Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shiseido White Lucent Review

Some of you guys may remember an older post I did reviewing Shiseido's Pureness line- Shiseido's line addressing acne-prone and troubled skin. It's been a long time since I've used it and for the past 3-4 years I've been enjoying White Lucent-  Shiseido's whitening (brightening) skincare line. As with any expensive skincare line the big question is, "Does it work?" I think, in order to not be disappointed with skincare you have to have manage your expectations. To clarify: whitening skincare lines that are distributed in the U.S. are not meant to actually lighten the color of the skin. Whitening products that aggressively lighten the color of your skin usually contain illegal substances that are damaging in the long-term, and i'd discourage anyone from buying them here or overseas. Legitimate "whitening" products are meant to improve the skin's clarity by helping to break up melanin and hyper-pigmentation, the things that cause sun spots, acne scarring and discoloration. They also make the skin appear to be more "translucent".

Because a lot of this discoloration is caused by the sun, many people who purchase whitening products are naturally discouraged from extended sun exposure without sunscreen. For anyone who suffers from acne scarring or hyperpigmentation (sun spots, freckles etc.) wearing sunscreen will actually reduce damage to the skin caused by scarring. Sun damage inhibits your skin's ability to heal AND ages/weathers the appearance of skin, so stay out of the sun for nice skin! This is why people who use whitening skincare are usually fairer, not only to reduce sun damage but also to get the maximum benefit from these costly skincare regimens.

Below I break down the White Lucent products I've tried and give each a mini review.

Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam - $35 USD
A little of the White Lucent Cleansing Foam goes a long way. You really only need a pea-sized amount and it'll lather up in to a rich, dense (think shaving cream) white foam that will cover your entire face and neck easily. It feels very luxurious and leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean- albeit maybe TOO clean. It's almost a little drying and stripping on its own. It has a slight perfume but nothing overpoweringly stinky. Of all the pieces in the line I don't think this is necessary, I think you can really use any cleanser you want. Because cleansers come right off, as long as your skin is left clean is what matters. There is a slight brightening effect but it's temporary.

Shiseido's white lucent brightening moisturizing emulsion

White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Emulsion - $59.50
Since I have oily skin, I opted for the moisturizing emulsion since it's much lighter than the cream. It doesn't smell particularly good, but not bad either. Slightly sweet but you catch whiffs of something acrid here and there. I only need a tiny bit and it moisturizes my skin well and gives it a dewy finish. During the summers I end up SUPER oily though come morning time. However I do feel that my skin looks duller and "rougher" without it. Out of the whole line, this is my takeaway absolute favorite, closely followed by the intensive targeting serum.  Shiseido does offer a daytime version with spf 18 but I just mix the lotion with some sunscreen and that works just fine for me.

shisedo white lucent spot targeting serum
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White Lucent Spot Targeting Serum

White Lucent's Spot Targeting Serum gets a lot of mixed reviews. My personal experience is that it's one of the better spot treatments out there- but you can't expect miracles out of it. It will only give moderate improvements to the appearance of skin, and no improvement whatsoever to the texture. So if you have "ice pick" type acne scars, I wouldn't invest in this since it's more than $150 a bottle! I think The Face Shop's whitening treatments are truly comparable in the beginning stages of scarring, and a lot cheaper. I think the trick is, if you're using whitening spot treatments to mitigate acne scarring you NEED to apply this regularly during the initial stages of healing. I like to massage the whitening serum in as I think it helps increase circulation to the area and expedites healing. However if you are past the initial scar development, I find that Shiseido's works better than The Face Shop's. Hands down Shiseido's spot serum works better for sun damage like freckles and sun spots, but I'd use it in conjunction with a physical exfoliator such as microdermabrasion treatments.
One pack of Shiseido white lucent masks with a open mask in front of it
White Lucent Power Brightening Masks - $68 for 6 masks
Hands down these are the best whitening face masks I have ever, ever tried. They're uncomfortably big but the fabric is just SO thick, plush and luxurious. It feels like those pricey napkins you get at fine dining establishments in their restroom (I've definitely stolen a few of those heh heh).  The masks smell slightly sweet in their normal Shiseido fashion. If they weren't $11 a pop I'd use them more often but these are fantastic before a big event or occasion. Also...I suppose its cheaper than a facial? Much better than comparable My Beauty Diary masks. My skin felt incredibly hydrated and plump after.

Because Shiseido skincare is an investment, I suggest purchasing the products from Nordstrom or Sephora.com - both of which offer generous return policies if you're not satisfied. However take note that it usually takes a few months to see any noticeable results. It took me about two months until I saw any kind of measurable difference in my skin, and it wasn't dramatic in any way. For really dramatic immediate results, I think the only realistic and safe option is laser resurfacing.

Hope you guys found that helpful :)!

PS. If this doesn't work for you, you can always take self-gratuitious photos in front of a great lighting source in a fancy hotel. That works too. Example below:






1 comment:

BiiBii Papineau said...

Good review! I think a lot of people don't realize that skincare products aren't powerful enough to work magic and can only do small improvements. Laser Is definitely the only way you can truly get ride of tough pigmentation! But still having good skincare helps! :D