packaged in a pump instead of a jar.
Final thoughts on Frudia Citrus Brightening Cream
I think Frudia Citrus Brightening Cream is worth a try if you have some light acne/acne scars, and if you have dry skin associated with using an anti-acne product like Differin. Work it into your nightly moisturizing routine—I hope you’ll be pleased with the results.