First, let me insert my usual disclaimer here that I’m no expert on skincare – I’m just a skincare enthusiast. I’m also by no means a guru on all things Shiseido – there are just my experiences with these products. I’ve been using skincare from this brand starting about 5 years ago. I would categorize the brand as high-end but not luxury, with the skincare above the $50 price point and mostly below $100 each. Shiseido is sold primarily through department stores and inside special beauty boutiques in some drugstores. All of the products shown are made in Japan. The line has some nice moisturizers and cleansers that I’ve repurchased – but like all brands, there are good and bad products within the range.
I thought I’d provide a quick overview of some of the products that I’ve tried. I’ve categorized the items into Love, Like, and Loathe.
Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream – $92 for 50ml and Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream – $65 for 15ml
I wrote about these items in my winter nighttime skincare routine. They’re better suited for the winter months as they’re too emollient for summertime. I’ve just recently put away the face cream for the season but I’m still using the eye cream in thin layers in the evenings. The key ingredients aren’t that remarkable (glycerin, squalane, glycol and some antioxidants) but they feel very refined and they agree with my skin. I have a difficult time finding eye creams that are hydrating enough but do not cause milia (those little flesh coloured bumps around the eye area) and this one satisfies both criteria. Neither of these products have strong scents.
Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam – $42 for 125ml
I used to get this one confused with The Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam from their “The Skincare” line. The Creamy version is SO much better than the Gentle one – it’s not as stripping or drying. There are little bits of hydration beads in the cream which makes the cleanser feel super silky. And this baby lathers up SO much! I only need to use a pea size amount as pictured. A tube lasts me for months.
Benefiance Instant Treatment Eye Mask – $72 for 12 pairs
I posted a rave review about this. It was surprisingly effective – I likely won’t repurchase this but it did introduce me to retinoids for my under eye area, I’ll be looking for a cream or treatment in a less wasteful format after I finish these (I have 2 unopened cartons = 24 masks).
Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum – $98 for 30ml
I use this as an under eye serum – it makes the area look really smooth which is likely due to the high silicone content. It also has some vitamin C and film-firming ingredients. It’s not a miracle product but I like that it doesn’t cause milia around my eye area. The vacuum pump is fantastic in keeping this product fresh. This product has a light scent.
Ibuki Refining Moisturizer – $52 for 75ml
The Ibuki range is relatively new for Shiseido – it’s supposed to help with “stressed” skin, whatever that means. This is quite inexpensive for a Shiseido moisturizer on a per ml basis. This is recommended for nighttime use but it’s very lightweight, so for me, it’s better for daytime. It performs very well under sunscreen and foundation and keeps my skin feeling supple. I really like the pump bottle, although I seem to be going through this product rather quickly due to its runny texture. It’s quite fragranced, unfortunately.
White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Emulsion W – $72 for 75ml
I no longer have this but it’s very similar to the Ibuki one above – a very fluid milky lotion that I used as a summer time daytime moisturizer. It’s also very fragranced. However, I saw NO whitening when I used this.
Ultimate Cleansing Oil – $32 for 150ml
I don’t have this anymore – I decided to try this because it was on a list of must-have cleansing oils. This functioned ok as a cleansing oil but it is overly fragranced, and it not even a refreshing scent – it smelled like heavy old-lady perfume. It was also quite drying – it’s a heavy duty cleanser which stripped my skin. I do like that Shiseido promotes this with their sunscreen as a sunscreen remover. A lot of people complain about waterproof sunscreen breaking them out, when they’re not removing them properly. But, don’t buy this one – try the MAC Cleanse Off Oil instead, that smells like lemon meringue.
White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum (now renamed as Total Brightening Serum) – $143 for 30ml
Expensive and useless! No whitening, no targeting, nadda! AND I just found an unopened bottle in my skincare stash. (I do like that all Shiseido products have safety seals) I honestly don’t remember buying a second bottle of this snake oil! I guess I’ll just have to use it up. 👿
Bottom line: I would say that overall, the Shiseido skincare lines are more geared toward dry and normal skin, and nothing really caters to oily or blemished-prone skin. The skincare is also quite focused on anti-aging and whitening, which are 2 key concerns in Asian skincare. Many of the products are fragranced to varying degrees, so if your skin is sensitive to fragrances, skip the brand entirely. Personally I would likely just focus on repurchasing the eye and face cream, the foaming cleanser and maybe the corrective serum for under my eyes. The rest of the items I’m sure there are other brands out there that offer better products.
I’m mildly curious about Shiseido’s premium skincare line, called Future Solution LX, which my friend swears by. It is ridiculously pricey though, the face cream is $320 for 50ml! What makes it worth that price tag?!
Have you tried Shiseido’s skincare? What brand of skincare would you recommend for me to try?