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.
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 :)
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.
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) :) 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? :P
Ibuki Refining Moisturiser – RM175/75ml
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 :)
Bonus: Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – RM115/125ml
Felt like soap, strips my skin, dried it out. No, just no! Save your money :P
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 :)
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.
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 :)
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate Price: RM160/75ml Ibuki Refining Moisturiser Emulsion Price: RM175/75ml Availability: All Shiseido counters