Shiseido Ibuki Skincare Line Review
this review is long overdue, but still a significant post for me since it highlights a skincare line i truly adore.
say hello to the SHISEIDO IBUKI skincare line, a breakthrough range of products that utilizes the brand’s trademarked shape memorizing cell technology. this supposedly helps cells memorize their ideal shape, so as to boost resistance and maintain skin health amid exposure to the sun and outside pollutants, stress, lack of sleep and a poor diet. pretty impressive on paper, but does it actually deliver?
well, i have continuously used the ibuki line for two months now and the effects have been visible not only to me, but to the people around me as well. just a week into it and i already saw significant improvements, especially with my skin’s overall appearance and texture.
the entire ibuki line has seven products, and i have tried the four pictured above: the gentle cleanser, softening concentrate, refining moisturizer and eye correcting cream.
to begin with, i have to say i’ve never had any complete skincare line that i’ve stuck with in the past. most others i’ve tried didn’t seem to do much for my skin, while some caused bad reactions — a bizarre twist of luck since i don’t particularly have sensitive skin — prompting me to stop using them altogether. so upon receiving the shiseido ibuki line i was a tad nervous, but knew it was well worth a shot since the brand is a trusted name in skincare and i’d heard some glowing reviews on the line itself.
before i started with the ibuki regimen, i got a facial to get rid of unsightly comedones and little zits i had at the time. i figure it’s always best to start a skincare routine with a nice, blank canvas.
first up is the SHISEIDO IBUKI GENTLE CLEANSER, which i personally believe to be the star of the whole line. this huge 125ml tube is packed with THE best facial cleanser i have ever lathered on my face.
the consistency is thick, creamy, and smells floral-y (all of the ibuki products have a rather strong floral scent, which might be overpowering for some but i am genuinely obsessed with it). even with all that, you end up with a soft, easy-to-work-with lather that almost feels luxurious. after rinsing and a gentle pat dry, i immediately feel renewed with this product alone: my skin feels so soft and smooth and literally squeaky clean.
case in point: i have an anti-acne toner that i’ve been using for years, typically after i wash my face. normally i would still find some dirt and/or make-up residue on the cotton pad upon applying the toner, even having used a make-up remover AND cleanser beforehand. but with the shiseido cleanser, NADA. the cotton is always clean. on days when i am not wearing waterproof make-up i don’t even use make-up remover anymore; instead i go straight to the ibuki facial wash since i know it will remove all traces of dirt, grime and product buildup. it’s that amazing.
the cleanser also comes in a purifying formula, which has micro beads that gently exfoliate to remove old surface cells and impurities, so it’s perfect for those with oily, acne-prone skin. i imagine this cleanser would work even more wonders for me since i do actually fall in that category.
after that deep but gentle cleanse, i follow up my daytime routine with the SHISEIDO IBUKI SOFTENING CONCENTRATE, which to my surprise, is the ibuki equivalent of a toner. it’s infused with PhytoResist complex, which they claim to boost skin’s strength to resist common skin problems.
if it is indeed a toner, it’s unlike any other i have used in the past. the ibuki softening concentrate is a wet, slippery serum that you pump out of the bottle — and must do so with great care, since the stuff tends to gush out a bit (learned that the hard way). i can’t say that this is an absolutely essential part of the ibuki line, but i do find that it adds some nice bit of moisture and suppleness to my skin after use. i allow between 5 to 10 minutes of absorption before i apply my make-up, but i don’t find that it does anything in particular to alter or improve the look of my skin under foundation. then again it never claimed to be any sort of make-up primer, so it’s all good.
for my night time regimen, i go with the SHISEIDO IBUKI REFINING MOISTURIZER after wash. i don’t apply this on top of the softening concentrate as instructed, because i do have slightly oily skin and that much moisture on my face might just do more harm than good. so i really only use the softening concentrate during the day and the refining moisturizer before going to bed, unless i have particularly crappy, sallow skin and i want the extra boost that comes from layering the two.
what i love most about this cream is how light it is. yes, it is still rich and creamy, but has a distinctly runny texture (see above) that i don’t often encounter with moisturizers. after application i am left with soft, smooth skin that i can touch without feeling any stickiness. and when i wake up there is no leftover product on my face: all that’s left is a gorgeous, petal-like texture that feels nourished and not oily in the slightest bit.
this cream also comes in an enriched version, which intensively corrects the appearance of unevenness such as visible pores, blemish marks and skin roughness. then there is the shiseido ibuki protective moisturizer, formulated with with SPF 18, so it’s perfect for daytime hydration.
finally, the icing on the cake: the SHISEIDO IBUKI EYE CORRECTING CREAM. this little wonder tube calms and hydrates the eye area, while diminishing dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. i myself suffer from dark, bulging circles around my eyes and i do find this helpful in easing the “harshness” of it all. i can’t say that it’s done anything significant to get rid of my panda eyes, but i truly feel it has subdued the dark hues a bit and my eye area always feels smooth and hydrated even with almost-daily make-up layering and tugging on the skin.
it takes just a small amount to cover my eye area, and after application i feel a mild, cool tingle that actually feels quite refreshing. immediately i notice my dark bags turn brighter, thanks to the cream’s inner-derm light-enhancing powder which reflects red light to counteract darkness. although i appreciate this immediate look of vibrance, i find the cream to not sit well underneath my make-up. perhaps it is just the products that i use, but even with ample absorption into the skin i still find traces of the cream blotched around my eyes in little lines that resemble micro-peeling. not too pretty, so i’ve resorted to using this at night as the final step in my regimen.
below is a photo of my bare face (the right side anyway) and you see what it currently looks like. the picture is a bit fuzzy since i just cropped it, but hopefully you still get the idea.
it’s not perfect, i know (i still have quite visible pores, color unevenness and old blemish marks) but the ibuki line has truly made more improvements than i can count. for one, that pinkish-brown spot on the center of my cheek was previously a dark brown — even darker than my little mole on the top left. now it is fading nicely, alongside a couple of other spots i’ve incurred in the last few months. i’ve also had significantly less breakouts, and when they do come — typically around that time of the month — they don’t linger for long and hardly leave any trace as they go.
my shiseido ibuki experience has been nothing short of enjoyable and will likely continue to be so in the foreseeable future. perhaps it is premature to call it my “holy grail” skincare routine (i’ve barely sampled the amount of similar products available in the market) but it will certainly remain to be a great love of mine.