We Take a Look at What "Whitening" Products Are All About

Reviewing K-beauty brand 3CE’s new White Milk Lotion.

Beauty  
2,265 Hypes

3CE’s Milk Lotion is the newest addition to the Korean beauty company’s White Milk line. The entire collection is dedicated to brightening skin and preventing wrinkles. Since the Milk Lotion has a lighter formula than the Milk Cream, you can use it from head-to-toe anywhere that you have dark spots.

Because this product is advertised to have skin whitening properties, I want to preface this review by saying that I don’t subscribe to the idea that I, or anyone else for the matter, needs to have lighter skin. While “skin whitening” seems like a scary, problematic term, when it comes to K-Beauty products, it’s often just semantics. Many products with “whitening” effects have more to do with renewing the skin by getting rid of dead skin cells rather than bleaching it to make a lighter. Just like an exfoliator, they help your skin rejuvenate quicker and shed away any sun damage or acne scars. With that being said, you should still be careful of toxins and bleach that can potentially be found in skincare products. If you’re ever concerned about whether the “whitening” agent you’re using has damaging chemicals, a good blacklist of ingredients to look out for are: boric acid, coal tar, DHDM, methenamine, hydroquinone oxybenzone, and mercury. Also, a great tool I’ve found is CosDNA. The site breaks down each ingredient in makeup products according to safety levels, and if you can’t find a specific product, you can input the ingredients manually. I gave this lotion a run through the site just to be sure and didn’t find anything alarming in the safety rating.

3ce korean beauty skin whitening skincare makeup

Arriving in a bright blue bottle and a milk-branded paint can, 3CE’s Milk Lotion comes in some of the most adorable packaging I’ve ever seen. I did find the squeeze bottle a bit difficult to maneuver, but I would just dab any excess product that came out on my dry elbows. The lotion’s smell is incredibly sweet and has a chocolate scent since the formula includes cocoa. While the product does come out quite thick, it goes on surprisingly silky and almost powder-like, which was great for me since I have oilier skin. I can use this as the final step of my skincare routine, but if you need something more hydrating, I suggest pairing it with a night moisturizer and using it as the second last step.

I only use skin brighteners on occasion as I do have quite healthy skin, so I only tested out the lotion for three days. Even though I only used it for a short amount of time, I found that it was a great product for evening out skin tone and lightening acne scars. One thing I particularly love is that since it’s also a body lotion, it helps with fading out all the mosquito bite scars that I’ve accumulated over the summer.

3ce korean beauty skin whitening skincare makeup

When it comes to using the Milk Lotion as a day cream, I have mixed feelings. I love the texture since it’s not tacky whatsoever, and it’s probably the most matte lotion I’ve ever tried. I can layer on sunscreen without feeling like it was too thick, and it actually makes my face smoother so it’s easier to apply foundation. The downside is that the cream isn’t transparent, so it does immediately make your skin tone look one shade lighter. While this might be a look that some people go for and would create a great base for making makeup appear more pigmented, I found that it dulled out my complexion. I would definitely only use this product in the evening.

You can buy 3CE’s new Milk Lotion on the company’s site for $41 USD. For more from the brand, check out its recent collaboration with W Hotels.

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