shu uemura’s Skin Purifier Ultime8 may be one of the best known Japanese cleansing oils out there. It removes makeup but hydrates dry, flaky skin. It feels rich but not greasy and, as the official site puts it, addresses “global skin concerns.”
This time around, our editing department purchased a bottle of this miracle cleansing oil and put it to the test. We looked at cleansing power and hydration and analyzed the ingredients list. This is everything we learned.
shu uemura Skin Purifier Ultime8 Cleansing Oil
Why is shu uemura’s Ultime8 Cleansing Oil So Popular?
shu uemura’s Ultime8 Cleansing Oil contains eight botanical oils, each chosen for their skincare properties. They count among them Japanese camellia oil, which contains oleic acid, a major component of human sebum. 98% of the formula is made up of naturally derived ingredients. It’s meant to nourish your skin even as it cleans.
The bottle is well-designed, too. The pump is easy to use, and the transparent body lets you know how much product you have left. Plus, unlike many cleansing oils, you can apply with wet hands and use on eyelash extensions.
Putting shu uemura’s Skin Purifier Ultime8 Cleansing Oil to the Test
We had a group of editors put shu uemura’s Ultime8 Cleansing Oil to the test. Specially, we were looking for the following four factors.
Test ①: Cleansing Power
Test ②: Application
Test ③: Hydration
Test ④: Ingredients
We also purchased 30 other Japanese cleansing oils and compared them all. Curious about how the Ultime8 Cleansing Oil lined up? Learn more about our testing process below.
Test ①: Cleansing Power
We applied the following items to the backs of our hands. We then cleansed using shu uemura’s Ultime8 and, after rinsing off, checked for any residue.
Items We Applied
- Waterproof Mascara
- Lip Tint
- Liquid Foundation
Works on Foundations and Powders but Not Waterproof Items
Unfortunately, this didn’t work on waterproof products. If you do wear waterproof eyeliner or mascara, you’ll have to use the cleansing oil in conjunction with a dedicated eye makeup remover.
However, eyeshadow and liquid foundation did come off easily. Therefore, if you use lighter products, like pencil liners and film mascaras, just one bottle of the Ultime8 cleanser should do the trick. The formula also emulsified quickly and rinsed off easily.
Will Likely Take Time to Clear up Pores
Skin felt smooth and supple after cleansing. However, the cleansing oil failed to clear out clogged pores and blackheads.
If you’re looking make your pores less obvious, you’ll have to use it use the cleanser regularly for a few months. Apply the oil onto clean skin over problem areas and gently massage.
Test ②: Application
Editors shared their impressions of the Ultime8 Cleansing Oil. Specifically, they judged texture, scent, and packaging.
Thin Texture and Strong (but Classy) Smell–You Like It or You Don’t
It was watery in texture, similar to extra virgin olive oil. It dripped a bit, and because it was too thin to cushion skin, we had to be very gentle while massaging.
It smelled of herbs in a natural, refined way–just like how expensive essential oils would smell. However, the fragrance was quite strong and not the best for sensitive noses.
Test ③: Hydration
We used a moisture analyzer, called the Corneometer, to measure water levels in our skin. We then compared the numbers we got before cleansing, right after cleansing, and five minutes after cleansing.
Highly Moisturizing–Almost as Much a Toner as It is a Cleanser
Skin felt plump and soft after cleansing. And the numbers were phenomenal. Moisture levels went up by almost 15 points right after cleansing and, even after five minutes had passed, remained high.
It’s truly ideal for folks with dry, flaky skin.
- Before Cleansing: 47.4
- Right After Cleansing: 61.9
- Five Minutes After Cleansing 56.9
Test ④: Ingredients
We asked a specialist in cosmetic ingredients to analyze the formula for us. She looked at how mild each of the components were, then determined whether the product was suitable for those with sensitive skin.
Gentle Formula Based off a Vegetable-Derived Oil
The first thing that appeared on the ingredients list was zea mays (corn) germ oil. So we know that the Ultime8 Cleansing Oil is based off of vegetable oil (as opposed to mineral oil).
Plant- and animal-derived oils are similar in structure to human sebum and thus mesh well with skin. They’re gentle and generally safe to use on sensitive skin; the only thing is they tend to be more expensive than mineral oils.
However, the Ultime8 cleanser also contains esters, which can dry skin out over time. No matter how plump skin feels after cleansing, be sure to follow up with moisturizers.
The Final Verdict: Ranked 13th out of 32. Worth It if You’re Looking for a Mild Cleanser that Hydrates as It Cleans
Far from stripping your skin, shu uemura’s Ultime8 Cleansing Oil was moisturizing. It was based off vegetable oil. While the product ranked 13th overall, when it came to ingredients, it was one of the best products we tested. The classy herbal scent also helped.
However, it will not work on long-lasting products. All in all, we do recommend shu uemura’s Ultime8 Cleansing Oil, but only if you wear light, natural products.
How to Use shu uemura’s Skin Purifier Ultime8 Cleansing Oil
The Ultime8 is straight-forward and convenient. You don’t need to double cleanse–that is, you don’t need to follow up with a separate face wash. You can apply it with wet hands in the shower. It’s safe to use on eyelash extensions.
- Dispense four pumps into the palm of your hand.
- Apply onto your face and gently massage for a few minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
Now, oil usually repels water, which is why it’s so difficult to wash off most cleansing oils. However, if you just mix in bits of water at a time, allowing the cleanser to emulsify into a milky solution before rinsing, you’ll be left with zero residue.
We put shu uemura’s Skin Purifier Ultime8 Cleansing Oil to the test. While it didn’t work on waterproof products, we were impressed by how gentle and moisturizing it was. If you have dry skin and tend to wear light makeup, it may very well be your holy grail product.
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