Shiseido has always held a very special place in my heart because it was the very first proper facial cleanser my mom bought me when I was 10 (???). For as long as I could remember, there has always been a Shiseido product (or more) in my beauty arsenal. So, I was really ecstatic when Shiseido launched IBUKI, an entire new skincare range, after a whole 10 years!
What is Ibuki?
Japanese for inner strength, it brings to mind an innate ability to endure tough conditions and emerge beautifully. Shiseido’s new Ibuki line seeks to build on the skin’s natural resistance, to ensure smooth, trouble-free skin. To achieve that, Ibuki contains Shiseido’s exclusive Shape Memorizing Cell Technology that returns cells to their ideal condition and inhibits future shrinkage, so that skin cells can function at their optimal levels!
Who is it for?
I know there has been some prescribed age range tossed around online, but really, Shiseido recommends we pick the skincare range that is most suitable for our skin’s concerns rather than follow a random age range blindly. Ibuki is perhaps best suited for those with combination to oily skin, and visible pores.
The Ibuki line-up:
There are 7 products in the entire Ibuki range – cleanser (2 versions – gentle for all skin types, and purifying which is actually a scrub); softener; moisturizer (3 versions – SPF 15 for day use, refining moisturizer for normal to combination skin, and enriched for dry skin); and an eye cream. As I have combination skin at the moment (it used to be dry & sensitive before I had my baby!), my prescribed Ibuki regiment consists of (1) Gentle Cleanser, (2) Softening Concentrate. (3) Protective Moisturizer SPF 15 for day, and (4) Refining Moisturizer for night.
I have been using Ibuki for the past month, and here are my thoughts….
Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser
When I first used this cleanser, it immediately felt right, THIS is how cleansers should be! It lathers up beautifully with a gorgeous light floral scent that is elegant and feels calming. The word aromachology comes to mind… I do believe Shiseido was the first to coin that term! It washes off easily, and leaves my skin feeling clean but not overly taut. Just the way I like it! And at SGD42 for 125ml, it is easy on the pocket! If there is 1 item from this range to try, I would strongly recommend the gentle cleanser! And a small pea-sized amount enough for the entire face!
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate
In typical Shiseido tradition, the skincare range does not include a toner, but rather, Shiseido uses a softener in place to help gently lift dead surface cells and supply the freshly cleansed skin with a boost of moisture. I was a little confused initially as I tried applying this with a cotton pad, and found it just disappearing. It wasn’t til I poured it out on my palm, then I realized this was thicker in consistency, almost gel-like. My skin felt good with the softening concentrate on! This is priced at SGD50 for 75ml, again quite reasonable.
Shiseido Ibuki Protective Moisturizer SPF 15
Shiseido claims that this multi-action daytime formula has soft reflecting power to correct the appearance of unevenness such as visible pores, breakouts/ blemish marks and skin roughness. It renews the skin’s surface, revealing an incredibly smooth, uniform texture, while providing lasting hydration. Shiseido Ibuki Protective Moisturizer SPF15 retails for SGD66 for 75ml.
Based on my personal experience, this is a decent daytime moisturizer. It provided adequate hydration throughout the day. It also felt gentle and perfectly comfortable on. I do wish that it had some sebum control ability, as my skin has been prone to oiliness post-pregnancy. Also, I did not really notice any improvements in the appearance of my skin’s texture as claimed.
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer
This felt to me the exact same formula as the Protective Moisturizer above sans the SPF15. I have been using this sporadically in the evenings, but actually prefer something with added anti-aging benefits.
I really welcome the introduction of Ibuki to the Shiseido family. It has been far too long since the last new product range! Whilst I was never a huge fan of Shiseido’s The Skincare range (which was pretty much the only thing suitable for young adults prior to the launch of White Lucent), I feel Ibuki is a much stronger product range! The pricing is also quite affordable for the young working female.
The reason it took me so long to write this review, is because I really wanted to be very sure about what I was going to say. I love Shiseido and I want to embrace Ibuki so badly. And certainly, I enjoyed the cleanser and softener, and will very likely repurchase. However, I have just been spoilt rotten by other much higher end skincare lately, that I found the Ibuki moisturizers somewhat underwhelming. BUT, I acknowledge that it is really ridiculous to be comparing Shiseido’s Ibuki with either Chanel’s Sublimage or Guerlain’s Orchidee Imperiale. Their price points and target markets are completely different. So, bearing that in mind, I do recommend you try out the entire range and decide for yourself! Shiseido is offering a lovely 4-piece starter kit for just $40, which allows you to try out the Ibuki range affordably. Do let me know your thoughts once you’ve had a chance to experience it!