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Average: 3 (1 vote)

KateMoon's picture
Written on Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Pros: a little goes a long way, nice scent, the texture is lightweight and not sticky
Cons: a bit pricey, doesn't do what it promises, doesn't let a cream absorb, dries out too long, harmful ingredients


One day an idea occurred to me that I should try some high-end products and I chose Shiseido over many. I don’t remember why.

Maybe, the reason was that Asian skincare is on trend now or maybe I read some positive reviews about it. I can’t remember.

Anyway, I went to the store and purchased the IBUKI skin care products which were meant for girls from 25 to 30 y.o. I’m 29 now. I have fine lines, drying skin, etc.

At first, I couldn’t understand what a Softening Concentrate was, because I got used to using toners and had never heard about anything like that.

However, the sales rep assured me that it was the same stuff as a toner. Also, she said that it was an integral part of our skin care routine and that I would look younger the next day and stop getting older.

OK then, I thought and grabbed a bottle with 75 ml.




As I learnt later, the ingredients are quite creepy for such a beautiful bottle:

water (aqua), dipropylene glycol, glycerin, alcohol denat, peg-8, peg/ppg-17/4 dimethyl ether, butylene glycol, trehalose, phenoxyethanol, peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, hydrogenated polydecene, isostearyl alcohol, isostearic acid, carbomer, erythritol, peg/ppg-14/7 dimethyl ether, betaine, alcohol, behenyl alcohol, fragrance (parfume), polyglyceryl-2 diisostearate, xanthan gum, sodium stearoyl glutamate, sodium metaphosphate, potassium hydroxide, stearyl alcohol, phytosteryl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, limonene, hexyl cinnamal, butylphenyl methylpropional, benzyl benzoate, linalool, lamium album flower extract, citrus junos seed extract, tocopherol

The most essential and the most important ingredients are at the bottom of the list, which means that their percentage is lower than that of some harmful ones.

I wasn’t ready for that actually, but then I got used to it, especially when I learnt that it’s a widespread issue with high-end products.


I apply the softening concentrate after cleansing. The bottle has a pretty handy pump that gives the right amount without flowing over the package. The scent is enjoyable and not off-putting.

Initially I used it as a toner and applied it with cotton pads. However, I soon realized that simply half of the product was absorbing in a pad, so I decided to apply it with my fingers.

The texture is watery, but it reminds me more of a watery gel that flows on my skin quite quickly.

The product goes a really long way. A few drops are enough for my cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. I distribute it in tapping motions.


I won’t say that the softening concentrate soaks in very quickly. I have to roam about the room to let it absorb and then apply a moisturizing cream.

I have combination skin, which means that I have overly dry cheeks and an oily T-zone. The low-end toners I used before dried out my poor cheeks and the rest of my face so bad.

This product is better in this respect and doesn’t dry out or tighten my skin. I wouldn’t say that it leaves absolutely no film on my skin after use. I feel something at the beginning, but if I don’t use anything else after that, it gradually absorbs and disappears.

Here is a picture before applying.

And after applying. If you look a little closer, you can see that my skin is a little bit more moisturized and hydrated.

The maker recommends using some creams for better results:

A deep-infusion formula that helps deliver effective ingredients immediately into the skin for a softer, smoother feel. Supplies skin with generous moisture and enhances the benefits of the skincare that follows.

However, after continuous usage of the softening concentrate + moisturizing cream of the same brand, I noticed that the cream was not absorbing at all. After a while I could even feel it on my fingers.

When it’s hot or stuffy outside or in a room, this combination doesn’t perform well. My skin just can’t breathe.

My face is sweating and crying for mercy. And that is my winter skin care! I wouldn’t use it in summer anywhere in the world.

The concentrate doesn’t suit my skin as a standalone product either. My skin is moisturized, but not enough. I need something more even in the summertime.


I don’t get anything about the softening concentrate after all. The combination of a softener and a cream doesn’t work and the cream doesn’t soak in after that. Used as a standalone product, it doesn’t give enough moisture. So, why do we actually need a softener?

Maybe it will be of some use when your cream runs low but you haven’t yet bought a new one Laughing out loud But there are more affordable dupes available on the market for this purpose.

More than that, I haven’t noticed that it evens out my skin tone or shrinks my pores, let alone minimizing my fine lines.

So, I still don’t get what a softener is.

I honestly gave it another chance, but this product is just a pass for me.

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KateMoon doesn't recommend Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate

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Brand: Shiseido
Category: Skin Care
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