Skin "whitening" products, as brightening products are often called in Asia, are extremely popular in skincare-technology-savvy Japan. Shiseidos new White Lucent mask utilizes positively and negatively charged ions to drive an ingredient called 4MSK deep into the skin in order to remove melanin the way bleach lifts a stain. The mask also contains lightening kojic acid and vitamin C to help quash free radicals before they cause damage. Subjects in Shiseido's clinical trials noticed an immediate glow after just one application.
Researchers at Japanese skincare company SK-II also discovered compelling results from tests of its new serum Cellumination Essence Ex, which has been in development for the past five years. Like all SK-II products, it contains Pitera, a yeast-derived, nutrient-rich liquid with vitamins and amino acids that seems to render skin as smooth as Cate Blanchett's, a company spokesperson. It also incorporates the so-called cure-all herb Centella asiatica and vitamin B3 to impede the transfer of melanin to the skin's surface.