27 Feb 2017

Is It Effective? Review: The 3.5 Times Brightening Effects of Laneige Clear-C Advanced Effector and Laneige White Plus Renew Original Essence

Normally, 1 plus 1 is equal to 2. But for Laneige Clear-C Advanced Effector and White Plus Renew Original Essence, it is 3.5. In this review, I will be sharing my thoughts on these two brightening products from Laneige and whether or not using them together will bring greater brightening effects to the skin.

Actually I wasn't quite aware of the Clear-C Advanced Effector. The Original Essence was pretty famous back then, along with the Water Bank Essence and Water Sleeping Mask, but not really the Clear-C Advanced Effector. I only get to know it when I started looking into treatment essences and found that this product is the closest to treatment essence from the brand Laneige.

As for the Original Essence, it was pricey for me back then. And I don't really hear a lot of honest reviews on it so I'm not sure should I be paying close to RM 200 for just 40ml of the essence. It is not until when I bought the Clear-C Advanced Effector and realize that both must be used in pair that I got my hand on the Original Essence.

I have been using the both of them for several months before sharing it with you guys. I broke them down into two testing periods, at the middle of the year in 2016 and early of the year in 2017. I also used them in isolation for a week to observe whether or not their brightening effects are tripled when used in pair. I also consciously avoided any brightening serums or moisturizers when I was using them to make sure that any brightening effects I get are from the products. Let's head to the results!

Laneige Clear-C Advanced Effector is a boosting essence formulated with 92.5% berry extracts to bring about skin clarifying and brightening effects. Laneige calls it a "vitamin booster" presumably because of the rich vitamin C contents in it. It contains extracts from acerola cherry, acai berry, and so on with four times anti-oxidizing effects of vitamin C. Anti-oxidizing, as we all know, is very important for anti-aging and is the key to keep the skin healthy. In addition to its anti-oxidizing benefits, vitamin C also carries skin brightening and dark spots reducing properties, making it a powerful weapon against sun spots, age spots and aging. Sounds great isn't it?

One thing I really like about this boosting essence is the packaging. Not only does it look pretty with its pinkish design, it also has at the side of the bottle telling you how much products are left. I don't usually follow its recommended usage, which is to apply 3 pumps of the essence on the complimentary facial cotton. What I normally do is to just pump one or two pumps on my palm and lightly press it on the skin for absorption. My skin also feels fresher and more hydrated that way.

Unlike other boosting essence that comes in a glass bottle with a narrow opening on top, Laneige boosting essence has a pump in it for better amount control.

Just like most other boosting essence, this also has a runny liquid consistency that feels and gets absorbed quickly like water. It has a uniquely citrusy Laneige scent that I personally do not quite like because it gives me headaches though.

According to Laneige, this product utilizes superberry extract with 4 times anti-oxidizing effect of vitamin C that is stabilized with Laneige's silicium capturing technology. As we all know, vitamin C despite its potency is very unstable in cosmetic product. This is also why certain vitamin C serum requires to be restored in a fridge and away from sunlight to prevent it from deteriorating. Hence, product rich in vitamin C often requires additional efforts to enhance it stability to maintain its potency under normal room temperature or sunlight exposure.

Another great thing about this boosting essence is its complimentary cotton pads that come with the essence. The cotton has two sides - the rougher stripe-patterned side for morning exfoliating purpose and the smoother side for evening hydrating purpose.


Malpighia Emarginata Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Propanediol, Alcohol, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Melia Azadirachta Extract, Prunus Mume Fruit Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Glutathione, Glycerin, Lecithin, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Adenosine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Water, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance


The product is made of the superberries acerola and acai berry extracts. Acerola and acai berry are both popular ingredients found in many skincare products with the ability to anti-oxidize, moisture and brighten the skin. They are complimented with niacinamide, a  well-known ingredient vitamin B3 with skin elasticity improving, dark spots lightening and moisturizing effects. Laneige claims that this product contains 92.5% superberry extract hence I am assuming that the said ingredients constitute a vast majority of the product and all skincare benefits you get from this pinkish bottle comes from these three ingredients.

Next we have some minor but beneficial anti-oxidizing and anti-aging ingredients like neem leaf extract, prune fruit extract, watercress extract, lotus flower extract and glutathione. Other moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, propanediol, lecithin, and adenosine are very commonly found humectants in skincare to hydrate and moisturize the skin. Alcohol is also added to give this product its refreshing and lightweight texture.

From the ingredients, we can see that this is indeed a bottle of antioxidizing goodies packed in a beautiful pinkish glass. The brightening properties come from the vitamin C component of the berries and the super ingredient (as in superfood) niacinamide. If you are sensitive to vitamin C, this is the product best to be avoided. However, if your skin reacts well to vitamin C or niacinamide, this is the thing for you!

Laneige White Plus Renew Original Essence

Some of you might not have seen it before, but these are the miniatures version of the best-selling Laneige White Plus Renew Original Essence. I got mine from other Laneige purchases, and somehow managed to gather four (10ml x 4), which is equivalent to the size of the full size White Plus Renew Original Essence (40ml) hence I think it is fair to say that I have tried the Essence.

The actual Original Essence actually comes in a dropper, but I prefer the miniatures as it comes in a pump that is more hygienic and convenient.

Official website claims that this Essence is the product of a 7 years study that utilizes Laneige's exclusive technology for whitening - the "Mela-Crusher". Its major skin benefits are brightening, radiant-imparting and moisturizing.

The texture is amazing. It appears milky and cloudy but turns into water as you blend it out on your skin. It gets absorbed fairly quickly with light patting, leaving the skin plump and silky. The Essence has amazing smell as well, sort of like my mother old truffle cream but better than that. It is hard to describe but I really like it!


Water, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Dipropylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Yeast Extract, Broussonetia Kazinoki Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Resveratrol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract, C14-22 Alcohols, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Propanediol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Carbomer, Stearic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, Polyglyceryl-3, Methylglucose Distearate, Disodium EDTA, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Methyl Methacrylate/Acrylonitrile Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance


There is a reason why the texture of this essence is so cloudy and milky. I am not sure about the scientific or practical reason of giving it this consistency, but if you look at the ingredients, more than half of it are what I usually refer to as the “texture ingredients” – emulsifiers, emollient, surfactants, solvents, fragrance, viscosity controllers and of course preservative.

Main ingredients are squalane, niacinamide, milk thistle, green tea extract and yeast extract. Squalane is common skin repairing and nourishing ingredient that is identical to skin epidermis, making it a great ingredient against wrinkles and fine lines. Its other benefits include promoting blood circulation, cell renewal and skin softening. Niacinamide is mentioned above when we talk about Laneige Clear-C Advanced Effector so I am not gonna elaborate further on that. Milk thistle is an herb with moisturizing, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties due to the compound silymarin according to an Italian study in 2008. Green tea is another potent anti-oxidizing and moisturizing ingredient that becomes the landmark ingredient of Innisfree top selling Green Tea lines. 

What’s rather unique in this essence is the yeast extract, which is a humectant with skin moisturizing, anti-aging and brightening effects. Yeast is a good source of beta-glucan which can stimulate the skin’s immune system, anti-oxidize, boost collagen production and contribute to overall texture improvements. It is also found to break down melanin and contribute to the reduction in dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Other great ingredients include paper mulberry root extract, ginkgo biloba extract, resveratrol, licorice root extract and shea butter. Mulberry is known for its skin brightening, dark-spots reducing and anti-blemishes properties. It plays a major role in inhibiting the formation of freckles and dark spots. Although ginkgo biloba doesn’t have the brightening property of mulberry, it is a great antioxidant that can protect the skin from sun damage, indirectly promoting fairer and more radiant-looking skin. It is also a great moisturizing ingredient and anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol is an antioxidant commonly found in red grapes. In addition to its anti-oxidizing benefits, resveratrol can also stimulate the benefits of the ingredient glutathione, which is an ingredient found in the Clear-C Advanced Effector. Other benefits include anti-aging, wrinkles care and soothing. And I think it is a common understanding that licorice root extract is an anti-inflammatory, dark spots reducing and anti-acne ingredient that is especially great for people with hyperpigmentation. Lastly, we have shea butter which is a plant lipid extracted from the karate tree with emollient, anti-oxidizing and moisturizing benefits. It can also reduce flakiness and dryness on the skin as well as absorbing UVB rays to protect the skin from the sun.

Kinda obvious that this is a great essence packed with loads of skin brightening, anti-oxidizing and moisturizing ingredients.


I have been using both the Laneige Clear-C Advanced Effector and the White Plus Renew Original Essence for a few months and I'm ready to talk about the results! I introduced the Effector into my skincare routine first, then followed that up with the Essence. I also tried using both in isolation to see if the effects are better when used in pair. I did not use any other brightening serum or boosting essence when using this product to avoid confusion of their effects.

I will talk about the Clear-C Advanced Effector first. Basically, this is a treatment essence type product you use right after cleansing and before a toner. Normally, I use this before a toner or a serum as a lotion mask by placing non-woven cotton soaked with essence on my cheek area where most dark spots located. Using them as a lotion mask is quite costly since you'll need to use a lot of the product every time hence I don't do it often, only 2-3 times per week. I do realize that my skin is plumper, fresher and stay hydrated thorough the day using this method. It also improves the absorption of the essence better. My complexion also becomes clearer and brighter when I use the lotion-mask method.

To be honest, the Clear-C Advanced Effector is not quite a treatment essence, at least not quite similar to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Nature Republic First Essence, or Primera Miracle Seed Essence. If I were to compare, this is the closest to Kose Sekkisei Lotion (which is actually a toner). It refreshes, tones, and feeds the skin with loads of vitamin C and antioxidants to keep it healthy and young, and brighter of course. However, it is definitely not moisturizing or hydrating. Quite drying I would say. Although this is probably the only treatment essence type product in Laneige, but it is far from being a real treatment essence, more like a boosting essence. (Check this out on how to categorize skincare products!)

Next come the Laneige White Plus Renew Original Essence. It is fairly clear-cut that this is a brightening serum but is called essence because of its light-weight consistency. I started using it a week later I used the Clear-C Advanced Effector and also used it in the absence of the Effector. I realize that this product is easier to absorb whenever I am using the Effector. My skin also looks brighter and more "babyish" the next day when I wake up whenever I am using both in pair. I can say that I notice a glossier and brighter dewy skin from using this product alone. It is an overall improvement in my skin texture and tone.

before vs. after of using the Laneige brightening duo

As you can see, my skin tone is several tones brighter than it previously was. The brighter skin tone is mainly attributable to Laneige whereas the reduction in hyperpigmentation is a result of using Kiehl's.

In short, it works! I rarely find or have faith in skin brightening products. Not only are they expensive, they rarely do work without the use of some harmful chemicals. I was a bit skeptical when I got to know the Laneige brightening duo and its so-called 3.5 times more brightening effects. I thought it is quite impossible to see results from just 40ml of products but guess what... I can see a real difference in my skin tone after only using it for several weeks. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective also works pretty well too but its skin brightening effects are definitely not as powerful as the Laneige brightening duo, especially the White Plus Renew Original Essence, in term of overall skin tone improving.

As for whether or not you need to use both in pair, I think the answer is YES. The Advanced Effector is after all a booster-type product, it is meant to boost the efficacy of other product. In this case, the White Plus Renew Original Essence. However, if you are really not into the Effector, you can also use other watery treatment type products like Kose Sekkisei Lotion, SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Primera Miracle Seed Essence, Lirikos Marine Triple TreatmentSecret Key Starting Treatment Essence and so on.


Laneige Clear-C Advanced Effector
About: boosting essence
Properties: brightening, boosting, refreshing, toning
Best suited for: all skin types; especially dull skin
May not suit: sensitive skin; very dry skin

packaging: ★★★★
scent: ★★
texture: ★★★☆
ingredients: ★★★★
efficacy: ★★★★
overall impression: ★★★★ (quite drying, nothing too special, might not repurchase)

Laneige White Plus Renew Original Essence
About: treatment
Properties: moisturizing, brightening, anti-oxidizing
Best suited for: all skin types; especially dull skin
May not suit: none

packaging: ★★★★ (I'm referring to the full size product)
scent: ★★★★☆
texture: ★★★★★
ingredients: ★★★★★
efficacy: ★★★★★
overall impression: ★★★★☆ (see results! have repurchased the renewed version White Plus Renew Original Essence EX)

You can get this from: Althea | Hermo | Laneige Malaysia
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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