Ask anyone on the street and they’ll probably know of many women – and men – who have done some sort of aesthetic procedure, be it as simple as a chemical peel, fillers or more invasive ones like plastic surgery. In recent years, these treatments have become almost the norm, with no one batting an eyelid when it comes up in conversations. And why not, since these procedures give you almost immediate and often obvious results.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Some are afraid of the pain, while others prefer more natural methods. After all, for every woman who goes for IPL hair removal, you can probably find many more who prefer waxing instead. The same goes for breaking down fats. While more adventurous women are open to the new trend of CoolSculpting, many still go for cellulite creams or massages to treat problem areas.
Trying to bridge the gap between aesthetic procedures and over-the-counter remedies, Shiseido has revamped its whitening White Lucent range. Not only are the products inspired by cosmetic procedure, but even work well together with them.
“We noticed how the term cosmetic medicine came up more frequently in conversations with salespeople close to the consumer and believe that skincare and cosmetic medicine would shift from ‘competing’ to ‘coexisting’,” says Satoshi Yamazaki, Shiseido Brand Unit Skincare Group product development executive. “So we want to target not only women who have an interest in whitening cosmetic medicine but have never tried it, but also women who have actually undergone treatment with whitening cosmetic medicine.”
Inspired by professional aesthetic treatments, the Japanese brand has reformulated the softener, serum, emulsion and night cream of its existing White Lucent range to not only be gentle enough to be used after cosmetics procedures, but also mimic their effects and results. The new products claim to not only target spot prevention and the removal of existing pigmentation, but also work to strengthen skin’s resistance to pigmentation and darkening.
The star ingredient of the range is sakura extract. Present in all four products, it is said to help limit the signals sent from skin’s epidermis that cause melanocytes to produce excessive melanin. “Sakura extract suppresses epidermal signals that produce melanin within skin to help reduce spot production,” explains Keiko Muta, Shiseido Skin Science Research Group Skincare Product Research & Development Center senior researcher. “The ingredient is also known for its anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, and whitening properties.”
While it is recommended to use the line in its entirety, the must-have of the range is the Microtargeting Spot Corrector serum that is inspired by laser therapy. With their far-reaching wavelengths, lasers penetrate the skin, heating up targeted brown spots, and destroying them by causing the darkened skin to flake and fall off following the treatment.
This watery serum helps to optimise skin’s turnover without damaging normal skin. Similar to lasers which cause spots to flake off, this reduces the appearance of pigmentation by helping to get rid of surface dead skin cells, thus peeling away unnecessary layers of melanin and boosting radiance. It is said to be able to not only lighten existing spots, but also help to even skin tone and boost clarity. While this might not work as fast as laser in lightening dark spots – results tend to be visible in about a week – Muta promises visible results after just a month.
The range also includes the Luminizing Infuser, a softener to be used as the first step after cleansing. Like a vitamin C drip, which injects whitening ingredients directly into the blood vessels to circulate throughout the body for brighter skin, this supposedly delivers ingredients deeper for more immediate results. The stratum corneum (the topmost layer of skin) is thicker when laden with melanin because cell turnover is more sluggish compared to sites without dark spots. Extremely hydrating, this alcohol-free liquid helps to soften skin’s surface so nourishing ingredients from the softener, as well as your subsequent skincare, can penetrate faster and deeper.
Believing in the importance of hydration, Shiseido has also introduced a two-step moisturising regime to be applied after serums: first a lightweight emulsion to intensely hydrate, followed by a cream to seal in the benefits of the skincare ingredients and prevent moisture loss. The Luminizing Surge fulfils the role of a night emulsion to be applied before your moisturiser.
Inspired by the Second Skin Layer concept, which Yamazaki explains is transparent to protect skin from external irritants and boost skin’s natural healing powers after laser treatments, the Luminizing Surge acts as a night emulsion to be applied before your moisturiser. The watery cream leaves an ion veil over the face to protect and boost skin’s protective barrier while delivering whitening ingredients at the same time. The ion veil has a two-prong approach to whitening: on the outside it protects from external stimuli and increases smoothness, inside the veil ingredients like vitamin C penetrate faster and last longer.
The last step of the regime is the Multibright Night Cream, a multi-purpose moisturiser with anti-inflammation properties. Much like how IPL phototherapy treats multiple skin issues like redness, loss of elasticity, dullness and pigmentation, this boosts skin’s night-time self-repairing properties to help undo the damage accumulated during the day to treat dullness, uneven skin tone, pigmentation and enlarged pores.
With this comprehensive collection, the brand hopes to be able to both give an alternative option for women who are interested in aesthetic treatments but are afraid to try them, as well as provide the perfect at-home accompaniment after procedures. And while they might not be able to replace aesthetic treatments in terms of obvious results, daily maintenance and care is (in our humble opinion) just as – if not more – important as one-off procedures.
Interested in knowing more? Click here to find out more about the range.