Shiseido Eudermine Revitalizing Essence: The Ultimate Retro Japanese Skincare


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:

A specific Benefiance softener has been created to nestle between the cleanser and ‘daytime protection’ in the range. To be used morning and night.

Even in a generic sense, softeners are seen as improving “skin’s receptiveness for further treatment” in your skincare regime.

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!

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7 Responses to Shiseido Eudermine Revitalizing Essence: The Ultimate Retro Japanese Skincare

  1. Dain says:

    I’m not sure how to drop this gracefully, but since that Beauty Primer is very generalized (and not really about the products), Eau Vitae covers Eudermine in better depth. It is a beautiful product—even the box is beautiful tones of expensively saturated red paper—but definitely a luxurious treat rather than a necessity. A cheaper, no-frills softener might be the Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Lotion. I have no idea whether you’d be able to find that in Australia. And if you’re looking for natural, I highly recommend Kahina’s Toning Mist, a gorgeous formulation (aloe vera, willowbark, HA, white tea, argan leaf—hydrating, purifying, and antioxidant in one).

  2. Dempeaux says:

    @Dain Thankyou for the advice! I shall update the link forthwith. That post is wonderfully detailed. I agree on the luxuriousness of Eudermine – even the sample is stunning to look at. I’m going to see if I can track down the other softeners you mention in your comment. They sound lovely! 🙂

  3. Oooh that kind of product looks like it’s right up my alley, I’ll have to investigate on how I can get my hands on it!

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @MusingOnBeauty Good luck! It is just lovely to own and use 🙂

  5. Nina says:

    This is utterly gorgeous! Thank you (and Dain) for the excellent post. It has long been on my list, but I had been hesitant as I couldn’t locate many trustworthy reviews. I am now sold!

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @Nina Yay! I hope you love it! 🙂

  7. Allie_Up says:

    I use Shiseido’s Eudermine just around my eyes only. On my entire face it feels sticky. After trying probably every single eye product for aging creepy eyes(I am the sample queen) Shiseido’s Eudermine is the only thing that doesn’t burn my sensitive eyes. I’ve even tried honey in mineral water(kinda works), Vaseline(gummy) and my old standby Mosturizing Eyedrops.
    Now I’m thinking about trying the Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Lotion(thanks Dain) hoping it won’t sting.

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