The Japanese Serum That’s Fading My Acne Marks like Crazy (Review)

I’m not going to lie, I usually like my skincare products to come in sexy packaging. However, this anti-spot essence by Rohto supports the age old adage that you shouldn’t judge an essence by its cover — or should you? At first glance, this packaging may look visually uninspiring but on further inspection, it’s utterly clever and pragmatic.

My Quest for the Holy Grail Vitamin C Serum

I’ve been searching for a vitamin c serum that will fade away all the pesky marks left by a bout of hormonal acne. The problem is that vitamin c is woefully unstable, so when it’s exposed to light, it oxidises and becomes a brownish substance called Dehydro Absorbic Acid (DHAA), rendering it useless in fighting oxidants and hyperpigmentation.

I’ve gone through so many bottles of vitamin c serum that have oxidised within a month of use and become so frustrated I considered giving up my search for the perfect bottle. But lo and behold, Rohto have designed a fabulously pracitical tube that is totally opaque, shielding it from the light, and with a tiny nozzle to prevent oxygen from mingling with the product.

The genius nozzle

I discovered this product through a binge reddit session and bought it after reading the millions of glowing reviews. I did, however, struggle with this decision because there is no information around the concentration of the vitamin c content, which for an ingredient nerd such as myself is a hard thing to swallow. Thankfully, I know Rohto is a trusted brand in Japan — they’re the company behind renowned lines such as Obagi and Hada Labo, and have been around since 1899.

Ultimately, I am glad I went out on limb for this essence, because it has been immensely helpful for fading marks (not scars as there is no indentation) left by acne. Melano CC also contains Vitamin E, which I am not a huge fan of because there is no evidence to demonstrate its efficacy in improving hyperpigmentation, and it’s a potential irritant for sensitive skin.

Random vitamin c tip!

For effective vitamin c serum, the ph level should be at 3.5 or below. That’s why I like to use my For Beloved One Mandelic Acid Toner before application. This toner has a ph level of 3.5 (convenient huh?).


The texture is oily and less viscous than other vitamin c products I have tried. With its tiny nozzle, I place 3-4 drops into my palm and apply it to affected areas. Vitamin c is a fantastic antioxidant so I usually apply this in the morning to protect my skin from pollution and vitamin c is proven to enhance the efficacy of your sunscreen. I usually wait 15-20 minutes for the essence to dry before moving onto the rest of my AM routine. If that sounds inconvenient, you can always incorporate the essence into your nighttime routine instead.

If you are new to the vitamin c world, go slow when you start using this. Apply it every second day during the first week and if your skin is okay with it, try it daily. This essence has a tendency to be moderately drying, so you may need additional hydration if you have normal or dry skin.

One drop of Melano CC Essence
Upon application, the essence is oily before drying

The YB Verdict

Will I buy this again? Absolutely. It is a budget-friendly option, especially when you consider its lasting power.

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