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Best Pick: Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence (2014 Formula)

A review on a budget Japanese spot treatment serum with vitamins C & E.

Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence (2014 Formula)

This is the 2014 formula of Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence from Rohto, formulated to treat and prevent pimples, dark spots, acne marks, and various facial hyperpigmentation. Now if you suffer from any discolouration like this, I’d say that the first thing to do is to ensure you adequately protect it from darkening and worsening. A good sunscreen during the day and something that will target the root cause of your brown pigmentation.

I have to admit that I don’t have any dark spots as a result of sun damage or hormonal changes, but what I do have are marks left by the pimples I get every now and then. In a way, the marks left over are worse than the pimples themselves; they take absolute ages to fade if left untreated.

Now I find it difficult to test serums properly. It’s hard to see a difference when you look at your skin up close in the mirror everyday. But I did start to see a clear difference in my skin from around day three (I am using a few other things in the routine too, which boosts effectiveness). There was a definite change in the fresh red marks that the recent blemishes had made on my skin. There were now a lot less red and not as noticeable.

After just 1.5 months of using Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence to spot-treat on most days and nights, my marks have almost completely faded. The occasional pimples that surface are much calmer and heal quicker. Skin is clearer and brighter. Not only does it contain a hefty dose of vitamin C and E, but it also has anti-inflammatory dipotassium glycyrrhizate and anti-bacterial thymol.

You know what else I love about this? The squeeze tube has the tiniest, narrowest spout that I have ever seen — the clever design keeps the active ingredients nice and stable, no leaking or dripping, and it dispenses the exact amount you want. Its simple, clear liquid formula absorbs perfectly into the skin without residue upon application. Just cleanse, prep your skin with a lotion if you wish and then apply the Intensive Anti-Spot Essence.

The 2014 formula of Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence 20ml is about ¥1,000 at drugstores across Japan. You can also get it from Amazon USA for US$12.29+ HERE.

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46 Comments on Best Pick: Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence (2014 Formula)

  1. Hi! Is this product effective for marks left behind by minor scrapes? Thanks! Im fair skinned and i find it difficult to find a product that helps w scrape marks 🙁

        • Any stage! This isn’t a regular vitamin C serum that you apply all over (although you could). It’s a targeted spot treatment for acne and acne marks.

          • Thank you! Id like to try to apply it all over since it can prevent acne and moisturize, am I right? So in the evening, can i apply it after cleansing as my last step in my routine, and in the morning, after cleansing before sunblock?

            Thank you so much for your reply!

            • Yes, you could that. You’d use this before your moisturiser.

              Realistically speaking, this most likely wouldn’t much for preventing acne. Anti-bacterial O-Cymen-5-ol and anti-inflammatory Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate can be helpful for relieving existing breakouts. Simply soothing the skin and killing bacteria, however, aren’t enough to prevent acne for most people.

            • Thanks! Can i skip the moisturizer after? This is also good for blackheads and making pores smaller right? How about relieving skin redness?

            • This isn’t drying on the skin but it gives no moisture.

              No, it will not do anything for blackheads, pores, or redness. This is for active pimples and the red-brown marks they leave afterwards. nothing else.

  2. I can’t access the drop down lists from iOS devices anymore:(. I don’t know if it’s my devices in particular or the newest iOS version.

  3. Hi! I just started to use the melano cc serum and the seller told me that I should not use it during the day. And if I use it during the night, all the lights should be turned off. Life what the f is that? Do you use it during the day?

    • Completely untrue. Melano CC’s own website and the product’s packaging actually advice users to apply it morning and night after watery lotion (aka toner).

  4. Hi! I am using Kosé medicated sekkisei lotion and emulsion, the ordinary’s buffet, (and retinol at night). When do I use this serum? Also, are the products I mentioned compatible with this (Melano CC) serum? Thank you!!

    • You’d apply it immediately after or before the Buffet serum. This isn’t a regular vitamin C serum — it’s a targeted spot treatment (and hence the narrow spout of the tube). You’re really only meant to apply it on the affected area(s) only.

  5. Hi, after reading your review, you have me sold on this product, I have a few questions, if I use this in the morning would I use this after everything and before sunscreen? and would this go on after moisturiser when i use it in the night? Thanks

    • I never do wait time for acids, vit C, or any actives. Personally, I feel it makes no difference whatsoever. I just wait long enough for each to absorb into the skin.

  6. Hello Ratzilla! First off, thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to put up this wonderful site :). Having just moved to Japan, has been a life-saver and my no.1 go-to guide for navigating the vast array of skincare products in Japan. Thank you!
    Secondly, I’ve gathered this site caters, to a large extent, for people outside Japan who want to use Japanese cosmetics. But would you happen to know of any drugstores/department stores in Japan that stock Mentholatum Melano CC Anti-Spot Essence? I’ve been looking for this product for a while now with no luck. Any help or advice will be much appreciated!

    • It’s sold in drugstores, but do note that merchandise greatly varies depending on each location! Matsumoto Kiyoshi usually carry it — I like the one at Shinjuku, 3 chome. I’d also try Ainz & Tulpe in Harajuku and Sun Drug in Ikebukuro.

      • Thanks so much for your prompt and very helpful reply! I’ll definitely give those stores a try.

  7. Is this better than HABA’s white lady? I’m currently using Paula’s Choice 25% Vit C and it works. The 75$ loss every three months hurts a bit. Which one would be a better replacement? Thanks!

    • This would be more similar to the Paula’s Choice 25% as they’re both spot treatment that uses the same form of vitamin C. HABA’s White Lady is a serum that you use all over and it contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate rather than Ascorbic Acid.

  8. Hi! Just a warning! SKII essence should NEVER be combined with any skin product containing vitamin C. SKII contains Sodium Benzoate, which on its own is not harmful but when combined with ascorbic acid (derivative of vitamin C usually present in vitamin C products)– forms Benzene, a known carcinogen. Be careful to check ingredients before mixing on your skin!!

  9. Hi! I’ve been reading your blogs for a while now. I already bought some of your best picks for my very sensitive skin. Today, I bought this melanoCC hoping that this will treat my pimples and acne marks. I’d like to ask how many times a day should I use this? And how mych should i apply? And is it normal that it kinda stings a little after applying? Or did i apply too much of it? Im using it as a targeted treatment like you do. Thanks! -Lea

    • Once or twice a day, just like a serum. I usually use 2 drops, but you may need more (or less) depending on how much skin surface you need to cover. No, it shouldn’t sting your skin at all. Your skin may be far too sensitive for it.

  10. Would you recommend this for skin that tends to develop sunspots? Have you got more suggestions? I searched “sun spots” on this website but the only thing that comes up is sunscreen. Ever since this summer I’ve had more and more dark spots allover my skin, not only on my face but on my chest and arms too. I wear sunscreen diligently and try to stay indoors most of the time but I guess my skin is very sensitive to sun exposure. Thanks in advance.

      • I am a long-time follower of your website and I’ve been using the same sunscreens as you (Nivea cream, Biore liquid and water essence in the 50+ PA++++ type). I apply a lot too so that’s also not the problem. I recently read somewhere that apparently sitting in front of a computer all day can also damage the skin “the same way” as sitting in the sun. I wonder if it is possible to get any hyperpigmentations that way? As I said, I am very careful with sun exposure and I never stay long in the sun without proper protection.

        • Perhaps your sunscreen is not staying put on your skin? Buffing your makeup on is a big no-no. Both the Nivea cream and the Biore essence are not resistant to anything — if you sweat or your skin gets oily, they’ll come right off.

          As far as I know, modern monitors (the flat panel ones) don’t emit any UV. Only the old-school big box ones do, and even then, the levels are so low that they’re negligible.

          • Thank you for clarifying the monitor part! I was worried for nothing. I wear those “normal type” ones when I don’t have to move too much (no running, no staying too long in the sun, nor getting oily), if I know I will stay out too long I use the Biore liquid. I never buff my makeup on either. I wonder if staying indoors all day still gives me sun damage? It’s not like my house doesn’t get any sunshine inside.

  11. Disappointed that this contains fragrance! Does your skin ever have sensitivity issues with fragrance, and how strong is the smell in this particular product?

    • No, my skin is far from sensitive; it’s VERY resilient. Its fragrance is actually quite mild — you can’t really smell it unless you put your nose close to it and it doesn’t linger.

  12. Hi,
    Does it say on the package the amount (in %) of the Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in
    the product?
    I wonder about the amount of vitamin c in the product. If it is lower than ~ 10%,
    there are better alternatives.

    Thanks 🙂

  13. I guess it really does work on some people. I had used this product for a month before. On the first 2 weeks, I thought my skin color and texture improved, and my pimples were healed fast, which made me continue using it with excitement. But days after that, gradually, I developed major breakout all over my face. Now I have the most and worst acne marks to deal with than before in my life. I stopped using it after 1 month. Maybe my skin disliked the acid content of this product? It’s just sad, that the serum I decided to use to help with my marks, redness and irritation, was the one that gave worse problems to my face.=( My skin is now recovering. But I’m sort of afraid to try products that fade acne marks for now. >_<

    • Maybe you were using too much? Whenever I use anything with vitamin C in it I have to use it every other day otherwise my skin becomes very sensitive. Maybe you had to use it less throughout the week instead of everyday and your skin breaking out was its way of telling you to stop.

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