Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence – Review

Rohto Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence is the reason why this review on Rohto Melano CC Essence Face Masks happened (if you haven’t read it yet, go ahead). I have been using this Essence for a long time now. It’s my most preferred vitamin C serum as it works, and it’s affordable. (By the way, I use the terms serum and essence interchangeably, as this essence is serum-type, so technically it’s a serum, just different wording).

Melano CC Essence contains the most potent form of vitamin C aka ascorbic acid, at an undisclosed concentration. Vitamin C serums containing ascorbic acid were found to be helpful with skin discolouration and stimulating collagen production. It is also useful while repairing the skin, e.g. from sun damage. It’s great for everyone wanting to diminish the signs of ageing. The serum contains other potent ingredients like liquorice root extract which fights dark spots but also breakouts (though for acne I would suggest using something more specific).
Whenever I use this serum, I notice that my skin is noticeably brighter, hyperpigmentation fades quickly, and spots do not appear as often. Obviously, I need to wait for the results longer than while using the sheet masks. I would say about two weeks of continuous use bring the first changes. The skin becomes overall luminous and soft, and I just enjoy how it looks. The only downside is that I can’t use this serum at daytime, as it makes my T-zone slightly oily (it doesn’t cause breakouts). It’s due to the serum’s oily texture, though it absorbs quickly nonetheless. There’s fragrance in this product, but I didn’t find it irritating at all. You may experience stinging in the beginning, especially if it’s your first vitamin C serum, but it will go away after a few applications.

Okay, you might be thinking that this serum is so great and it works, but probably it oxidises quickly like many other serums containing ascorbic acid. The issue of oxidisation was resolved with the design of this product’s packaging and its formula. The tube and its unique nozzle were specially developed by Rohto to keep the air away from the product, thus preventing it from oxidisation. Moreover, the product contains a large amount of vitamin E (second after ascorbic acid in the list), which is an excellent stabiliser of ascorbic acid and it boosts the antioxidant properties of this serum. For these reasons, you will find vitamin E in most ascorbic acid serums.
I have also tried a similar vitamin C serum, which has alike packaging from DHC (known for their olive oil cleanser). However, it’s an unsuccessful copy of this product. It’s water based, it oxidises (turns orange), and the nozzle clogs up. The serum literally exploded all over my bathroom, while I was trying to squeeze out some. Apparently, the nozzle had been blocked by the crystallised serum (I guess vitamin C or something else crystallises in that serum). Nothing of this sort happens with Melano CC Essence. The product flows continuously, until the last drop. Even if opened for a couple of months, the serum retains its clear-looking colour. I would advise to use it up as soon as possible, though.

This serum is wonderful for anyone trying to bring lustre to the skin and boost the collagen production. It will be helpful with hyperpigmentation and improving the overall appearance of the skin. It can also be useful while fighting breakouts thanks to the addition of plant extracts and fading old marks. Anyone above the age of twenty needing something to brighten the skin will find this serum helpful. Of course, if you’re younger and battling hyperpigmentation left by acne (I assume), it is worth giving a shot. This ascorbic acid serum is a good starting point for your journey with vitamin C serums. Just like with retinoids also with vitamin C, you want to build up your tolerance. Melano CC Essence will definitely help you with that before you move on to serums with higher ascorbic acid contents and prices (these two usually go hand in hand). 

Ingredients: COSDNA

Rohto’s Melano CC Essence is sold at[aff].

*Edit 11/12/2018:

In my original review, I wrote that the serum contains 10% of ascorbic acid. I read this somewhere a long time ago now I can’t find where. I have looked through Rohto’s patents, but I couldn’t find the formula of this product. It can contain ascorbic acid in any concentration of up to 20% (most likely around 10%), but I cannot verify the exact amount. I am erasing the information about the concentration of ascorbic acid until I can prove how much there actually is. I did not mean to mislead anyone and thank Cristina for pointing out the issue.


11 responses to “Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence – Review”

  1. Where did you get the 10% LAA from, I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere else. Honestly, I would be really surprise if it had that much.

    • I read it somewhere a long time ago, but now I can’t recall and find where. Indeed, 10% is quite a lot and I should have checked it beforehand. Perhaps, I made an association with a different vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin from Rohto (now discontinued), which contained 10% ascorbic acid. However, it doesn’t mean it’s the same product. I was looking through Rohto’s patents and it couldn’t pinpoint the formula of this serum, so it could be anything up to 20%. I didn’t mean to mislead anyone and thank you for bringing this to my attention 🙂

  2. Hi Dom,

    Thanks for a nice review. I have blemishes bur also have some active acnes. Do you recommend using this vitamin C on active acnes?


    • Hi Linh,
      You’re welcome, I’m glad you’ve liked the review. This serum contains liquorice extract which is supposed to help with inflammation and spots, but I don’t think ascorbic acid itself has a lot of effect on spots. In my opinion, this serum is great for hyperpigmentation, but not for acne. So, I would recommend you azelaic acid instead, it helps both with acne and hyperpigmentation. My favourite product is Skinoren/Finacea. If you can’t get it, then look for an over-the-counter product with a high concentration of azelaic acid.

    • Hi, the pH level was not disclosed by Rohto, so there is no way of knowing it. The pH is most likely 3.5 or less. I would use it after a BHA toner or a BHA cleanser.

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