Clear Lotion Face-Off: Kose Seikisho & Kanebo Impress Review

Clear Lotion has been a great addition to my daily cleansing routine. Many are unsure of the benefit of this lotion. It is usually to enhance skin’s radiance by lifting impurities and dead skin cell, to promote new skin cell’s growth, and to improve absorption of the consequent skincare regimen (serum, essence, emulsion, moisturizer, cream, etc). In Japanese skincare, clear lotion replace the function of toner.

I first tried on this lotion when I experienced a sudden outbreak. I have a combination of normal-oily skin, acne-prone. I’ve been known to have breakout for no particular reason – no change in skincare routine, lifestyle or hormone. During a recent breakout phase, I decided to give one of these lotions a go, and I’ve been faithful ever since. Following are the reviews for two lotions I have used.

Kose Seikisho Clear Lotion

This is the more affordable clear lotion, yet the result is not only amazing, but also quick. Effectively clears impurities, unclogged pores (and shrink its size), lifts all dead skin cells & dirts.

It has this traditional herbal scent. Although quite prominent it doesn’t linger too long after application. Nothing obtrusive really. This one doesn’t make absorption of the next step in skincare routine any faster, but it does a marvelous job in purifying and brightening your complexion.

I stopped  halfway through the bottle, because I thought my skin is “perfect” enough for me to cut back on my skincare steps. Boy, was I wrong. Within a week, tiny black dots had re-appeared on my nose, the sides, and also on some other areas. I didn’t realize how beneficial the lotion was to my complexion until I stopped using! So, yes, nowadays I almost never miss this step.

Kanebo Impress Brightener

This is the more “high-end” clear lotion, almost triple the price of Kose’s. It’s just a delightful little product, it delivers what it promises: softens the skin, enhances clarity and gives a radiant glow. Outstanding absorption of the consequent skin products. Very subtle yet pleasant floral scent. The texture is significantly thicker, more gel-like. But somehow I feel this one is not as aggressive in lifting impurities. It does give a more superior brightening, softening effect on the skin and the benefits stay longer, even after I stopped application for a whole week.

The problem is that I also start to notice the pesky little black dots starts to creep its way back on my nose and its sides, as well as along the hairlines. Aaaaarrrgghh!

My Verdict

If you’re a clear lotion virgin, perhaps it’s better to start by trying out the lower priced, Kose’s Seikisho. Especially if you have problems with impurities of your skin (like mine!), prone to breaking-out and not really obsessed with brightening your complexion.
But if it’s the glowing radiant skin that you’re after, or you’ve a dull skin, and you’re after something to make your skin softer, supple and luminous, the Kanebo Impress might be perfect for you.