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I Tried A Japanese Whitening Facial For Dark Spots, To See If I Could Go Concealer-Free In My 30s

Shakura Miroko™ Whitening Treatment review 

With makeup on, I’ve been told that I look nothing close to my age of 30-plus. But such compliments are few and far between when I go barefaced, where I’ve had people barely younger than me call me ‘aunty’. Without the help of concealer, my skin is sallow, and pigmentation spots give away a much older age.

I had tried whitening products to brighten up my skin, but most did not deliver results as promised. What I hadn’t tried are whitening facial treatments. I’d heard that Japanese beauty boutique Shakura Pigmentation Beauty is well-versed in treating pigmentation and dull skin concerns with facial treatments. Lucky for me, they offered to let me try their Miroko Whitening Treatment.

Pigmentation makes me look older

Without makeup, my skin does give my age away – it’s dull and dry, and I’m beginning to see freckles stay longer and get darker too. As someone who has suffered from acne long into adulthood, I also have post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), caused by scarring from when itchy fingers picked at pimples.

shakura - with makeup on
Young-ish looking with makeup on
Image credit: Raewyn Koh

Although wearing makeup does hide my blemishes, it tends to clog my pores and lead to breakouts. For two, as I’m getting older, waking up earlier to put on layers of concealer and foundation is no longer worth sacrificing sleep for. Needless to say, I was excited to try out the whitening treatment which could give me the confidence to go barefaced more often.

Shakura Pigmentation Specialist – Miroko Whitening Treatment

Originating from Japan, the Miroko Whitening Treatment promises visibly lightened pigmentation, and a more luminous complexion in just 90 minutes. The treatment has been formulated to suit Asian skin which is more prone to pigmentation problems.

shakura - jurong point

While many other pigmentation treatments require the use of lasers to lighten dark spots, the Miroko Whitening Treatment is completely non-invasive. The core of the treatment is the Shakura Active Formula that contains natural ingredients using Milk Essence and Roselle Extract. These work together to break down and inhibit the production of melanin, a darkening pigment in our skin.

The consultation

shakura - consultation

My session started with a one-on-one consultation with beauty consultant Nicole. This was a crucial step in the process for them to understand my skin’s condition for a more customised course of treatment.

shakura - skin check

Nicole pointed out problem areas on my skin, highlighting issues such as blackheads and skin dryness. The skin analysis also revealed deeper problems like sun damage, which if left untreated, would result in more dark spots in my later years.

The treatment

The treatment started off with a double cleanse of my face. Nicole used a mild milk cleanser and a foaming cleanser to remove traces of makeup, oil and dirt on my skin. Next came a sheet mask to soften the pores for the extraction process after. Then it was time for the highlight of the Miroko Whitening Treatment.

This treatment stands out thanks to its application of the Shakura Active Formula. Done right after the extraction, Nicole took her time to liberally apply and massage the serum into my skin.

shakura - shakura active formula
Image credit: Shakura Pigmentation Specialist

The active ingredients of the serum include milk essence to lighten spots while also providing hydration to parched skin cells. There is also vitamin C to brighten complexions and smoothen textured skin. Two other ingredients, Roselle Extract and amino acids, both increase skin elasticity for an instant anti-ageing effect.

shakura - treatment

Nicole’s fingers gently glided across my face to work the serum into my skin so that it would be properly absorbed. She explained that this would help the serum penetrate deeper into the skin’s cellular level, so as to target the breakdown of melanin.

shakura - cold mask

The serum is not meant to stay on for too long on sensitive skin like mine. Nicole wiped it off once she was certain the active ingredients had done its job. The last step was a thick and cold mask to cool the skin of any irritation from the extraction and serum process.

Shakura Pigmentation Specialist – immediate, visible results

A quick 20-minute nap later, I was done with the treatment. When Nicole handed me a mirror to check my skin at the end of the session, I was surprised to see that my skin looked like it glowed. I was in disbelief that my skin could look so much better in such a short amount of time.

shakura - before & after
Nicole explained that with more sessions, my skin’s texture would only improve even more.

The proof is right there – I had a fairer complexion overall, and my pores were visibly smaller. The redness that plagued my skin due to its sensitivity had also subsided. I still had my eyebags, but my skin also felt much more hydrated and supple. This was skin I would be comfortable walking around in without makeup on. 

For those looking to lessen their dark spots, this would be a worthwhile investment to consider. The treatment isn’t just suitable for those facing pigmentation struggles, but those who want to achieve dewy, glowing skin as well. And it goes without saying that with more treatments, you’ll see better and long-lasting results.

As all facials begin with a one-on-one consultation, the therapists can also address specific issues and goals to be achieved with each session.

If you’re keen to try this out for yourself, Shakura is offering one session of the Miroko Whitening Treatment to first-time customers at $48 (U.P. $428). All it takes is just 90 minutes out of your day to try the treatment – it’s the least you could do to treat yourself after a long week at work.

Find out more about Shakura Pigmentation Beauty here

This post was brought to you by Shakura Pigmentation Specialist.
Photography by Milim Tay.