With roots tracing back to 1872, Shiseido has long been a household name in Japanese cosmetics. Pronounced as “she-say-doe,” the company’s name uses kanji characters that refer to the Confucian idea of “discovering beauty of life in nature, and using it to nurture new forms of values.” Shiseido Company began in the late 19th century as Japan’s first Western-style pharmacy. Located in the luxurious district of Ginza in Tokyo, it quickly took off after earning the trust of royals and aristocrats at the time.
From that pioneering start, Shiseido has grown into one of the largest cosmetics companies around the globe with a number of subsidiaries under its wings. Besides the company’s same-named signature brand, Shiseido also houses prestigious beauty brands such as Clé de Peau Beauté, Laura Mercier, NARS and bareMinerals, as well as original mid-range brands. Shiseido’s long-standing emphasis on Japanese beauty has played a great role in building and reinforcing the luxurious and trustworthy image of Japanese skin care and makeup products. In more recent years, Shiseido has aimed to fully integrate production lines within its home country to strengthen the appeal and quality of the “Made in Japan” label.
Part of Shiseido’s more premium lines of skin care products, Shiseido Benefiance is the brand’s perennial bestselling collection. Known for its prominent anti-aging benefits, the whole collection employs ReNeura Technology+™ and KOMBU-Bounce Complex, which is formulated with Japanese sea kelp plus botanical extracts from mukurossi, turmeric and chlorella. For those who want to restore brightness to their complexions, Shiseido’s White Lucent collection is the right place to look. The White Lucent MicroTargeting Spot Corrector Serum is the most popular for its powerful brightening effects. The product helps to improve skin’s resistance to hyperpigmentation and prevent an uneven and dull-looking skin tone.
The award-winning Ultimune collection is renowned for its Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, commonly referred to as the Shiseido Power Infusing Concentrate. Crowned the bestselling Shiseido serum in 2017, it garners high user satisfaction and praise for significantly improving skin quality in merely one week of continuous use. In 2018, the product launched an updated version powered with ImuGeneration Technology and antioxidant-rich extracts derived from reishi mushroom and iris root, which are proven to help fortify the skin’s barrier while improving visible fine lines and wrinkles.
Other notable lines by Shiseido include the Bio Performance collection, which utilizes advanced biotechnology to deliver quick and effective results for women over 30 with demanding on-the-go lifestyles. The Ibuki line is more suited for active 20- to 30-somethings who are prone to stress and fatigue. For young women with normal to oily skin, the Pureness line is specifically designed to address issues such as excess sebum and dryness, with added skin-purifying properties to restore skin’s natural balance.
Cleansing is an essential step to attaining healthy skin and a clear complexion. When it comes to cleansing, Japanese skin care brands such as Shiseido are very specific with their choice of ingredients and formulations. The brand truly believes in the importance of abiding to a double cleansing ritual, emphasizing the importance of a thorough primary cleanse to remove makeup and dirt and an additional second cleanse in order to properly rid skin of impurities.
Shiseido’s Cleansing Oil is a lightweight and comfortable product that uses Gentle Quick-Removing Technology to penetrate deep into pores, enabling a thorough and quick cleanse to remove waterproof makeup as well as banish dirt and impurities. When it comes to Shiseido’s cleansing foams, the Deep Cleansing Foam boasts a refreshing formulation containing little granules to help unclog pores and lift away dead skin cells, making it perfect for oily and blemish-prone skin. Infused with rice germ oil, the Clarifying Cleansing Foam offers a powerful wash that purges pollutants and other impurities that contribute to reduced vitality and radiance in skin.
Sunscreens by Shiseido are developed using advanced technology to meet modern needs. For example, the Perfect UV Protector, which is available in a Multi Defense version and a version for sensitive skin, comes fitted with patented WetForce technology that makes it water-resistant while still being breathable and comfortable on skin.
Among Shiseido’s many subsidiaries, Anessa is best known for its line of specialized sun care. The brand’s products are recognized for not only providing thorough sun protection against strong UVA and UVB rays, but also for their added skin care benefits. Anessa’s signature product, the Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk, is famous for its waterproof formula fitted with patented Thermobooster and Aqua Booster EX Technology that reinforces its UV veil whenever it comes in contact with sweat, water and heat. It also boasts a smooth, non-sticky milky texture that is favored by many Japanese athletes, such as tennis player Naomi Osaka and Paralympian Sae Shigemoto.
Similar to its skin care range, Shiseido’s collection of makeup is suitable for modern women of all ages. Among all the Shiseido foundations, the Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation is a common favorite. The non-comedogenic and oil-free foundation provides up to 24 hours of moisturizing wear while being transfer-proof and resistant to sweat, water, smudge and humidity.
Shiseido’s powder foundation from the same line comes in two variations: Synchro Skin Invisible Silk Loose Powder and Synchro Skin Invisible Silk Pressed Powder. Thanks to the brand’s patented powder-coating process to infuse skin care ingredients, the loose powder has an airily light texture while also boasting great adherence to skin. It also comes in a matte finish for blotting and setting makeup, while the Radiant version creates a nice translucent glow. The pressed powder comes in a handy compact with a Maru Fude Multi Face Brush. The formulation itself leaves a silky matte finish that is resistant against shine, water, sweat and creasing. Both powder-type foundations are colorless, suitable for all skin tones, and fitted with Responsive Sensory Technology to adapt to various skin types.
Shiseido offers a selection of tools that works beautifully with its makeup products. The award-winning Shiseido eyelash curler is a perennial bestseller loved by many. Its edge-free, ergonomic design works effectively on various eye shapes, firmly lifting even short lashes into natural-looking curls without pinching the upper eyelid. Many customer reviews praise this product for easily creating fluttery lashes that last for hours.
Shiseido cosmetics from the namesake brand were originally intended for a more mature clientele that favors the brand’s tried-and-tested products and minimalist packaging. In recent years, Shiseido has started catering to those in their 20s and 30s, mainly focusing on modern women who value quality skin care that can be easily implemented into busy lifestyles. The new direction brought new skin care and makeup lines, as well as updated formulations to longtime bestsellers, in order to meet the demands of younger users’ growing interest in anti-aging skin care and efficacious makeup.
Shiseido products are currently sold in over 60 countries, from department stores to online retailers like YesStyle. Not sure where to start? The all-time bestselling Benefiance and Ultimune lines are gateway collections to premium anti-aging skin care. The White Lucent line is recommended for those who want to see quick improvements to a tired complexion lacking a healthy glow. For common young skin concerns like excess sebum and shine, the Pureness line is the place to look.