One of last year’s skincare product releases that I was very eager to try is the Shiseido ULTIMUNE Power Infusing Concentrate. There is just something about it that spoke to me when I first started seeing it surfacing across the net. It was everywhere…
Of course here in Indonesia, we get everything late. So I made a mental note to get this on my trip to Hong Kong in last November. To my surprise, I didn’t know that there are different sizes. I decided to get the 50 ml bottle. I got it at SASA, there was a promotion going on and I paid HKD 688 for this. It was the first thing that I bought when I stepped into one of the many shops and I couldn’t be more happier.
So happy that I used it at my first night staying in Hong Kong.
The bottle is sexy. It is quite sleek with curves and hard lines on the body. The cap is plastic but the actual bottle is made out of glass. It sits steadily on a flat surface, despite the unique, uncommon shape. I feel confident bringing this on my travels because the cap opens and closes up firmly. No leaking here.
The bottle is transparent too with red gradations, so I’ll know for sure how much is left. By the time I’m writing this, it’s half empty.
To be honest, I was rather baffled with the description. Shiseido used big, fancy vocabulary for this product. And even bigger promises:
ULTIMUNE Power Infusing Concentrate is the ultimate treatment for enhancing skin’s essential multidefensive power against visible signs of aging, environmental factors, and daily stress. It restores skin’s powers to resist, protect, regenerate, and strengthen, leaving skin smooth and deeply nourished.
In a self-evaluation on over 200 women:
– Immediately, skin feels full and supple with a silky smooth surface
– In 1 week, skin appears to glow more than ever
– In 4 weeks, firmness and resilience are improved and wrinkles are less visible – Sephora.com
That’s a LOT to live up to, let me tell you that. While I’m aware that there is no such thing as a single miracle product, I do believe that every step in my skincare regime should contribute something good and play well with others.
Shiseido ULTIMUNE can be used alone or as a pre-serum. I use it as the latter (after toner and before serum) and I think that’s where this product reaches its full potential. I use 2 light pumps or equals to 1 1/2 full pumps and at night time only. Actually it’s great for morning skincare routine too, but I just have more time to spend in the evening.
I have been using Shiseido ULTIMUNE for more than 6 months now, still continuing, and to be honest, I’m a little conflicted. Hence, it took me a while to make this review.
Alcohol Denat, which considered ‘bad’ to many, is second in the ingredients list. There are many skincare products that use alcohol (the good and the bad one) and many of them are Japanese brands. More so, many of my favorite skincare products contain this ingredient (both the good and the bad one). Based on what I’ve read so far, alcohol (depending on the type) is usually used as an anti-microbial, astringent, solvent, viscosity controlling, etc. I think it’s logical to say that as long as the formulations are balanced between the alcohol and other ingredients, then it could still be a good product. I am not in any way well-versed in ingredients and I am not necessarily up for debate. You can do your own research and be the judge in this matter.
Just a little history. Many years ago, I used to think that all alcohols are bad, especially after trying out different toners that had alcohol thus resulted in drying out my skin. In short, I neglected to use skincare altogether because most of them contain this ingredient. BUT, in the recent years of my skincare journey, I have come to realize that a product can still be great even if it has alcohol in it. I do believe it comes down to the formulations, and overall, the regime/skincare combining. As I said earlier, there is no miracle, do-it-all product.
Now, with all of this information, interestingly enough, Shiseido ULTIMUNE doesn’t dry up my skin. Not once. It actually feels really wonderful on my skin, making it feel somewhat cushion-y and plumper. The light gel lotion texture absorbs relatively quick into my skin, leaving almost no greasy residue. It feels incredibly refreshing and it has that really calming floral scent. The dimethicone probably contributed to the smooth finish. The texture reminded me of SK-II Stempower Essence, but not as thick and not as silicone-y. Shiseido ULTIMUNE breaks down into watery lotion once blended. The overall experience is positive. I love applying this on my skin, no kidding!
More over, my skin feels ready for whatever serum that I’m planning to use that night. I do feel the absorption rate after applying serum (and other products afterwards) is faster and better. I find that there is less residue overall after all of that skincare layering. The product keeps my skin hydrated throughout the night, which is always important in my book. It seems like it binds the hydration, moisture and possibly all the other ingredients of other skincare products I use with it, in my skin for a longer time. If this is called a booster or an enhancer, I’d concur.
I actually applied this on the back of my hands when they suddenly became really dry and parched not too long ago. I had this short regime but then it wasn’t enough. So I added a hydrating toner and Shiseido ULTIMUNE to the mix for quite some time and thank goodness, my hands got better.
I will say that all of those huge-ass claims about the product are just.. words. I do like this product, don’t get me wrong. But using this alone without other targeted serum(s) didn’t do anything much for me. Even with serums on top, I only started noticing the difference/boosting effect after 2-3 months, but that’s because my skin has become more resilient due to other skincare products anyway. I have a feeling Shiseido’s promises on ULTIMUNE might probably be true if you never or rarely use a serum before.
Have you tried Shiseido ULTIMUNE?
What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments!