Where skincare is concerned, I've always believed that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A healthy, moisturized complexion protected from the elements means less makeup most days and a fewer worries down the road that require professional intervention.
Shiseido has certainly taken this to heart with their new Shiseido Ibuki line, a complete skincare collection to take you from day to night. Shiseido Ibuki is for twentysomething and thirtysomething skin, which typically needs moisture, rebalancing, and sun protection, but not heavy-duty wrinkle and age spot fighters. So how do the individual products in the line stack up?
The Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser ($30) lathers into a thick, indulgently moisturizing foam, rinses away cleanly with no residue, and doesn't strip skin of moisture. A small pinky-nail-sized dab is enough for my whole face. The formula is too gentle to lift away mascara and foundation, so using a makeup remover or cleansing oil beforehand is essential. It also doesn't exfoliate. Alternating the Gentle Cleanser with the micro-granule-infused Shiseido Ibuki Purifying Cleanser ($30; not shown) should help de-congest pores.
The Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate ($24) straddles the line between moisturizer and toner, efficiently removing traces of dirt while softening skin. It's meant to be applied after cleansing and before moisturizer, and is an even greater pleasure to use with Shiseido's luxurious cotton pads.
The Shiseido Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream ($38) is my least favourite. It didn't diminish my dark circles and puffiness as well as my regular eye cream. What's more, the heavy fragrance in the formula stung my eyes and made me tear up. (More about the fragrance later.)
The Shiseido Ibuki Protective Moisturizer SPF 18 ($45) is a non-greasy formula that subtly diffuses flaws, absorbs quickly, and delivers broad spectrum protection. On the days I applied this, I noticed I needed less makeup to achieve a flawless look.
The Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer Enriched ($45) is SO RICH. Although the product description says it will keep your skin moisturized all day long, I strongly advise that this be used as a night cream.
Overall, I appreciate the luxe packaging and thoughtfulness behind the entire Shiseido Ibuki collection. The individual products seem like good building blocks for a basic but nourishing skincare regimen. Each formula is potent enough that only a little was needed, so the products will last you ages. During the month I used Shiseido Ibuki, I noticed that my skin was brighter, softer, and more even-toned.
But the biggest drawback was the overwhelming fragrance in all the products. After having used organic, natural, and/or unscented products for so long, switching to Shiseido Ibuki proved a shock to my nose and my skin. Contrary to the line's claims that it would reduce breakouts, I actually had more blemishes than normal, and I suspect it's because of fragrance sensitivity. Until there's an unscented option, I think I'll stick with my tried-and-true regimen.