There are so many things wrong with this eye cream that we don’t know where to begin. First, it’s fragrant. Really fragrant. Fragrance is not only a problem for all skin types, but it can be especially problematic in products meant for use so close to the eye. This also contain several fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation, which won’t improve skin anywhere on the face.
Next up is the amount of alcohol this eye cream contains. There’s more alcohol (the skin-damaging, youth-subtracting kind) than there are state-of-the-art ingredients. And the teeny-tiny amount of impressive ingredients won’t remain effective for long because this eye cream is packaged in a jar.
The formula is supposed to be an intensive treatment with cutting-edge technology, but it ends up being a big step backward, relying on standard cosmetic pigments for a subtle brightening effect that’s more makeup than skin care. Nothing in this eye cream can improve dark circles (whether related to sun damage or circulation issues).
The only intriguing ingredient this contains is potassium methoxysalicylate. This ingredient’s reported function is “skin bleaching agent” so we were curious to see if there was any research to support its use for lightening dark circles from sun damage. Regrettably, there isn’t—at least nothing substantiated. The only research pertaining to melanin (the pigment that can be an underlying cause of some cases of dark circles and brown spots from sun damage) and this ingredient was done by Shiseido. Apparently, this ingredient was developed by Shiseido, yet the only research they allude to mentions in vitro, meaning it wasn’t done on human skin. Therefore, it’s a gamble as to whether or not this will be truly effective. And it won’t be effective on dark circles caused by genetics, nor does it have any impact on puffiness. Last, there’s no information to let you know if this ingredient is stable with repeated exposure to light and air—which is what will happen with daily use of this eye cream.
An intensive eye cream formulated with Shiseido's cutting-edge brightening technology. New breakthrough ingredient Dark Circle Diminisher combats the two major causes of dark circles: pigmented melanin formulation (brown circles) and poor micro-circulation (blue circles) and defies dark circles by inhibiting melanin production, fading existing pigmentation and improving micro-circulation. Contains Super Hydro-Synergy Complex N for intense hydration and re-texturization of the delicate eye area. The Hydra Luminizing Powder delivers instant brightening, wrinkle filling and moisture retention.
Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Dimthicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Myristyl Myristate, Petrolatum, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Ethyhexandate, Glyceryl Sterate SE, Potassium Methoxysalicylate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethylacrylamide/Sodium Acryloydimethyltaurate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 60, PEG-40 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acerate, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Fragrance, Sorbitan Tristearate, Trisodium EDTA, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Citrate, Oryzanol, 2-0-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Mica, Silca, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Metaphoshate, Limonene, Citric Acid, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Aluminum Hydroxide, Benzyl Benzoate, Hyroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Sodium Hyaluronate, Linalool, Crataegus Monogyna Flower Extract, Tocopherol
Shiseido is one of the largest cosmetic companies in Japan, and the founder wants consumers worldwide to know that the brand he began is meant for all who seek beauty. Oddly enough, Shiseido (pronounced "she-say-doe"), whose products have a distinctly Japanese appearance and appeal, began in 1872 as Japan's first Western-style pharmacy. Its products have been sold in the United States for over 40 years, and it has become a nearly overwhelming product line. Although there are some respectable products, Shiseido's skin-care collection is far from a total approach to anything, unless your skin-care mantra is "it has to be average yet needlessly expensive and the routine has to include more products than any other line recommends."
A total approach to health and beauty would take into account all that has been learned to date about how skin functions, how it can repair itself, how it ages, and what it realistically takes for it to look, feel, and function at its best. Such an approach does not, however, involve cleansers with alkaline ingredients that cause skin to be unnecessarily dry, lackluster toners, or far too many products with alcohol; that can only harm the skin, which isn't beautiful in the least.
Shiseido doesn't have the issue of sun protection down yet, as witness a few of their sunscreens that still lack sufficient UVA protection - even though they participate in Japan's UVA-based PA rating system (explained in the Sun Products reviews below). And when it comes to state-of-the art essentials such as antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and substances that reinforce the structure of healthy skin, Shiseido typically comes up short. You'll hear (and read) much talk about the company's exclusive technologies, but terms like Bio-Regenerine, Phyto-Capsule Emulsification, Optimal Balance Network, and Deacti-Complex are meaningless without significant, proven ingredients to support each technology's alleged function. We're sure they are intended to make the products seem more advanced and special to consumers, but the proof is in the ingredient lists, and very few of Shiseido's lists fall under the category of impressive.
If anything, the numerous skin-care options presented here are merely average or really disappointing. Many of the moisturizers have luscious textures, but again, it takes more than a sensational feel to create exceptional products that have your skin's best interest (and best appearance) in mind.
One point of difference with this line is that Shiseido insists on regular facial massage. That means you'll find several facial massage creams, although most of them have traditional moisturizer formularies that differ little from what's seen throughout the lineup. Shiseido maintains that routine facial massage creates firmer skin that's less prone to sagging because the massage action tones the muscles, but that simply isn't true. The muscles of the face are among the most frequently used. Repetitive muscle movements are a prime cause of expression lines around the eyes, mouth, and on the forehead. Botox has become such a popular procedure because it selectively prevents these muscles from working, which smoothes creases and lines. Massage alone cannot do that; if anything, routine facial massage can encourage lines and sagging by stretching the skin. Furthermore, when skin slackens and sags, it involves more than just the muscles. Sun damage plays a role in collagen and elastin destruction, as does gravity, which causes fat pads beneath the skin to slip. And then there's bone loss, and the fact that, as we age, skin continues to grow (yet has less to hold on to). Massage to repair sun damage—give me a break!
For more information about Shiseido, visit www.shiseido.com.
Although Shiseido is known more for their seemingly endless array of skin-care products, their makeup, while not without its problem-child products, is clearly not just an afterthought. The main and most impressive part of the color collection is the foundations. For the most part they have silky textures, and provide adequate sun protection (at least an SPF 15 with UVA-protecting ingredients). If you're keen on shopping this line you should also pay attention to their Perfect Rouge Lipstick, lip gloss, the mascaras, and some distinctive specialty products. Items to avoid entirely include the eye and brow pencils and a couple of the eyeshadows; the makeup brushes are serviceable, but pale in comparison to what makeup artist–backed lines offer. Ignore the inflated claims that accompany many of Shiseido's makeup products, but don't ignore the best of what they have to offer—because in that regard, they're better than ever!