I don’t mind splurging on retinoids serums or antioxidant-rich moisturizers that help my skin stay healthy and younger-looking for longer. But, when it comes to cleansers, they must be pretty amazing for me to spend more than a few euros on them. And when I looked at the ingredients of Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Emulsion, a sample of which I received as a gift with purchase at my fave beauty shop, I knew this wasn’t gonna be special enough. Here’s why:
What Shiseido says
A gentle emulsion cleanser that tissues or rinses off to leave skin exceptionally moist and supple. Recommended for normal to very dry skin. May be used to remove eye makeup.
Full Ingredient List
Water, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Octanoate, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, PEG-6, PEG-32, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Behenyl Alcohol, PEG-5 Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Isostearic Acid, Behenic Acid, Potassium Carbomer, Potassium Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Isostearate, Potassium Behenate, Trisodium EDTA, Iron Oxides, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Fragrance
Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Emulsion has a water- and oil-based formula. Water alone may be enough to remove some of the dirt that’s on your skin, but it can’t get rid of the oils that are present both on its surface and in your makeup products. Oils (or lipids) are hydrophobic, which means they repeal water but attract oil. That’s where Mineral Oil comes in. Employing the “like dissolves like” principle, Mineral Oil attaches to the other oils and dirt, loosing them from your skin. This, then, makes it easier for water to wash them off.
Unfortunately, Mineral Oil has gained a bad reputation, which is mostly undeserved. It is true that it is derived from oil (which, by the way, is a natural substance – ironic, isn’t it?), but it undergoes a refining process that removes all its toxic components. The result is cosmetic grade mineral oil, a substance that’s safe to use and not comedogenic (industrial grade mineral oil is, but that’s banned from cosmetics). It can, instead, aggravate acne, but then this is a cleanser designed for dry and dehydrated, not oily and acne-prone, skin.
The real problem with Mineral Oil is that, like most oils, it can leave a greasy residue on the skin, which you’ll then have to remove with a sulfate-based cleanser. So, unless you need to take off stubborn and waterproof makeup products, it would make more sense to use a sulfate-based cleanser in the first place.
Petrolatum (or vaseline) is another ingredient with an undeserved bad reputation. This too is derived from oil, but undergoes a refining process to make it safe. So, no, you’re not slathering petroleum on your face when you apply it. Cosmetic grade petrolatum also doesn’t cause breakouts on its own, but only when used with comedogenic ingredients. But although vaseline is a well-known makeup remover (and does a great job at that), it is actually an emollient, which can form a protective barrier on the top of your skin, preventing moisture loss and helping to keep it hydrated.
On the one hand, this can be good news for people with very dry skin. The moisturizing properties of petrolatum will help keep skin soft and supple. On the other, though, some people may find the film it leaves behind a bit too greasy for their skin type. To remove it, you’ll need a surfactant-based cleanser. In other words, it has the same cons as mineral oil.
Final Considerations On The Formula
The formula is pretty basic and doesn’t really contain any ingredients that can justify its high price tag. Mineral Oil and Petrolatum are two ingredients commonly used in cold creams, which are usually much cheaper than this cleanser. While they quickly and effectively remove all traces of dirt and oil from your skin, they can also leave a greasy residue behind. If you have dry and dehydrated skin, though, their moisturizing properties may be enough to make up for it. I wouldn’t recommended this cleanser to people with other skin types, though.
Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Emulsion is available at Nordstrom, where it retails at a whoping $35.00!
The Bottom Line
Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Emulsion removes all traces of dirt and stubborn makeup, but can leave a greasy residue behind. Its cleansing agents double up as emollients, which can help keep dry skin soft and smooth, but there’s no need to spend this much for it. A cold cream will do the same, and at a much cheaper price too.
Have you ever tried Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Emulsion? If so, what did you think of it?