I love a lot of the Shiseido 'drugstore' products in Japan but I hadn't tried Shiseido's normal products. Sometimes it can be hard to know which products are good for your skin type and age, so I was happy to hear about the new Ibuki line in the US that is targeted for those in their twenties looking to prevent aging and protect their skin.
Shiseido is also usually really expensive! (At the end of this post I'll share my tips for getting the cheapest deals on their products.) Last November, they had a free gift with purchase so I decided to try out the Ibuki Skincare line!
I bought the Ready, Set, Ibuki Starter Kit from Macy's and chose the Ibuki free gift. I also had a Sephora gift card and a 20% off coupon for their VIP Party and bought the Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil. (You can see my haul in this video)
Shiseido product haul!
As I said before, I was excited to try this line out because it seemed to fit my skin needs perfectly. The products promise to protect skin from environmental stressors, lock in moisture, and also aid fine lines caused by dryness. I noticed my skin texture had worsened from a combination of stress, winter weather, and laziness to pamper my skin! I had been noticing fine lines around my mouth area that would improve with Clinique Moisture Surge at night, but always returned.
The whole skincare line has a floral smell that surprised me at first. After a couple uses I really got attached to the scent! It is not too overpowering.
1. Gentle Cleanser / Purifying Cleanser
My kit included the Gentle Cleanser, and this worked perfectly for my skin. Even though I do break out and have oiliness, I use acne prescriptions so I avoid harsh cleansers. Normally I would use the Clinique mild soap or Perfect Whip for my skin. I sensed that this product can be lathered very similarly to Perfect Whip and would be great to use with the Clarisonic. You only need a very small amount of product and when washed off, there is no residue.
2. Softening Concentrate
The Softening Concentrate is supposed to provide extra moisture and enhance how the rest of the regiment works thereafter. It is different than many "step two" toners in the West because it does not require a cotton pad to strip the skin. For example, I have used Clinique for years. Their toner contains alcohol and I liked how I felt like I could remove any dead skin and further clean my skin. However, I have heard that alcohol can be harsh on skin. After removing makeup, scrubbing again with your cleanser, a harsh toner may just strip your skin of its natural moisture even more. I believe that this concentrate tries to do the exact opposite.
I simply pour some of the product on my palm and pat it on my forehead, cheeks, chin, and also the area around my mouth where I had fine lines. You can massage it until absorbed or lightly pat your skin. After using it, my skin feels refreshed.
3. ULTIMUNE Power Infusing Concentrate
I don't normally use a serum, but when I have, sometimes I experienced some irritation. This serum didn't seem to bother my skin and it felt really nice. I'm not certain if this product also helped with my fine lines from dryness.
4. Protective Moisturizer SPF 18 / Refining Moisturizer / Refining Moisturizer Enriched
I got the Refining Moisturizer in my starter kit. The Protective version only differs because it contains SPF, and the Enriched version is simply a heavier moisturizer (it can be used day or night, but many say they prefer it only for bedtime). I wouldn't have minded to get the Protective Moisturizer because I like my skin care products to have SPF--even in the winter. However, in the summertime I would probably still use a higher SPF product alongside the skincare regimen.
After applying the Softening Concentrate, my skin already feels partially 'rehydrated', if that makes sense, so I only apply a small amount of the moisturizer. It absorbs well and did not break me out or leave me feeling greasy.
4. Eye Correcting Cream
I love getting eye cream samples! Eye creams can be so expensive~so it is always a plus to get a large sample of one, because it will last a long time. This eye cream surprised me...it is a lovely pale pink color that has a little shimmer! (Once applied, no color or shimmer remains, of course.) It is just so pretty and smells nice just like the rest of the regimen.
5. Perfect Cleansing Oil
Normally, I only use this if I was wearing plenty of makeup, and I would use it first of course. I was running out of my Perfect Whip Perfect Oil (if you want to see my review, and also an in-depth explanation of how I use Oil Cleansers, you can watch here). I wanted to compare the two products--and this oil is much more expensive. I can tell it is more effective and higher quality than the Perfect Whip Perfect Oil. It removes my makeup almost completely, but of course needs to be followed with a cleanser.
Shiny but simple packaging.
I am not sure which products specifically truly improved my fine lines and texture, but overall the regimen worked together very well. I noticed a HUGE improvement in my skin.
As for getting Shiseido products on a budget, look for their gift with purchase. I only buy when there is a free gift, and I try to stick to the minimum purchase requirement. Over time you can accumulate a lot of products, samples and travel sizes too! One of the few stores to offer discounts on high end beauty products is Sephora--twice a year they offer 15% and 20%. If you have a TJ Maxx or Marshall's you can also often find Shiseido products. My store often has them in the clearance section for $10! (Nobody knows these products where I live it seems.)
Lastly, you can also try out the Perfect Whip line or some of the other 'drugstore' lines of Shiseido products in Japan. They are cheaper but still often higher quality than a lot of American drugstore skincare products.
Are there any other Japanese skincare brands I should try or that you like? I'd love to hear.
Here is my video review if you would like to watch!
Also, you can watch my Shiseido at Sephora and Macys: Beauty Haul Video for when I first bought the products!