Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

by Paris B on · 33 comments

in Moisturiser,Product Reviews,Toner/Lotion


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On November 7, 2013
Last modified:November 6, 2013

Summary:

A while ago, I told you about a new range of skincare from Japanese cosmetics giant, Shiseido called Ibuki. You can read more about it in the previous post. In a nutshell, Ibuki works to build and repair skin’s resistence to external stresses – pollution, uv etc and strengthen it.

I had the opportunity to put a few of the products to the test, which I did. Here’re my thoughts on the Ibuki Softening Concentrate and the Refining Moisturiser.

shiseido ibuki softening concentrate 2 Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

The Ibuki Softening Concentrate is their star product. But to understand how this product is used means having to overhaul how you view toners and lotions. If you are familiar with Asian/Japanese skincare methodology then it’s easy to understand when I tell you that this is a softening lotion, and a pre-moisturiser.

If for you that step between cleanser and moisturiser is something you’d view as a toner then you will have to understand that the Ibuki Softening Concentrate is not a toner. This is a lotion that works to soften your skin after cleansing, add moisture and basically prepare your skin for moisturiser. Think of it if you will, as a pre-moisturiser. If you do use an exfoliating or astringent toner, use the toner before this concentrate. Confused yet? LOL! You’ll get there icon smile Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

Ibuki Softening Concentrate – RM160/75ml

The product is a clear liquid with a slightly viscous texture. It feels a little sticky but it spreads very easily all over the skin. The purpose of the Softening Concentrate is to soften the top layer of the skin which allows products to be absorbed better. It actually does feel very hydrating so I can imagine some might even just use this and skip a moisturiser.

I don’t because it isn’t enough for me, and I don’t quite recommend it. Use it with a serum if you must, but use it with something. So, I usually pump out about half a pump of product into my palm and spread it all over my skin and down my neck, rubbing it in. It takes a little while to absorb but I follow up with a serum and a moisturiser without waiting for it to dry because you shouldn’t. Remember, products absorb more easily and quickly into damp skin.

shiseido ibuki softening concentrate2 Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

I do have to say that after using up about half a bottle, it does make my skin feel a little softer and didn’t break me out nor feel sticky or uncomfortable. It is therefore quite nice. The only thing I’m not so keen on is the scent.

Ibuki products are infused with a floral scent that isn’t cloying or heavy, but it is strong; and I prefer my skincare products not to smell so strong. I can and I will finish this product because it does make my skin feel nice, but I will not repurchase because of the scent and because I have found something better (that is far more expensive) icon smile Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare? For the price, I won’t complain, if I’m to be honest. You don’t use a lot each time (use about half a pump. I find the recommended 1-2 pumps far too much) and my skin did fare better when using this. Maybe it does work eh? icon razz Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

Ibuki Refining Moisturiser – RM175/75ml

shiseido ibuki softening concentrate3 Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

The Ibuki Refining Moisturiser is pretty much targeted at those with a combination-oily skin type who prefers a lighter texture. I realised this, so I tested this by using it only in the day. Used on top of the Softening Concentrate, sometimes with a hydrating serum sandwiched between, I thought it was fine for day use. However, on it’s own, it isn’t sufficiently hydrating for anyone with a drier skintone like mine.

I believe for those with drier skin, there is a cream version called the Ibuki Refining Moisturiser Enriched. I tested this one during the launch and it did feel a little heavier and more moisturising. The emulsion version doesn’t cut it for me. I was fine with it, but it just didn’t hydrate my skin well enough so it’s one of those that have fallen by the wayside.

It too has the signature Ibuki floral scent which is again why I can’t repurchase the products from this range. It’s not horrible or anything, but it does get to me. That said, scent is one of those things that are very personal so do bear this in mind. I may not like it but that does not mean you won’t icon smile Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

shiseido ibuki softening concentrate4 Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

Bonus: Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – RM115/125ml

Felt like soap, strips my skin, dried it out. No, just no! Save your money icon razz Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

Overall thoughts in a nutshell

In general, I think the Ibuki skincare range is targeted at a slightly younger age group perhaps. Like The Skincare which it replaces, I find that the products are all quite basic. Good, if you don’t have other concerns and want something simple and to the point. Not so good if you know your concerns and want to address them.

Of the products I sampled, I’d say the Softening Concentrate stood out for me in terms of efficacy and improving my skin, which is why I use skincare anyway. Once you understand how it works i.e. Cleanser – Toner (if you use one) – Softening Concentrate – Serum – Moisturiser, don’t let it dry on your skin before apply serum and moisturiser, then you’ll reap the benefits. But if you’re going “Why, why do I need an extra step when I don’t see the point?!” then maybe you’re just not ready for it icon smile Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

Pros: Softening Concentrate appeared to work as promised, A little product goes a long way

Cons: May be considered pricey, Floral scent is quite strong

Who will like this: Anyone who wants a basic skincare range without too much fuss, Anyone who wants to boost their skincare efficacy or hydration can try the Softening Concentrate

Here is the ingredient list for both the Softening Concentrate and the Refining Moisturiser Emulsion for your reference.

shiseido ibuki softening concentrate ingredients Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

Left: Ibuki Refining Moisturiser Emulsion Right: Ibuki Softening Concentrate

Have you tried anything from the Ibuki skincare range yet? 

I know some of you have sampled this when it was launched about 2 months back so it’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts on it now that you’ve read mine icon smile Shiseido Ibuki put on trial : How does the Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturiser fare?

Paris B

Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate Price: RM160/75ml Ibuki Refining Moisturiser Emulsion Price: RM175/75ml Availability: All Shiseido counters

Disclosure: Featured products were from a press launch. For posting guidelines please read my disclaimer.

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[ 33 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Sze Ling November 7, 2013 at 9:04 am

I gave these a go 2 months ago. And even though I tried really hard to fall in love with it, in the end, I’m not impressed. I just can’t put my finger on what is “wrong” with it. They are not making me go ooo and aah. Just not for me.

Talk about more expensive substitute. Yes, I found another system that I’m totally in love with, but will cost me 2 legs and an arm. Went back to the Chanel counter for my old-flame, the Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (which my skin absolutely adore), and the SA offered me samples of their new serums. I knew I should have just say no to the samples. Darn it!

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

I just find them too basic, Sze Ling. My ageing skin needs MORE! haha… It’s great to know that Chanel skincare works for you. I never had any luck with them because they’d always break me out :( I suppose it’s true when they say you’re either a Dior girl or a Chanel girl and my skin just laps up Dior creams. Sigh…

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Sze Ling November 10, 2013 at 11:08 am

Haha! I didn’t know about that saying. But I guess it’s true. I’ve tried numerous Dior skincare products and none of them worked for me. LOL. :P

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josephine November 7, 2013 at 9:17 am

I have a 24yo skin. And I love it, my skin too. I only had a small sample travel size which I used on and off for 2 months(thereoffs). And I love the scent, its what keeps me going to use it. And I’d say, the softerner really does something magical to my skin. I’ve stopped using for a few weeks and have already noticed that my skin is less plump and doesn’t have as much ‘bounchy’ feeling to it. Its probably a hit and miss for many.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

Thanks for sharing your experience Josephine :) I will agree that the softener is nice especially if you never used one in your routine before this. It does make other skincare go on better doesn’t it? I do think this is a range that is more suited for younger customers who want something basic that works and it looks like you fit the bill :)

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Cynthia November 7, 2013 at 9:29 am

I wanted to try this for long. I had the sample for the softening concentrate but yet to use them and talk about that, the Shiseido SA in the counter told me it’s a toner. =.=”
I love Shiseido skincare range especially their White Lucent series. Have been using them since years ago and my skin hearts them. Hopefully Ibuki works the same? :)
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

haha… I think explaining that it’s a “toner” makes it easier to explain to people who may not quite get the concept of a softener :) I quite enjoyed using White Lucent too. But my skin doesn’t take very well to Shiseido skincare :( Hope Ibuki will work for you. It’s not very pricey :)

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Jay November 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

The ingredients for both the softener n emulsion seems too basic for such a high price.

I no longer buy high end skin care products. Hada Senka and Biore work good enough for me.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:10 am

Thanks for weighing in Jay. My skin can’t handle too much Japanese skincare so I’m now using more European ones. Somehow my skin takes better to them but I suppose that’s what makes us unique :)

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Dee November 7, 2013 at 10:41 am

I have been using the Softener for the past 2 weeks and I think it has enhanced the effect of my whitening serum and moisturiser. My acne scars are now fading faster and my skin is well moisturised. :) The scent doesn’t bother me as much, however, the price is a little out of my student budget.. :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

It’s great to know it works for you Dee! I think it’s pretty good at what it does as I’ve used other softeners before and it’s about the same. Will admit that the prices aren’t exactly wallet friendly but on the bright side, it will last a long long time. Worth splurging on a good skincare that works if you can manage it ;)

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Lily
Twitter:
November 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Nope didn’t try it. I’m interested to read what others have to say, but I’m actually more curious about Tata Harper, Sunday Riley and Omorovicza :-P My skin seems to like European brands better!
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

I considered Tata Harper and Sunday Riley and almost splurged on Omorovicza recently too. Thankfully sanity prevailed LOL! Would love to try them, but I just know that it’ll be so hard to get hold of them (and expensive) that I told myself to close the window and look away :P Am using mostly European skincare for the moment and am back to using face oils and its been great! :D

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Robert c. November 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Got it a few weeks ago and for me , the softening concentrate is “okay” .concerned about the amount of alcohol in it but it isn’t drying -don’t feel like it does anything special except for the fragrance (which I sorta hate – love the smell from white Lucent range though) . Caved and got the cleanser too. Regretted it on the first use . Uh. Now it’s sittin in my closet collecting dust .

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:18 am

Yeah the cleanser is something awful! Totally strips my skin. Yuck! I thought the softener was quite nice. You do have to use it in conjunction with other products and makes my skin feel soft with regular use. But I didn’t like the scent either.

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Nikki November 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

We have the same type of skin so I’m just starting to inject the Shiseido Ibuki product one by one, I started off with the cleanser, then probably the moisturizer? I’m not sure, we have the same skin type and I’m scared to go all the way at once :D Thanks for sharing your thoughts though at least I know what to expect :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:18 am

I hope it works for you Nikki! I didn’t like the cleanser at all. I found it too drying especially on dry skin and I remember you have dry skin too!

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attika November 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I’ve been using the refining moisturizer for about 3 or 4 weeks now, and my skin LOVES it. I started using it after I had a small breakout so I had some dryness and redness. This calms down my skin and makes it so soft. And i am actually loving the scent a lot! I find it nice and soothing. I only use the moisturizer at night tho. I’m now ordering the Ibuki set from Sephora to try out the concentrate and cleanser, while waiting for the whole line to come out here in Indonesia (stuff is always so late!). I’m 21 with normal skin btw :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:20 am

That’s great to know that it works for you Attika :) As with all skincare, it will depend so much on the individual and how their skin takes to the product. It does sound like those with younger skin will like this. Another reader loves it and she’s in her 20s too :D

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lisa November 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I do not buy Japanese skincare. But I was gifted with “The Skincare” and was using it for the past year. I’m quite impressed with it. Not that it has done much to my skin but more importantly, I’m surprised that it did not break me out and is reliable. It is really the basics though. Likewise with the Ibuki. Not much of a difference for me, perhaps just the texture of the product? But performance wise, i can’t detect much difference. Still the basics here.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:22 am

Yep you nailed it. Both The Skincare and Ibuki are pretty much basic skincare. They aren’t bad if I’m to be honest. Shiseido skincare is generally quite good I feel but my skin just doesn’t take too well to Japanese skincare very much anymore. Also, ageing skin needs MORE haha!

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Jasmine November 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm

I read this on the feed and I thought there was a litigation lawsuit against Shiseido! (To the best of my knowledge there were complaints, a public apology, and the litigation process is protracted and terrible in Japan). I guess work really got to me eh ;)

I love Japanese skincare but as an earlier reviewer said, I stick to the Japanese basics, like Biore. Recently I started on an “ippon-OK” toner and serum from Kanebo Ururi, which is supposed to be a complete and all-in-one product. In the damp, cold, yet dry conditions in London it’s working a treat. My skin hasn’t been so stable for a long time.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:24 am

Hahahha! Sorry about the confusion Jasmine :) I didn’t know they were being sued! I used to use and love Japanese skincare too but not anymore. I go for European instead. (Isn’t it so funny how we’re living in different parts of the world and craving different types of skincare?!) But it’s great to know you’ve found products to work for you. It’s so important!

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ksuan November 8, 2013 at 6:14 am

The only thing that worked for me in this range was the gentle cleanser, which I absolutely love. The softening concentrate and moisturiser gave me cystic acne :(
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:25 am

Oh dear sorry to hear about that! The Gentle Cleanser stripped my skin :P If I could find a way to hand it over to you, I would!

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Jennifer November 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I’ve started to learn to bake bread. There’s a softener powder that you can add to give the bread a softer texture. This Shiseido one reminds me of that bread softener. Lol, I am wacky I know. I quite like the texture the last time I tried it at the counter. As I had debts building up, I was contemplating to give it a try or not. But the concept of softening skin before moisturizer or serum didn’t quite get to me. So this is a nice to have I guess. Pricing wise, it seems decent and with the recent set, it was quite enticing too. Since I’m already using Japanese lotion I reckon it might work almost the same like the softening concentrate.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

Ah I’m always so amazed at people who can bake because I’ve tried it and I’ve learned that baking is out of my skill range. But you’re probably right about the softener. Same concept LOL! In some ways, yes. Most Japanese lotions have a softening texture to the skin so you’re probably safe :)

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Audrey C. November 9, 2013 at 3:03 am

I really wanted to love this line, but the fragrance was waaay too strong and I felt like it did nothing for my skin! I usually love Shiseido products, so this was a huge disappointment.
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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

I feel ya Audrey! The scent was a bit off putting to me too :(

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Michelle Beh November 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I had tried the Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser and sample size of softener and moisturizer . Even though I love the texture of it , but my skin did not heart it much. There is not much changes to my skin. I agreed with you that it is a basic line of skincare products. I still prefer softener from White Lucent but not Ibuki line.

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Paris B
Twitter:
November 10, 2013 at 10:47 am

White Lucent is a good line. I used to enjoy using it too.

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iella January 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm

i’ve been using ibuki for three weeks now. my face did look fairer, but it dry out, and very itchy after 3-4 hours. i used cleanser, softening and moisturizer. other than looks fairer, my skin condition is getting worse. i had to balance it back by applying masks. such a disappointing brand.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Yikes! That’s horrible to know – did you try checking back with the counter? I found the cleaner far too drying and the moisturiser not moisturising enough so it was only the Softening Concentrate that was even marginally effective at what it did.

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