Shiseido Ibuki for Stressed-Out Skin

There are many dangers that come with working in fashion and beauty, one of these dangers being the temptation to try out every hyped-about skincare product that comes out. In late December, my skin broke out after it had a negative reaction to a much ballyhooed serum. I was upset because the dryness and breakout happened right before the Christmas and New Years parties, so I sulked and marched over to the Shiseido counter to see if they could help me.

Apparently my timing was godlike, because the sales representative started telling me about a new batch of products from the Ibuki range that had just arrived. The Ibuki range has been around since the middle of 2013, but is only just picking up speed in Indonesia.  I was immediately attracted to Ibuki’s particular attention twentysomethings, and a patented Shape Memorizing Cell Technology to “boost skin’s strength to resist problems, instead of just addressing the problems that result from skin’s weakness.”

Shiseido Ibuki Range for Dry/Normal Skin.

But can it help my dry, zit-lined forehead after my unhappy experience with the offending serum?

“Yes,” the sales rep told me. “The whole point of Ibuki is to normalize stressed out skin.” She further went on to say that it works wonder for active 20-year-olds who are exposed to outdoor pollution and work in air-conditioned rooms. Interestingly, part of the marketing strategy for the Ibuki range in the US also includes “anti-aging line for women in their 20s.”

Here are the products I’ve tried out so far:


Gentle Cleanser. There are two types of cleansers in the Ibuki range: Gentle and Purifying. Because I have oily skin, it was recommended that I use the Purifying Cleanser, which contains micro-granules to help exfoliate dead skin cells. Unfortunately, there was no stock of the Purifying Cleanser on the day that I made my purchase, so I went with the Gentle Cleanser. This is a creamy cleanser suitable for all skin types, and you only need a pea-sized amount to work it into a rich, foamy lather. I use it after removing base makeup with the Kanebo Blanchir Superior Oil Cleansing (double cleansing power FOREVER).


Softening Concentrate. The next step in my Ibuki regimen is the use of the Softening Concentrate. I love this stuff! It’s a lightweight gel-like product that gets absorbed into skin and provides moisture to its deeper layers, thereby preparing it for the next step in hydration. It’s supposed to be applied onto the face with a square or ball of facial cotton, but it felt wasteful as a lot of the product was absorbed into the cotton. I now dab it on with my fingers, and it seems to work just as well, if not better.



Protective Moisturizer. My daily base makeup routine used to include BB cream followed by swirling on foundation with an kabuki brush — but since I started using this protective moisturizer, I’ve stopped using BB creams entirely and am perfectly comfortable leaving the house with nothing but a bit of compact foundation. The moisturizer alone is sort of magical: it moisturizes without giving off a heavy leaves the skin with a powdery finish.




Refining Moisturizer Enriched. I received a sample of this product in a refillable travel-sized jar, but you can bet I’ll be buying the full-sized jar once I run out. Despite being recommended for dry skin, this nighttime moisturizer feels nourishing on my oily/dehydrated skin and does not leave a nasty oily film in the morning.



Final verdict: effective formulas. Beautiful packaging. Affordable prices. I hope I can keep coming back to the Ibuki until my skin outgrows its “aimed at twentysomethings” tagline.