Caring for the skin around the eyes is a delicate process. Not only does it tend to be the first place to show signs of aging because it’s thinner, but it’s also more sensitive than the rest of the skin.
Most skin care brands offer one or two eye creams in their collection, but Japanese beauty brand Shiseido has an entire range of eye care products, from eye creams to serums to masks and more.
And since Shiseido is one of those brands that’s been around for years (like 150 years to be precise) many people just assume their products are effective.
However, just because Shiseido has been around for quite some time doesn’t necessarily mean their products are right for your skin.
In order to determine how well the Shiseido eye creams perform, we’ll have to evaluate the formulation details, including the key ingredients and the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care.
We’ll also share some Shiseido reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of these products.
What Are The Top 6 Most Popular Shiseido Eye Creams?
After doing a little research, we’ve identified the 6 most popular Shiseido eye creams, and below we’ll give you the good, the bad, and even the ugly on each one.
The brand’s most popular eye cream is Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream.
This is a thick eye cream that helps to instantly soften the skin around the eyes thanks to a blend of emollients like hydrogenated polydecene, mineral oil, petrolatum, and squalane.
As for anti-aging ingredients, the formula includes carnosine and a few peptides. The blend of green, brown, and red algae — what the brand calls “KOMBU-Bounce Complex” — helps to bind moisture to the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
We were disappointed (but not surprised) to find a pretty high concentration of fragrance in this formula, especially since this is an eye cream and the skin around the eyes is particularly delicate.
In fact, there’s more fragrance than Mukurossi, Chlorella, Gambir and Turmeric Extracts — or what the brand claims are “key” ingredients.
Another drawback: there are two parabens used as preservatives in this formula. According to the EWG, parabens can act like the hormone estrogen in the body and disrupt the normal function of hormone systems affecting male and female reproductive system functioning, reproductive development, fertility, and birth outcomes.
Bottom Line: A thick eye cream that uses emollients, peptides, and algae extracts to smooth the skin around the eyes, but keep in mind there’s fragrance and parabens in this formula.
Shiseido White Lucent Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream
This is a popular Shiseido eye cream, but the formula is actually pretty disappointing. The first thing we noticed is the high concentration of skin-drying denatured alcohol. Alcohol-based products aren’t good anywhere on your body, especially around the eyes (more on this in the Key Ingredients section below).
You’ll notice that this formula also contains a high concentration of glycerin and several different silicones. Combining alcohol with glycerin and silicones will provide an effect that disguises signs of aging.
You see, alcohol tightens the skin, glycerin hydrates the skin and thereby plumps skin, and silicones form a thin, invisible film that can help disguise signs of aging. However, these effects are temporary and will disappear once you wash off the product.
Another problem with this Shiseido eye cream is the inclusion of fragrance, which can cause skin sensitivity.
You may notice that this eye cream helps to brighten dark circles, but that’s because the formula contains iron oxides and minerals to basically cover up dark circles rather than actually correcting them. All in all, you’re better off applying concealer than using this eye cream.
Bottom Line: This Shiseido eye cream combines ingredients that temporarily disguise signs of aging, but the formula lacks ingredients that actually correct signs of aging long term.
Shiseido Essential Energy Eye Definer Eye Cream
Similar to Shiseido White Lucent Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream, the Essential Energy Eye Definer formula contains a high concentration of denatured alcohol combined with glycerin and silicones.
The combination of these ingredients will tighten skin and temporarily disguise signs of aging, but that’s about it.
You can thank mica and titanium dioxide for the instant dose of radiance created by this eye cream. Mica and titanium dioxide are minerals that add a shimmering effect and reflect light from the face, creating the illusion of a smoother, softer skin while also disguising dark circles.
Lastly, this Shiseido eye cream contains far more fragrance ingredients than the anti-aging ingredients you’d expect at this price point.
Bottom Line: This is another Shiseido eye cream that combines ingredients to temporarily disguise signs of aging, however, we’re concerned about the high concentrations of alcohol and fragrance in the formula.
Shiseido Uplifting and Firming Eye Cream
Squalane is one of the key ingredients in this Shiseido eye cream, which we’re happy to see since squalane is an excellent emollient. It’s super-light, non-greasy, and sinks into the skin fast, yet it helps the skin to instantly feel soft and moisturized.
The rest of the formula primarily consists of additional emollients and humectants, and there’s low concentrations (less than 1%) of beneficial ingredients like caffeine, sodium hyaluronate, and botanical extracts like olive leaf and green tea leaf.
A better option, in our opinion, is The Ordinary Caffeine Solution, which contains a high 5% concentration of caffeine combined with highly-purified epigallocatechin gallatyl glucoside (EGCG) from green tea leaves.
Bottom Line: A lightweight eye cream that primarily consists of squalane and other emollients, with low concentrations of beneficial ingredients.
Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream
This Shiseido eye and lip cream is named “Future Solution”, yet the formula is far from it. You’ll find some of the oldest (and cheapest) skin care ingredients in this overpriced eye cream.
For instance, the majority of the formula consists of humectants like glycerin, dipropylene glycol, and butylene glycol.
Then, there’s petrolatum, which you may know as “petroleum jelly” or “Vaseline”, along with mineral oil. These occlusive emollients help to soften skin while locking in moisture, but these ingredients can be found in literally thousands of other products on the market.
And let’s not forget to mention the fragrance in this eye cream, which has the potential to cause skin irritation and damage.
Bottom Line: This Shiseido eye cream should help to soften and moisturize the skin around the eyes, but that’s about it.
Shiseido Bio Performance Eye Cream
Shiseido Bio Performance Eye Cream is another heavily fragranced formula with high concentrations of synthetic emollients, silicones, and humectants to hydrate and soften skin. The formula also includes antioxidant vitamin E, as well as caffeine to help reduce puffiness and dark circles.
Plus, sodium acetylated hyaluronate — also called Super Hyaluronic Acid — is used in Shiseido Bio Performance Eye Cream.
Compared with the same concentration of hyaluronic acid, this specialty sodium hyaluronate is characterized by a much greater capacity to retain moisture in the epidermis and good skin affinity. Because of this, it can keep skin fully and consistently hydrated for 24 hours.
Bottom Line: Shiseido Bio Performance Eye Cream contains beneficial key ingredients like vitamin E, caffeine, and Super Hyaluronic Acid, but keep in mind that the formula contains fragrance.
What Are The Key Ingredients in Shiseido Eye Creams?
If there’s one thing we noticed about the Shiseido eye creams (and Shiseido skin care products in general) it’s the high concentrations of denatured alcohol in nearly all products. We can see why the brand uses this ingredient, but we typically don’t recommend alcohol-based products. Here’s why:
On one hand, alcohol functions as a penetration enhancer by disturbing the skin barrier so that key ingredients can penetrate deeper into the skin. Plus, alcohol gives products a quick-drying finish, imparts a weightless feel, and temporarily tightens the look of skin.
On the other hand, alcohol-based products can cause excessive skin dryness since they disturb the skin barrier.
According to a publication in the journal BBA Biomembranes, alcohol can disrupt the lipids that make up the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin).
While alcohol may provide short term benefits, it’s not doing your skin any good in the long run.
And keep in mind that the brand combines denatured alcohol with high concentrations of humectants and silicones to disguise signs of aging.
Now don’t get us wrong; humectants and silicones aren’t bad ingredients. Humectants draw moisture into the skin and, therefore, are very hydrating. Silicones impart a silky, smooth skin feel while also forming an invisible film on the surface of skin to lock in moisture.
But like we mentioned earlier, combining these ingredients with denatured alcohol temporarily disguises lines and wrinkles, causing you to think the product is working. In our opinion, this is pretty deceptive, and it’s one reason we don’t recommend Shiseido eye creams.
Plus, let’s not forget that nearly all the Shiseido eye creams contain fragrance. Most eye-area products omit fragrance as it can be especially sensitizing when applied near the eyes, so there’s no reason to choose an eye cream with fragrance.
How Much Do Shiseido Eye Creams Cost?
Shiseido eye creams are priced at a mid to high range, for example, the Shiseido White Lucent Anti-Dark Circle Eye Cream costs $65 USD for 15 mL, while the Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream costs $153 USD for 17 mL.
Where to Buy Shiseido Eye Creams?
Shiseido Eye Creams are sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party retailers such as Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, Walmart, and more. There’s also a store locator on the brand’s website so you can find a physical location that sells Shiseido skin care products near you.
What is The Shiseido Eye Cream Return Policy?
The Shiseido return policy states, “If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your Shiseido Online purchase, you may return it within 30 days of receipt and we will be happy to provide a full merchandise refund in the original form of payment.”
Is Shiseido Cruelty Free?
Shiseido is not cruelty free. In the brand’s animal testing policy, they state that they do not test on animals. However, Shiseido skin care products are sold in mainland China where animal testing is required by law.
Shiseido Eye Cream Reviews
Shiseido eye cream reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. The product with the most reviews is the Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream, which has earned an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars after nearly 900 customer reviews.
The positive reviews for the Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream mention that it helps to reduce the appearance of signs of aging, like lines and wrinkles.
For example, one review says, “Great under eye cream. It is on the heavier side, but I don’t mind at all. It keeps my under eye area well hydrated and layers great under makeup, especially under concealer and corrector. I tried other under eye creams and I always come back to this one. I have used it for years.”
Another 5-star review says, “This is the best eye cream. I have been using it for 2 years. Prior to that I had spent too much money on dermatologist sold eye cream… including Obagi. I am constantly told I look like I’m in my 40’s and am actually 60. I credit it to good skin care and this product.”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream. Some of these reviews are from customers who experienced dryness and irritation with this product, and others just didn’t see any improvements after using this eye cream.
For example, one review says, “I bought this product about a month ago, it does smell awful. I use the cream it feels like my face is being moisturized, but this morning I found some dry skin patches? Do I need to put another moisturizer on before? And as far as my wrinkles go…no difference.”
Another review says, “I’ve tried my fair share of eye creams and this wasn’t my favorite, like other reviewers shared~ this cream is extremely thick and heavily scented (which I cant use many products w/ scent). Smelling that on my face all day really bothers me! You need less than a pea size for both eyes and the itll still be there in the morning for you to cleanse off. Aside from the awful texture/formula I did like that it covered my dark circles with a sheer glimmer~ at least giving the illusion that they are hidden 😉 I used this for about 14 days and can’t say I noticed much of a difference with my fine lines OR younger looking eye-area. All in all for the price there’s definitely better products at Sephora that work magic!”
Overall, we don’t recommend any of the Shiseido eye creams simply because the cons outweigh the pros, and there are much better eye creams on the market.
- Shiseido eye creams have nice textures that help to soften and smooth skin
- Many positive Shiseido Eye Cream reviews
- Mid to High price point
- Nearly all products contain high concentrations of denatured alcohol
- Nearly all products contain fragrance
- Some products contain parabens
- Shiseido is not cruelty-free
What Are Some Alternatives to Shiseido Eye Creams?
If you’re looking for hydrating skincare products for dry skin, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend this repair moisturizer.
BBA Biomembranes, May 2012, pages 1410-1419