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Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence

RatzillaCosme’s Best Pick
Release Date
2009 REFORMULATED in 2014, Repackaged in 2012 & 2021.
Melano CC
ROHTO Pharmaceutical Co.
Product Type
Beauty Serum

Quasi-Drug (医薬部外品) Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is a Japanese beauty serum for hyperpigmentation and acne.

The targeted serum features active vitamin C and vitamin E derivatives to prevent dark spots and acne marks. It also contains Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate and Thymol to reduce redness and irritation while killing acne-causing bacteria to prevent acne.

Refreshing Yuzu Fragrance


After cleansing and preparing skin with lotion, apply to the problem area(s) or entire face. A tube will last 5-6 months if 4-5 drops of the product were used daily.



Active(s): Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate & O-Cymen-5-OL.

Other Ingredients: Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate,, ethoxydiglycol,, PEG-50 hydrogenated castor oil,, butylene glycol,, do.not.copy,, disodium EDTA,, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer,, fragrance.


Active(s): Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate & O-Cymen-5-OL.

Other Ingredients: Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate,, ethoxydiglycol,, water,, alpinia katsumadai seed extract,, butylene glycol,, do.not.copy,, disodium EDTA,, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer,, fragrance.


メラノCC 薬用しみ集中対策液」の有効成分:アスコルビン酸(活性型ビタミンC)、トコフェロール酢酸エステル(ビタミンE誘導体)、グリチルリチン酸ジカリウム、イソプロピルメチルフェノール


Other Melano CC Products

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28 Comments on Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence

  1. I used this in 2020-2021 and had great results. I finished the tube and used a different vitamin C product, finished that, and returned to Melano CC again, but have developed tiny spots similar to what I get when I tried niacinamide (yes I am one of those unlucky few who react to niacinamide). Has there been a recent reformulation or have I simply just started reacting to this product?

    • Nothing has been changed about it. With that said, Melano CC in East Asia outside of Japan (like all Rohto brands, including Hada Labo and Skin Aqua) have different formulations. They aren’t the same as Japan’s. So if you buy online and you want to ensure you’re getting Japan’s version, it’s best to buy from a retailer that is actually based in Japan.

  2. Hello, I started using my melano cc essence June 2020. Somewhere around February this year I stopped using it. Is it fine to continue to use as it this point it’s been open over a year? The product is still clear and smells the same.
    Thank you.

  3. I bought this product at Watsons in Thailand and although the box clearly says “Made in Japan”, the order of the ingredients is slightly different. “Alpinia Katsumadai Seed Extract” is at the very bottom and “Fragrance” is the 5th ingredient from last.

    The item I bought says “Made in Japan”, so it surprises me that the ingredients aren’t identical…why would a Japanese company domestically manufacture a different formula to sell overseas? Is that normal?

    • It hasn’t been reformulated but this isn’t the same product as the one sold in Japan. Ingredients and packaging look different.

      Most Rohto products sold outside of Japan are developed (and often made) by subsidiary companies in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. They have similar (but not identical) packagings, names, and concepts because they’re licensed by Rohto. They aren’t the same products as Japan’s.

      • thanks so much for your reply! it’s very helpful! I’ll have to email the store that stocks this version, rather disappointed because i thought i finally get to buy it in-store in my country.

        • Pretty much all the really inexpensive drugstore brands by Rohto and Kao (e.g. Hada Labo, Skin Aqua, Sunplay, Biore) that are sold outside of Japan are either the exported version or entirely developed & made by subsidiary companies in other countries.

  4. Do you know if we can keep this in the fridge to prevent it from quickly oxidation? My country is very hot recently between 33-36°… Thanks in advance!

    • Refrigerating commercial skincare products makes minimal to no difference in extending their lifespan. If they’re going to get damaged quickly because of exposure to heat and high humidity, they would go bad long before they reach their final destination due to the transportation process! Also, the temperature needs to be constant and stable to maximise lifespan (in addition to cool, dark and dry) — which, a household fridge doesn’t give. Extreme cold affects a product as just much as extreme heat.

  5. I believe this has been reformulated as of 2018 to include alcohol, glycerin, propanediol, and a few other things. Source: mywomenstuff(dot)com

    • I’m not familiar with the site you mentioned but it’s untrue, at least in Japan.

      The Japanese ingredients provided directly on the manufacturer’s official website hasn’t been changed — I just double-checked. Reformulation and/or repackaging always come with a press release announcement a couple of months beforehand — and there had been none. In addition, the tube that I have (which I bought recently from Amazon Japan) is identical to what’s provided here and on Melano CC’s Japanese webpage.

      • Melano CC products sold in Malaysia and Singapore are listed as being airflown directly from Japan as opposed to being manufactured locally. It would appear that the cosmetics laws in these countries differ in the sense that all ingredients have to be concisely labelled. I think the unspecified ‘viscosity regulator’ in this product is the ethanol, glycerin, and propanediol that we missed. So it’s not a reformulation, but rather a case of the ingredients of the same product being listed differently in different regions.

  6. Hi Ratzilla! I was wondering if this needs a wait time before applying any other things on top of it. I know the directions say to put it on after lotion (I’m using hadalabo), but from what I undertand, actives need to go on first.. And since this uses ascorbic acid I’m guessing it needs wait time? I looked at your best pick post and this one many times but couldn’t find out whether or not you yourself gave it 20 minutes or so.

    I was also wondering if there is any other product you’d recommend that has similar potency to this one, that you know of. I’m using Kose clear turn vitamin c serum, and while it is very soothing and gentle, it’s working too slow for my dark spots.

    Thank you so much if you can take time out of your day to answer this! I’d really appreciate it.

    • I briefly commented on wait time on my recent My Current Summer Skincare Routine post. I personally have never noticed any difference with wait time (to me, it’s literally waiting for absolutely nothing). I just wait long enough for product to be absorbed — nothing more.

      • Oh yes, I saw where you were talking about that for your BHAs. I was confused as to if you did it with vitamin c as well. Ahhhh, I see! I guess I’ll go with the lotion first then! Thank you so much for responding and also running this site, my skin has improved TREMENDOUSLY since I’ve found your site and switched to all-Japanese routine!

  7. Hi, I was thinking of ordering this product, and I was if this oxidizes like the OST20 and if yes, how long it took? It takes a while to ship to the Philippines because of the horrible postal system, so I’m curious 🙂

  8. How effective is this product?
    There are so many whitening products out there, it makes it extremely difficult to choose one. I have dry/combo type skin. No problems with acne except the occasional pimple. I do however have a pigmentation problem; brown spots from my cheeks down to by chin. Any recommendations? I am located in the UK and many of this products are available only through website purchase.

      • Thanks for the quick reply Ratzilla! Few people respond to their comments on their blogs, I was pleasantly surprised to see your message this morning!! 😀 (y) I will definitely order some Melano CC.

        If I may pick your brain a bit, what other products would you recommend as a get started regimen? I was looking into the Hada Labo Shiro-jyun clear lotion and the cream from the same line. My knowledge is very basic regarding Asian products. I just recently discovered them and I am overwhelmed with information lol. Loving it

        • The only products that are absolutely essential in a skincare routine would be a face wash and an effective high protection sunscreen. Everything else can a helpful addition, depending on your skin type and skin concern. If you wear makeup or tenacious sunscreen, then it’s best to use separate makeup remover (e.g. cleansing oil) before washing your face.

          I personally really don’t like Hada-Labo’s moisturisers in general and I’m not fan of the Shirojyun line — I find them very sticky and difficult to absorb into the skin, but they seem popular on subreddit.

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