Shiseido are a Japanese skincare and cosmetics company founded in Tokyo in 1872. They are credited with establishing the first western-style pharmacy in Japan and now sell their innovative beauty products worldwide. Shiseido have been a real staple on the Irish market for many years and can be found on many a beauty counter country-wide. I have to admit it is only in recent times that I have started experimenting with the brand. To be honest, after trying out samples of products from their previous skincare ranges, I was left feeling a little upset and slightly disappointed as my extremely sensitive skin would just not tolerate anything I placed on it. I felt incredibly frustrated as I had heard so many raving reviews about their skincare but alas the joy of having sensitive skin.
I had more or less resigned myself to never being able to tolerate shiseido skincare but I was very intrigued when a press release for their newest range ‘WASO’ dropped into my inbox. What really piqued my interest regarding this particular range was the description of each product containing natural ingredients. The WASO range was inspired by the Japanese holistic and natural food tradition of washoku. The key ingredients in this range being carrot, loquat, honey, tofu and white jelly mushroom which all help to hydrate and keep the skin looking its best. Most importantly the entire range is suitable for those of us with sensitive skin. After an in-depth discussion with the PR representing the brand, I was assured that my temperamental skin would most likely tolerate this particular range. I have taken my time with regards trying out these products and writing up a review as I wanted to be as thorough as possible. The products that I tried out and review in detail below are: the WASO fresh jelly lotion, the WASO soft and cushy polisher, the WASO colour smart day moisture, the WASO clear mega hydrating cream and the WASO quick matte moisturiser.
WASO fresh jelly lotion – €28.80 for 150ml
This funky little bottle of transparent liquid promises to not only hydrate but plump the skin. The lotion itself is formulated with white jelly mushroom which I am not going to lie, is a completely new ingredient to me. This unique ingredient acts like a sponge and retains water. When broken down it releases a watery type solution which is fantastic for adding moisture to the skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a great product for acne sufferers. The lotion itself is slightly sticky in consistency but is easily applied to the skin. It does not contain any alcohol which pleases me greatly as my skin does not tolerate alcohol based products well. The refreshing gel is best applied to the skin after cleansing. I particularly like to store the bottle in the fridge to keep it nice and cool. The cool gel then helps to close the skins pores after cleansing. After application I remove the gel with cool water and voila my skin appears fresh and dewy. The lotion is dermatologically tested, non comedogenic, paraben free, mineral oil free and alcohol free.
I have to say I was pretty impressed with this unusual product. I have implemented it into my skincare routine to act as a type of facial toner. The bottle is also lasting forever as only a small amount of product is required per application (think along the lines of the size of a peanut for one full face application). €28.80 is quite pricey for essentially a toner and being honest you don’t actually need this lotion as a critical part of your skincare routine but I am finding it particularly useful during these cold winter months as my skin is extremely dehydrated from the cold temperatures outside and warm central heating indoors.
WASO soft and cushy polisher – €28.80 for 75ml
This polisher aka skin exfoliator helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Like all facial exfoliators it is best applied approximately once or twice a week. Any more than that and you risk stripping the natural oils from your skin. I must add, if you have particularly sensitive skin, I would use this polisher with caution. I can only tolerate exfoliating my skin once every 10-14 day’s otherwise my skin will break out and become very red and inflamed. The tiny exfoliating particles contained in this cream are composed of plant-based cellulose whipped into a tofu type formula. These particles are much safer and environmentally friendly for exfoliation purposes rather than using micro beads.
I would not be the greatest fan of tofu but having said that I don’t mind applying it to my face as long as I don’t have to taste it. Tofu is composed of soybeans which are rich in the phospholipid lecithin. This emollient helps create soft and smooth looking skin. Its milky and slightly gritty consistency feels nice on the skin and does not feel overly harsh like some facial exfoliators do. I like to apply a pea-sized amount of product onto my skin after a thorough cleansing and whilst it is still damp. I gently massage the gritty mixture into my skin in circular motions making sure to avoid the delicate eye contour area. I also like to apply the polisher to my décolletage. I then rinse it all off with tepid water and pat dry. I can instantly see positive results after each application as my skin looks brighter and feels extremely soft.
It is not the most purse friendly of product’s priced at €28.80 but I reckon with proper application (i.e using a pea sized amount of product) a full tube could last the best part of a year. I know I have barely made a dent in my own tube. It is imperative to have a good facial exfoliator in your beauty arsenal as it is vital to remove debris from the skin. If you fail to remove dead skin cells and product build up, your skins texture will remain uneven. When you have an even texture to your skin, your makeup will sit and look better. Your makeup will only look well if you take the time to look after and prep the base in which it sits on. The polisher itself is both dermatologically tested and non comedogenic.
WASO colour smart day moisturiser SPF30 – €38.40 for 50ml
Out of all the products I tried from the WASO collection, this colour smart day moisturiser intrigued me the most. This hydrating and brightening moisturiser promises to not only protect the skin with its built-in SPF30 but also add a touch of colour by adapting to your own natural skin tone. These claims pretty much blew my mind so I really wanted to put them to the test to see if they were actually true or not. When you first apply the cream it looks just like any other moisturising cream but the unique properties appear once you start blending it into your skin. The once white coloured moisturising cream now resembles a tan coloured tint (see picture below). I can honestly say I was completely mesmerised by its transition. It successfully provides not only a moisturising texture to the skin but also a light to medium coloured coverage that blends in seamlessly to my natural skin tone. I honestly don’t know how they manage to do it but it is a real game changer. I really like the addition of an SPF to a moisturising cream to help filter out harmful UV rays and the SPF30 in this cream provides a high level of sun protection for fair to medium skin tones. I personally think all moisturising creams should contain this vital component. I was pleasantly surprised that the addition of SPF did not create that dreaded white-faced look that sometimes occurs when you use the flash option on a camera (see picture below).
The cream itself contains carrot cells which are potent in beta carotene. This provitamin possesses healing and smoothing properties when applied to the skin. I have to admit I was extremely impressed with this interesting product. Priced at €38.40, it rivals the price of high-end foundations/tinted moisturisers but the beauty of this product is that you don’t have the hassle of having to get shade matched as it adapts to your own personal skin tone. I have nicknamed this moisturiser ‘my sunshine in a bottle’ for its glowing properties but with the added benefit of a pretty decent hydrating moisturiser. It is easy to work with and blends in seamlessly. It also complements the skin which is something we all require from a tinted moisturiser and appears natural on the skin. The texture is also lightweight so you still feel like your skin can breath. It is dermatologically tested, non comedogenic, paraben free and mineral oil free. If you were to buy only one product from this skincare range, I would highly recommend this particular one.
WASO clear mega hydrating cream – €38.40 for 50ml
You only have to unscrew the lid of this hydrating cream to observe its almost water like consistency. Its unique translucency feels more like a gel/lotion rather than an actual cream. It is composed of carrot cells which are high in water content to add some much-needed moisture into the skin. With similar properties to the colour smart moisturiser mentioned above but without the colour changing properties, this cream also contains beta carotene which helps improve the overall texture of the skin.
I like to apply a pea sized amount of this cream after applying my facial serum (in the morning) and my facial oil (at night) to help lock in the goodness contained in these products. It is sort of like sandwiching a layer of intensive skin treatment in between the skin and a layer of moisture. I personally feel it is the best way to obtain the full benefits from a serum and an oil. The clear mega hydrating cream also helps lock in moisture for up to 24 hours, well that is obviously dependent on having the right set of environmental factors in place.
I really enjoyed applying this cream to my skin as one of my main skin concerns is dehydration and I feel it really helps to address that. It is easy to use, absorbs nicely and creates a nice dewy glow to the skin. Price wise it is pretty much on par with what I would expect to pay for a good moisturising cream. It can also be applied under or over your foundation to help achieve a dewy glow. It is dermatologically tested, non comedogenic, paraben free, mineral oil free and suitable for use on sensitive skin.
WASO quick matte moisturiser (oil free) – €38.40 for 75ml
This refreshing oil free moisturiser is great for achieving a mattifying look to the skin whilst at the same time providing moisture. This moisturiser is particularly effective if you suffer with oily or combination skin. During the summer I tend to suffer with an oily t-zone so I will wait until then to properly try it out. The almost gel like consistency of the emulsion contained in a pump container consists of loquat leaf cells mixed in with an absorbing powder. This unique mixture helps add moisture to the skin whilst also retaining mattifying properties. I had never heard of loquat leaves until I started researching the ingredients contained in this moisturiser. The leaves of the loquat plant are believed to be beneficial to the overall health of the skin and possess anti-inflammatory properties. The absorbing powder helps control sebum levels in the skin thus creating a matte effect.
The quick matte moisturiser is one of those skincare products that is not an essential component in a regular skincare routine although that could be argued by those who suffer with oily skin. I personally did not experience any sort of benefit from using this moisturiser, only that it provided a matte base to apply my makeup over. I don’t think I can successfully put this emulsion to the test at the present moment and may have to revisit this review during the summer. Price wise it is expensive (€38.40) especially if it is just a seasonal skin product but if you are a fan of mattifying products and/or have oily skin then it could be worth trying out. I just cannot personally vouch for it as I don’t suffer with oily skin. It is dermatologically tested, non comedogenic, paraben free, oil free and suitable for use on sensitive skin.
Well that concludes my in-depth review of five products from Shiseido’s WASO skincare collection. Some of the products really impressed me, particularly the colour smart day moisturiser and I will replace it when it finishes. I will have to revisit my review of the quick matte moisturiser during the summer to accurately update my opinion of it. I will amend the text in that section accordingly hopefully around July. I had a quick look online and discovered feelunique.com are currently running a 15% off the entire WASO skincare range over on their website. Unfortunately I don’t know how long this offer is effective for. This is not an affiliate link or anything but a tip in saving some money if you were to purchase anything from the range.
Note: even though these products are dermatologically tested and claim to be suitable for sensitive skin, I would still always air on the side of caution and apply a small amount of product onto the skin first to gauge how it reacts.