A little while ago, I shared a brand of Vitamin C serum that I found terribly effective. It was so effective (and affordable) that I was quite loathe to share my little find with everyone. Sometimes, I’m selfish like that.
It was the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Essence, or also known as the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot essence.
Earlier this year, I was browsing a Japanese website, and stumbled on a new, upgraded version, and decided to buy it to try. All this, without understanding quite what it was, or how it was different. I can be a little impulsive like that 😀
Not very long after I received it, I received a tube from the brand locally, because, as luck would have it, the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence (aka Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Premium Essence as it’s known in Japan) is available in Malaysia!
I’ve almost finished using 1 tube, and truth to tell, I was struggling to form an opinion on it.
Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence
The visual difference is that the Premium Essence comes in a box that is golden as opposed to plain yellow. The tube too is gold as opposed to silver.
The difference between the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence and the regular version, is that the Premium version is formulated with 4 different Vitamin C ingredients – ascorbic acid, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, ascorbyl glucoside and ethyl ascorbic acid.
These 4 Vitamin C ingredients are supposed to make this essence more potent, penetrate better to more actively fight dark spots, lighten pimple marks and acne scars and even out uneven skin tone.
Like its predecessor, the brand does not share what the percentage of Vitamin C is in the product. What we have are Vitamin C ingredients that are water and oil soluble. It also contains Vitamin B6 for antioxidant and oil control properties, Allantoin to soften skin, protect and hydrate skin, and antimicrobial O-Cymen-5-OL, a preservative which helps reduce inflammation and prevent acne-causing bacteria from forming.
On paper, it does look like it does a lot.
But I feel like it over-promises and under-delivers, which bums me out, as I love the regular version of this serum.
Tiny dropper dispenser helps the product go a long way
A word of warning (although most know this by now): Do not snip off the little ball at the end of the tube. It is this that controls how much product is dispensed each time, and keeps it fresh. I think it’s rather genius, as the tube is kept air-tight, and your product is kept fresh to the last drop.
It also dispenses the product quite effectively, dropping one perfect little drop into your palm each time.
Personally, as perfect as the dispenser is, I find it rather fiddly. I’m used to a more generous dispensing of product in the form of pump bottles or droppers, so having one tiny drop hit your palm each time makes me wonder if it’s enough.
But it is, for I find that 3-4 drops helps cover my face quite nicely. In fact, using just 3-4 drops each time, a 20g tube can easily last you 4 months! According to information in Japanese, this serum is meant to be applied on targeted areas only, not all over your face. If you use it this way, it’ll last even longer!
Slightly oily texture
When I shared my review of the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Essence a few years ago, a few people commented that it felt oily, and asked why I did not mention it. The odd thing was that I never noticed the oily texture.
I still don’t.
Perhaps it might be because I apply my serums onto damp skin, after misting with a facial mist or lotion, and I find that the product sinks right into the skin.
However, when I was using the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence, I noticed that it did feel a little oily on my skin. I had to wait a little bit for it to sink into the skin before I could proceed with my moisturiser and sunscreen, otherwise, it would just feel generally rather greasy.
It isn’t to say that it’s uncomfortable. It feels very comfortable for me, but this time, I definitely noticed that the texture was rather oily.
Is the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence better than the regular version?
Truth to tell, I don’t notice a marked improvement to my skin while using the Premium Essence. It has been a while since I used the regular version, so it’s hard for me to say what the exact difference is, if any.
I have had some spots from maskne and irritation from wearing masks, and I do notice that any marks are lightened after a while. Whether they are lightened more quickly or more significantly, I cannot say for certain.
What I can say is that the Premium Essence feels like it promises a lot, but does not quite deliver on everything it promises. I personally find products with L-Ascorbic Acid as its Vitamin C ingredient more effective than other Vitamin C derivatives. It is however, also a little more irritating to the skin.
I think the incorporation of different Vitamin C ingredients in the Premium Essence could be a good thing, as some of the Vitamin C derivatives are known to be more gentle on the skin. However, I personally feel that I’d prefer having just 1 or maybe 2 types of Vitamin C in the serum, just so it works better.
That is however, my personal uninformed opinion.
I am out in the sun a lot these days, so my pigmentation has gone haywire. I’m healthier and more tanned, but areas with hyperpigmentation are just bonkers. I don’t expect this serum to do much for that, and truthfully, it hasn’t.
However, for general skin tone, I do notice that the skin tone is kept a little more even. I don’t notice redness or patchiness on my skin. It is generally fairly even toned, except on my cheekbones where my hyperpigmentation is.
Could I achieve a similar result using the normal Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Essence? I reckon I could. Diligence is key after all.
I also notice that there is a significant price difference between the regular and Premium Essence.
Speaking for myself, if I wanted a more potent Vitamin C serum, I wouldn’t be looking at the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence. I would look towards serums like the Timeless Vitamin C or Cerave Vitamin C serums, that are generally more potent and deliver better results.
If I wanted an affordable Vitamin C, that is well-packaged and delivers a satisfactory result without being incredible, I’d go with the regular Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Essence.
Who the Premium Essence might appeal to, would likely be those who are comfortable using the regular essence, who may not be able to use other Vitamin C serums that might feel more irritating on the skin, and who might want something that’s a step up from the regular version. This group of people however, might be rather niche in my view.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence or also known as the Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Premium Essence is an upgrade of the regular essence in the silver tube. It has been improved and contains 4 different types of Vitamin C alongside Vitamin B6 and E. What it is supposed to do, is deliver a more targeted, quicker result of skin brightening, and to target dark spots more effectively. Personally, I find that it promises more than it delivers. It is a nice little serum, but I don’t notice a result that is far more impressive than what other serums offer, and even what the regular version offers. I do notice it is a little oily, which is not something I noticed before. It’s deent as far as Vitamin C serums go. But if I’m looking in this price point, I have a wider selection of other better, more effective Vitamin C serums to consider. For this reason, I’m not impressed by this one.
Love the packaging in the aluminium tube and dropper that keeps product fresh for longer
Absorbs quickly in to the skin
Feels gentle on skin
Skintone is evened and dark spots from pimples do fade quickly
Slightly oily feel
I don’t notice a more significant result as compared to other brands
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who likes the regular version and wants something that is a little more potent
PRICE: RM75 | US$22 for 20g
For those interested, this is the ingredients list for the Melano CC Vitamin C Brightening Premium Essence.
Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Isopentyldiol, Propylene Glycol, PEG-8, Water, Ascorbic Acid, Alcohol, PPG-6-Decyltetradeceth-30, Fragrance, Tocopherol, Pyridoxine HCL, Allantoin, O-Cymen-5-OL, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, SodiumMetabisulfite, Alpinia Katsumadai Seed Extract, Disodium EDTA, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Serine, Citrus Limon(Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract
Have you tried the Melano CC Premium Essence? What about the regular version?
I absolutely loved the regular version, especially at its wallet-friendly price tag. I still recommend it to those who are new to using Vitamin C serums or who want something on a budget. It’s wallet-friendly, and works well. For me, that’s all that matters! 🙂
10 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
You’re my favourite beauty blogger and I missed you while you were gone!
I’m currently finishing up a tube of the original essence and I must confess… I don’t find it very impressive. It doesn’t seem to do much on my hyperpigmentation around my eyes. However, as you’ve been preaching about vitamin C serums for years, I’ll keep trying other brands and formulas! ?
I’m also considering introducing a weak retinol to my routine. Do you find retinol helpful, or do you prefer vitamin C serums?
How’s the dog treat business coming along?
Paris B says
Hi Laura! You are too kind thank you! I have met many people who also don’t enjoy the Melano CC essence so you’re not alone haha! I guess we all react differently to it. Oh and I don’t experience much benefits in terms of hyperpigmentation too. But for any new sun spots or freckles or marks from pimples or acne it does the job. Oh and for keeping a more even skin tone too. Try Timeless. Most people who do love it! 😉
Yes I enjoy using retinol too. It is very helpful for making skin smoother and stronger. Retinol at night and vitamin c in the day is a great combo 🙂
The dog treat business is coming along nicely thank you for remembering! It keeps me busy and away from the blog but I’m slowly trying to rebalance everything so I get to do what I enjoy too – blogging 🙂 Have a lovely week ahead Laura 🙂
Thank you xxxx
Hurray for new posts from my favorite beauty blogger!! For other readers based in the US, I noticed that Melano is pretty hard to come by here unless it’s shipped internationally. Paris, do you notice ay differences in the concentration of vitamin C in Asian brands vs a brand from someplace like Sephora?
Paris B says
Hi Melissa, thank you for your kind words 🙂 I’m trying to be a little less tardy with my blog posts 🙂 As for your question, to be honest, aside from Melano CC I haven’t used any other Asian brands of Vitamin C products. I think I’ve seen Laneige with a serum, but I haven’t yet looked into it. From what I can see however, it feels like the Western brands are a little more upfront about the concentration of key ingredients in their products e.g. Retinol, Vit C etc. Asian brands don’t specify, like Melano CC. The only Asian brand I’d come across, that specifies the concentration is Rohto Obagi but that’s very exclusive to Japan and hard to come by outside of Japan. Truth to tell, when it comes to Vit C, I think it’s easier getting one from Sephora or other Western brands, that are easier to come by in the US. Timeless is easy to get (and goes on sale quite often) and their Vit C serum is really good. Not too expensive either. So that’s my personal preference – to buy from a brand that tells me what their percentages of Vit C are, and not be all mystical and secretive the way many Asian brands are LOL 😀
Thank you for such a detailed reply Paris! I noticed that Laneige recently came out with a Vit C cream and it would be cool if they manufactured a serum too. That’s a great point about percentages! I noticed that the most popular brands in the US, like the Ordinary, clearly lay out all of the percentages of ingredients they use. I wonder if it’s meant to show that a brand is transparent and trustworthy lol 😀
Paris B says
Actually yes it is! But it can also be incredibly confusing. Sometimes knowing percentages help especially if people are eating into an active ingredient like retinol. You want to start low and with your way up. But other times it can also seem like just marketing. lol
I Love the original so much that the news of a new, “upgraded” version filled me with dread. Thanks for this review, Paris!
Paris B says
I hope you found it helpful!
Hmm it seems they overdid it with the “marketing” 🙁