I did not initially purchase this. My mom had gotten a one ounce sample and had given it to me. You need the smallest pea size amount. Rub your wet hands together and WOW. Foam galore. After rinsing it off it makes my face feeling baby butt soft and I do believe it does brighten and lighten my complexion. (At least for the few hours after washing)
Now, going on to the brightening and whitening part. It is part of Shiseido's Whitening line so do I see any whitening. I have very very pale skin to begin with. The reason I use Shiseido's White Lucent line is not to make myself all the more pale, but to even out my complexion and discoloration. I also have a few freckles that I wish would disappear.
Overall It is not a miracle worker, You will notice an initial Brightening and Whitening effect. Is it long lasting? You will not turn super pale but it does even out my skin enough that I would say it works. But I must note, this is something that is seen over time and does not become apparent within the first week or so. I would say give it 2-3 weeks.
I did get another one ounce sample with a Shiseido kit I purchased at Macy's and one more from Sephora with my beauty insider points.
Would I purchase this item again. Most definitely. I would say this cleanser is holy grail material. It will be hard to top this product in my book.