An essence with over 100 years of history? Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence Review

Monday 19 February 2024

Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence

Every brand with a long history has its cult product. Maybe your mother or grandma used such before and now you're using. Although Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence has a long history, no one in my family has used it before. 

About the brand - Shiseido 

Shiseido is a Japanese company which history has started in Ginza, Tokyo in 1872. It was established by Arinobu Fukuhara - a Japanese pharmacist and cosmetician. In 1897 Shiseido introduced Eudermine - Shiseido's Red Water, a lotion that is still in stores. The brand expanded in 1923 and right now you can find Shiseido all over the world. Shiseido's history is rich, but if we skip to the 21st century then in 2017 Shiseido released its new line - Shiseido Waso. A line targetted for Millennials, based on innovative and exclusive formulas. 

Eudermine is a product with a long history. The first version of this lotion was developed by Dr. Nagayoshi Nagai in 1897. Eudermine essence was also called Shiseido's Red Water because of its colour. The formula and packaging went through lots of changes - even if Shiseido's Red Water is no longer red, the packaging is still red and it has refills. It is said that it was Geishas' favourite product to use under heavy makeup since this formula not only brightens but nourishes and moisturizes the skin. In 1997 Shiseido celebrated the 100th birthday of Eudermine. 

Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence - Packaging 

The packaging of Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence has changed a lot, and I would say it's the most minimalistic packaging ever. I wouldn't probably try it if it wasn't the new design since I thought "Okay Shiseido has this new product I'm curious about". Anyway, let's go back to the packaging. The latest Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence has a refill option. It comes in a paper box.  

Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence - Texture & Scent  

Shiseido Eudermine is no longer a red water. I'm not joking, the texture colour was a bit problematic for me since when I poured it on my hand, the texture had a transparent colour. I see in ads that this texture has a delicate hint of red or pink shade. When you look at the ingredients, you can clearly see that Shiseido Eudermine contains pigments so this product must have some colour. I've decided to waste a few ml of the essence and I can confirm - this texture has a delicate red/pink hint.  

I find a scent to be a bit problematic, once again - look at the ingredients and you can see Alcohol in second place right after water. Is it bad? Not really, since alcohol has some good properties, but I always say that no matter if it comes to dietetics or cosmetics - the amount can change everything. I do smell alcohol in this texture and at the same time, you can smell a strong, floral scent. At first, it was too harsh a scent for me, but I got used to it. According to the brand, this scent is a combination of white floral base with jasmine sambac.  

Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence

Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence - Ingredients  

Water(Aqua/​Eau), Alcohol, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Diglycerin, PEG/​PPG-14/​7 Dimethyl Ether, Potassium Methoxysalicylate, Lactobacillus/​Rice Ferment, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, 2-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Erythritol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Polyacrylate, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Isostearyl Alcohol, Isostearic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Linalool, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Red 33 (Ci 17200), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140)  

Water hides in cosmetic products under names such as Aqua or Eau. It's a solvent, but it's not your regular drinking water. Water in skin care needs to fit some standards. It should be clean and free from minerals, microorganisms or other substances. Usually, water makes up the majority of the content of the product. Alcohol is an immense topic in skincare. Alcohol can be good or bad for your skin, but sometimes the amount makes a poison. Alcohol, after all, is a prominent solvent. It makes active substances penetrate the skin deeper. This effect has its cost - the skin is getting a bit irritated. Some substances can be dissolved only in alcohol. This ingredient has antibacterial properties. It works as a preservative by preventing microorganisms from growing in the product. It has some awful sides too - it can dry your skin, mainly if we use it in large amounts. Sensitive skin is not a fan of this ingredient. Dipropylene Glycol is a solvent with moisturizing properties. Butylene Glycol is a common ingredient in products. It's not only a solvent. We use butylene glycol because it helps with the penetration of active ingredients, protects products from drying and moisturizes skin and hair. This ingredient can prevent hair loss and make your hair stronger. Glycerin or Glycerol is a humectant. Its origin can be natural or synthetic - depending on the product. It protects TEWL (transepidermal water loss) and naturally occurs in the skin. It's one of the NMFs - natural moisturizing factors. It's practical in hair care. Glycerin won't clog your skin or irritate it just the opposite - it protects your skin from irritation. Diglycerin, as the name says, is related to glycerin. It's a humectant and NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor). Potassium Methoxysalicylate is a tyrosinase inhibitor, which is why sometimes this ingredient can be described as whitening or even bleaching. Tyrosinase is an enzyme needed for melanin production, that's why this type of ingredient is popular in products for discolouration, pigmentation or even skin whitening products. Lactobacillus/​Rice Ferment is rich in antioxidants ingredient. It has a positive meaning for the skin's microbiome. It has soothing properties. PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is an oil-in-water emulsifier. Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone is silicone, that helps spread the product on skin and hair. 2-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a form of Vitamin C. It's an antioxidant and skin-brightening ingredient. It stimulates collagen (type I and III) and elastin production. It's better to use Vitamin C during the morning routine because it boosts the efficiency of sunscreen. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, so it's not a surprise why brands use this ingredient in products - sugars have moisturizing properties. Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate is a soothing and antibacterial ingredient. For many people, it's the only acceptable form of Licorice. This ingredient has many positive meanings for the skin - it has moisturizing properties, and it can even lighten dark spots. Even sensitive skin should enjoy it. Xanthan Gum is a polysaccharide that works as a thickener. Sodium Polyacrylate is a thickener with a strong ability to absorb water. It helps with texture and it can create a film on the skin to prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss). 

Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Fruit Extract is a source of many important substances like vitamin C and hesperidin. In South Korea, this plant is called Yuja, in Japan - Yuzu and in China - Youzi. Japan has a tradition of yuzu baths during the winter solstice. Such a bath is supposed to help the immune system and make you more relaxed. In skincare, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Fruit Extract is an antioxidant. This substance should help with acne and mature skin. Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate is related to sodium hyaluronate. It boosts moisture in the skin and elasticity. It helps prevent skin from TEWL (transepidermal water loss). Sodium Hyaluronate or sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. It's a form of hyaluronic acid and naturally occurs in the skin. Sodium Hyaluronate has strong water-binding properties. Sodium hyaluronate combined with elastin and collagen is like a scaffolding for the skin. It has hydrating properties and leaves a hydrating film on the skin, but sodium hyaluronate prevents skincare products from drying. Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract is an astringent with antibacterial properties. It's a source of quercetin, kaempferol, tannic acid and saponins. It might have soothing or anti-inflammatory properties as well. Carbomer is a synthetic thickener. Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate is an emulsifier. Potassium Hydroxide is a pH adjuster. Disodium EDTA neutralizes metal ions in the formula to keep products fresh. Isostearyl Alcohol is an emollient. Isostearic Acid is a surfactant and emulsifier. Sodium Citrate neutralizes metal ions, but it also adjusts the pH. Citric acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) - a delicate exfoliant and a buffering ingredient. It adjusts the pH of the formula. Linalool gives a floral scent to products. It can irritate the skin. Geraniol makes products smell like geranium. It can be sensitizing. Hexyl Cinnamal is an aromatic aldehyde. It naturally occurs in chamomile, and it adds a jasmine/floral scent to the product. It can be sensitizing. Citronellol is a scent ingredient. It adds a rose/floral scent to the product. It can be sensitizing. Sodium Metabisulfite is an antioxidant. A preservative, but it can cause allergic reactions. It reduces the oxidation of the haircare products. Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone is a scent ingredient. Limonene is a scent ingredient, and it makes the product smell like lemon or orange. Limonene can enhance the penetration of other substances, but at the same time, it can irritate the skin. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that lots of people try to demonize. The truth is that Phenoxyethanol is gentle on the skin, and has antiseptic properties. Fragrance (Parfum) is a scent composition. It can cause allergic reactions. Red 33 or CI 17200 is a blue-red pigment. Yellow 5 Lake or CI 19140 also known as Tartrazine is a synthetic yellow pigment. It's not common to have an allergy to this ingredient, but sensitivity to Tartrazine is possible.  

Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence

How does Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence work?  

I've been testing this essence for over 6 months. I had my ups and downs with this product.  

I have to go back to the packaging. Due to copyrights, I've decided to share with you links instead of photos of archive Shiseido Eudermine packaging. The packaging and advertisement of Shiseido's Eudermine have changed a lot. Somehow, the best graphics are available only on Japanese Shiseido's website. At first, I was pretty sure it was a new Shiseido product because Shiseido Eudermine is not a product I can see being promoted in Europe or Poland, actually, I barely ever see Shiseido being promoted here, even Sephora is no longer selling Shiseido's makeup at the store - I can only order Shiseido products online. I love Shiseido Microliner, it's the only eyeliner that I can get in Europe that has the right shade, and thickness and it's suitable for my sensitive eyes.  

I was pretty sure Shiseido Eudermine was a new product, but the beauty expert at the store told me it was an old product, but the design was different. Obviously, there are some changes in the formula like Vitamin C and two different types of Hyaluronic Acid added to the product (if you wonder where are these two versions of HA, they are hidden as Sodium Hyaluronate and Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate). Want to hear an even better story? When you check Shiseido's website, you can see that 1897 Shiseido Eudermine is described as lotion, while the 2023 version is sold in Europe and the US as essence. Some words depending on the country can be used differently, like when I buy lotion in Japan, I expect a different product than in Korea. Japanese lotion is more liquid, and Korean is more creamy.  

When I checked websites in the local language, I felt like someone who translated product descriptions didn't know a thing about beauty. So, Shiseido Eudermine in Poland is introduced to the market as a "moisturizing cream", "serum", "toner", "water treatment", "skin-rebuilding facial balm" or "elixir". There might be some confusion, but some translations have no sense like moisturizing cream or balm.  

If it comes to the product itself, I got a few mixed feelings, because at first time I wasn't sure if it worked. The scent is a bit overwhelming and I needed some time to get used to it, but once winter came I started to appreciate this formula. Shiseido Eudermine is based on ActiveRED technology, this technology is supposed to help with absorption of ingredients that are helpful for the skin. Don't ask me how that works, because that's something I can't even prove if it works or not.  

I have to agree that this texture is rich and if you're worried about your skin moisture and you want to get an essence that should be easy to find at stores then Shiseido Eudermine wins. Although, I'm not sure about brightening or whitening properties because I use retinol with this product. If you start your retinol journey then be careful with this product since it contains Vitamin C and Alcohol so it might be a bit irritating.  

Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence

How does Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence work and where to get it?  

I bought Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence at my local Sephora. I added my Shopmy* shelf if you want to order it and support my reviews. Shiseido Eudermine Activating Essence costs $90/145 ml on the official website so it's more expensive in Europe. In Japan, this essence costs 9, 680円 which is about $65, and I paid about $70, while the regular price in my country is $82. PS. Vintage-style Shiseido Eudermine is available on YesStyle* and it costs $21.31/200ml. You can use my referral code BETWEENDOTS to save up to 5% on your YesStyle order.   

Overall, it's a good product with a long tradition, but at least for my skin, it's mostly a product which my skin likes during colder months.  

Let me know if you tried Shiseido Eudermine before



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