I’d been debating for a while whether to spill the beans on one of my favourite Vitamin C serums to date. On the one hand, there are some things I’d like to keep to my self, hugging it to my chest with a sly smile, knowing it’s my little secret. On the other hand, I’m a damn blogger, prone to sharing LOL! So, I guess I’ll tell you about the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence aka Melano CC Vitamin C Essence after all.
Melano CC, from what I understand, is a Japanese brand under the Rohto-Mentholatum umbrella (the same one that houses Hada Labo). If I’m not mistaken, they only have one range, which focuses on the use of Vitamin C.
I remember someone telling me about it once, a few years ago. It wasn’t until I came upon it in a pharmacy that I decided to pick one up to try. Yes, Melano CC is found in pharmacies (or drugstores) in Japan and in some other countries
(but not yet Malaysia, unfortunately! So read on at your peril) Apparently, that’s changed! 🙂
I first came across the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence in Bangkok, at Watson’s pharmacy. When I saw it, it triggered in my memory a comment by a reader, so I picked up a box to try. I included the box in the pictures here (which I don’t usually do) because it is otherwise very difficult for a non-Japanese speaker to find this product.
Even in Bangkok, the whole box is just full of Japanese writing. Only the back has a sticker in Thai, which I can’t read either! So let’s just say that I’ve been flying blind since I bought it LOL! 😀 Thank goodness for the internet! 😛
It is however, very easy to spot this bright yellow box on the shelves, and if you’re in Japan (where I bought my back up) it also boasts itself as a No. 1 bestseller item. You can’t really go wrong picking up any of the Japanese No. 1 products 😛
Eye on the special nozzle dispenser
The actual product inside the box is a silver tube containing the essence. But here’s something I like very much about the packaging of this product.
The key ingredient used in the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is Vitamin C in the L-Ascorbic Acid form. This, while being one of the most effective forms of Vitamin C, is also one of the least stable. It is the one that usually turns yellow when exposed to the air.
To counter this problem, instead of putting the product in a dropper bottle, as most Vitamin C serums do, Melano CC packages their essence in a tube, with a special nozzle. This nozzle keeps the packaging air-tight, as product is only dispensed when you squeeze the tube. This way, air is kept out and the product remains fresh. I think it’s genius and I can’t imagine why no other brands are using the same packaging! 😀
If you look at the paper insert (which is all in Japanese, and from what I can tell, quite informative, if you can read Japanese) they even advise you NOT to cut off the nozzle LOL! I think it is because most people may not realize that this is the actual dispensing mechanism. For me, the essence remained as clear in the last drop as the day it was I first used it. Colour me impressed!
Let me just say that I thought that this Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is a regular Vitamin C serum that you use all over. That has been how I have been using it. It wasn’t until much later, that I found out that it is in fact, an anti-spot treatment. So, it is meant to help “whiten or lighten” dark spots. I also learnt that you are supposed to only use it on the spots. Oops! I was using it all over LOL! 😀
Alongside lightening dark spots and acne scars and preventing melanin over-production, it also contains Vitamin E and Isopropyl Methyphenol and DipotassiumGlycyrrhizinate, which are supposed to be antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help reduce redness.
Why do I like the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence?
Because it is pretty effective and impressive considering the price! You know I have run the gamut of Vitamin C serums, and am always trying new ones. The last one I enjoyed using cost an arm and a leg! This one by comparison, is so much more affordable!
I use Vitamin C serums for a few purposes, none of which have anything to do with fading or removing my hyperpigmentation. That, unfortunately, is resistant to topical products so I no longer worry too much about it. What I use Vitamin C products for, is to maintain clearer skin, prevent more dark spots from forming, and to strengthen my skin. I feel this does the job.
The Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence has a clear, slightly oily texture, with a slight citrus-type scent. Nothing very strong, and it isn’t very oily. I usually squeeze out about 2-3 drops in the palm of my hand, and apply to my skin, all over my face. If you like, you can use less and focus only where you need it. I prefer to just slather it all over, because I know my skin benefits from it.
One tube has lasted me about 2 months or so. For the first few weeks, I use it both day and night, after cleansing and a facial mist. If you use it day and night, the effects are a little more pronounced. In about a week, I noticed that my skin looked clearer. I had run out of Vitamin C serums so had not been using any prior to this. And I was impressed! I even tweeted it!
May have found one of the best Vitamin c serum yet. Fairly affordable and effective. Lovely texture. Just practically impossible to find locally. Lucky I have a back up and know where I can get more ?
— Paris B (@parisbmws) July 29, 2018
After that, I scaled back to just once a day, in the morning. The reason I use Vitamin C serums in the morning, is because Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, and your skin could do with some protection in the day when you are out and about. I have also read that it helps “boost” the efficacy of sunscreen, which is why I pair it this way.
Once I scale it back to just once a day, I do notice that the effects aren’t as spectacular. But this way, I maintain my skin clarity. It also allows me to use other products and ingredients in the evening routine, where I focus more on repair and hydration 🙂
Now and again, I go for a stretch of about a week, using Vitamin C serums day and night, and it always delivers results. Do note however, that I have been using Vitamin C serums for a while, so I cannot expect dramatic results. All I can hope for is maintenance. If you are new to it however, then you may notice more significant results.
I think the key reasons I like the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence so much, is because it is effective enough for me, it remains clear right to the last drop thanks to the impressive packaging, and it is, above all, affordably priced. While it is hard to come by for us here in Malaysia, I make enough trips to Bangkok annually to know I can easily stock up, and I will! 😀
IN A NUTSHELL
The Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence or Melano CC Vitamin C Essence is a Vitamin C based essence (serum) targeted at reducing and fading dark spots. Depending on the type of dark spots you are targeting, it may or may not be very effective. It will likely be more effective on dark spots and redness caused by acne or inflamed skin, or perhaps freckles. But if it is something more severe or linked to hormones or hereditary issues then it will likely not do much. That said however, I personally find it effective for keeping my skin texture clear (where I do not have pigmentation), and if I use it day and night, my skin looks brighter overall (not whiter – note the difference). I like the slightly oily texture which absorbs easily, and I love the packaging which keeps the product fresh to the last drop. This is very important as Vitamin C is prone to oxidise and when it does, it’s useless. You can use just 1-2 drops on your problem areas, or like me, use 2-3 drops all over my face. One tube lasted me about 3 months. I’m hoarding my back up 😛
HOW TO USE: Cleanse -> Mist -> Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence either on affected areas or all over (treat it as a serum) -> Moisturiser
PROS: Packaging keeps the product fresh to the last drop, Texture is comfortable and absorbs easily into skin, Effective to keep skin looking clear, Affordable, May help fade dark spots, redness and freckles
CONS: Hard to get hold of outside of Japan
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who likes using Vitamin C based serums, Anyone who wants an affordable Vitamin C based serum
PRICE: RM59.90 | S$16.90 | THB480 | ¥1800 for 20ml
WHERE TO BUY: Guardian pharmacy Singapore, Watson’s pharmacy Thailand and Malaysia, Most drugstores in Japan, Various websites online
UPDATE: Oct 2018 A reader has sent me a photo showing the availability of this Melano CC Essence and the Lotion at Watson’s pharmacy here in Malaysia! HURRAH! I have semi-official word that Melano CC will be fully available in Malaysia from November 2018, so if you don’t find it now, wait a little while more 🙂
The ingredient list for the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence (as shared by reader Zeezee in the comments) is as follows:
propanediol, glycerin, butylene glycol, alcohol, propylene glycol, water, ascorbic acid, alpinia katsumadai seed extract, peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, tocopheryl acetate, fragrance, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, 0-cymen-5-OL, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate
I will also advise not to be put off by the small 20ml size. From experience, I’ve found that a 20ml size bottle for a Vitamin C based serum is actually quite a good size, because it’s easy to oxidize. With a smaller sized bottle, you reduce the risk of your product becoming useless after a while. In the case of this one, because you use only a few drops each time, a tube will last you a while. And it will be good to the last drop! I repeat. Genius packaging! 😀
Have you tried this Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence?
So yes, I wanted to keep all this information to myself. But hey, good things should be shared, right? 🙂