Product Review: Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser

The leader of the J-Beauty market and one of the oldest skincare companies in the world, Shiseido is known for its wide range of high quality products and in some cases high price marks to boot.

4 1/3 stars on Sephora, 5 stars on Ulta So why is this rated so high?

This cleanser is a very creamy, sticky cleanser. Most of Shiseido’s cleansers are, but this goes to an extreme. I’ve gone through the entire tube of this, so I’ve used it during all four seasons. My skin can change drastically day to day and season to season and this cleanser leaves my skin feeling clean without being overly harsh and stripping too much of my natural oils.

Packaging is extremely simple but lets face it, it’s going in the trash. The tube itself is incredibly simple, it’s a 4.5 oz ivory tube with a simple cap. Nothing special, no real flash like embossing or metallic lettering. The simplicity in the packaging means, you aren’t paying out the nose for that flashiness. I can’t speak for everyone, but cleansers aren’t something I view as a potential display piece. They stay by the sink or in the shower.

That dot on my hand is about the size of a dime. That’s really all I use to do my face and neck.

Price: At $30 its in line with the rest of the prestige cleansers. At 4.5 oz it’s right in line with the rest of the market as well. So that gives you a final price of $6.67 per ounces. Not too shabby but a little higher than some in the market. Here’s a list for comparison.

  • Tatcha Deep Cleanser : $38 for 5 oz ($7.6/oz)
  • Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser: $26 for 4.4 oz ($5.91/oz)
  • Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk: $28 for 6.7 oz (4.17/oz)
  • Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser: $38 for 8 oz ($4.75/oz)
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: $38 for 5.1 oz ($7.45/oz)
  • Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: $34 for 5oz ($6.80/oz)
  • Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser: $28 for 5oz ($5.6/oz)

Product: One pro of the Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser is that a little really does go a VERY long way. This is a thick cleanser meaning you aren’t paying for water. Using a pea sized amount you then add water to it and create a lather. Below is a video showing how Shiseido believes you should create a lather. If you watch this episode of Japanology Plus it gives a really good review of what Jbeauty philosophy is but you also see how Japanese women cleanse their skin and treat it. If you just want to watch them create a lather fast forward to the 15 minute mark.

After I watched this the first time I was floored. And of course I tried to do my lather that way. My arms were exhausted. So instead I use my Clarisonic and just rock with that. Now to get that lather you do have to add a LOT of water. I do have to run my brush under the water a few times in order to get a really good lather that will rinse well. Otherwise you can give a good all over rub while rinsing and you’ll see that it gives you a second lather. Beware the nose, I’ve had lather go up my nose several times, it’s that intense of a lather.

Cons: You have to concentrate on how much water you have worked into this cleanser. I can’t stress this enough. But this really isn’t a huge con because that means you aren’t paying for water in your cleanser. Also, it’s not the easiest to get. As of today, it’s unavailable at Ulta and has been for a LONG time but is available at Sephora and Shiseido’s website. So you can get it, but if you are dead set on getting it from Ulta, it’s hit or miss (mostly miss) for some reason. You may also be able to find it at Ross or TjMaxx. I’m seen it around, but again that’s hit or miss.

Final Thought: I tend to not get super excited about cleansers. They’re a fun part of the cleansing routine and I have some I love because it treats my face right and some I can’t stand. If you just want a super simple cleanser that you run over your face and can run out the door this might be for you; however, if you don’t want to have to concentrate on getting enough water worked into it so it rinses well it probably won’t be. The need to add a bit of water is both a pro and a con, you don’t pay for it in the packaging but you do have to make sure you add it while cleansing otherwise it might not rinse off completely. On the whole I really like this. It is GENTLE, my face feels clean but not tight so those of you with dry skin you’ll enjoy this. When I woke up this morning my forehead was a shiny slick mess but my cheeks were bone dry, this cleanser didn’t have a problem balancing those two areas out. My forehead had the excess oil removed but my cheeks didn’t feel tight at all.

Score: 4.7/5.

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