I’ve been wanting to purchase Shiseido’s cult product Eudermine for so long. I couldn’t justify spending on the full-sized bottle until I knew I liked it, so I picked up this sample from Ebay not long ago.
Shiseido’s Eudermine is the cult product to end all cult products. It even has its own flash section on the Shiseido website. It’s been around since 1897 (with a reformulation or two) and is still sold at Shiseido counters.
So what is it?
It’s basically a ‘softener’ – something we don’t really have in the west, but is seen often in Asia. Softeners like Eudermine are applied in the same way as a toner: applied to a cotton pad and wiped all over the face. They soften the skin and allow moisturiser to penetrate the skin more effectively, imparting a little moisture of its own along the way. On the oily-skinned, I’m guessing a softener could be used on its own as a very light moisturiser, and if you have dry skin like me, it really helps moisturiser penetrate the skin. It’s a key part of the Asian method of layering skincare. Is this method effective? Well, for me and my dry skin it works very well, with whatever products I have in rotation at the time.
Softeners are a key part of each Shiseido skincare range. Have a look at Benefiance, for instance:
Many other Asian skincare companies – such as Koh Gen Do – have adopted a similar system. You can see in the diagram below that softener has been called ‘essence’ but it performs the same function. The layering continues with lotion *and* an emollient cream on top of that. Note also that this is meant to be done using very thin layers of product.
So Shiseido’s Eudermine is the ubiquitous, cover-all, softener, with amazing packaging:
I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want this amazing bottle in their bathroom? I’d be lying if I said the packaging didn’t have any bearing on my lust for this product. Cool retro Japanese skincare? I’m all over it. Even the ad campaign is completely lust-worthy:
So what do I think of the product itself? I really like it. It works so much better than any toner. The product sinks in very quickly, but there’s no hurry to follow up with other products before it disappears as I feel compelled to do with toners. You can apply your next product at your own pace. The smell is gorgeous – somewhere between peonies and lillies – and is so lovely to apply before my beloved MuLondon moisturiser. In winter my dry skin needs all the help it can get, so applying Shiseido’s Eudermine, then MuLondon mosituriser in Rose Otto, then raw shea butter as eye and neck cream, is a great way to rejuvinate and hydrate my skin on days I’m not using retinol in the evening.
Having said all this, the ingredients are not exactly the most natural around. They’re not bad, but they’re not great either:
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, Methyl Gluceth-10, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Betaine, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Cyclodextrin, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Carbomer, Fragrance, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Acaylates/c10-30 Alkyl Acaylate Crosspolymer, Arginine HCI, PCA, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Chloride.
Basically a posh, scented, hyaluronic acid solution, but with no stickiness or film at all.
Would I buy the full size? Hmmm…this is definitely a luxury product, but it does what it claims to do at a time of the year when my skin struggles to retain moisture, and it looks pretty. The ingredients are not exactly organic; still, I think I will buy it anyway, as the rest of my skincare is very natural. Do you see what I did there? It’s called justification!
In Australia, Shiseido Eudermine (125 mL) retails for AUD $92 from Myer and David Jones, and USD $56 from Sephora. Sasa also stocks it for the very reasonable price of USD $63.10 for 200 mL, but they are frequently sold out. If I don’t do an order from Sephora, I think I’ll just end up buying it from Ebay. I bought my sample from hyacinth_beauty on Ebay for USD $4.99 plus $3.58 shipping to Australia.
For further thoughts on Shiseido’s Eudermine, have a look at Dain’s utterly amazing blog at Ars Aromatica here.
Edit: Dain has suggested in the comments below that her Eau Vitae post deals in a more detailed manner with Shiseido’s Eudermine, so go and have a read. There is also some excellent information on the layering of skincare. Thanks Dain!