Shiseido - Waso / Collection review

5:23 PM

I just lost my whole post so I have to rewrite it (ㅠ.ㅠ)
Anway, let's go!

I'm back after a short break, I am facing new challenges in my life and needed time but I'm back!
Today I have a review of some new products from Sheiseido in their WASO line. This new line was introduced this summer/fall and target mainly millennials. WASO wants to be a minimalistic yet effective skincare range that targets mainly hydration. Hydration is super important whatever your age because a lack of it will make your skin dull and more prone to wrinkles. The lack of hydration can also increase the appearance of pores. A skin perfectly hydrated will look more plump, resilient and overall healthier.

WASO originates from a combination of two words, “WA 和” meaning a sense of peaceful, harmony, it also means "Japanese-style" and “SO 想 ” meaning inspiration. So Waso means it is inspired by Japanese harmony and peace.


Name: Waso Clear Mega-Hydrating Cream
Content: 50mL in a plastic jar, it comes with a spatula
Use: as a day or night cream, can also be used as a sleeping mask/pack
Claim: This is “a 24-hour moisturizing clear cream that hydrates and helps reduce the look of pores and prevent dryness.”

This is a clear thick and firm gel that feels at first a bit silicone-y but once you start spreading it, it feels lighter and "moist". It forms a thin film on the skin that is able to prevent water loss, i.e. it will help retain water in your skin to keep it hydrated. This thin feels doesn't feel uncomfortable, you can actually only feel it when you start applying it with your fingertips but when it's spread, you can't really feel it on your skin, so nothing to worry about.

The scent is medium-to-strong, it feels fresh and "perfume-y" but not overpowering.

Water(Aqua/Eau), Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dipropylene Glycol, Xylitol, Sd Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denat.), PEG-20, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Dipeptide-15, Dimethicone, Erythritol, PEG-150, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Trehalose, Sodium Chloride, Betaine, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol, Trisodium EDTA, PEG/PPG-17/4 Dimethyl Ether, Caffeine, Alcohol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Metabisulfite, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, BHT, Lamium Album Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Protoplasts, Citrus Junos Seed Extract, Tocopherol, Benzoic Acid, Beta-Carotene (CI 75130)


For more details, click on the "Show" button below.

In more details:

¨     Water, humectant (glycerine, xylitol, erythritol, threalose) to draw and retain water in your skin, i.e., the gel is hydrating
¨     Cyclopentasiloxane is a lightweight silicone with a silky, slippery feel that acts as an emollient
¨     Dipropylene glycol is a synthetic slip agent and texture enhancer
¨     Alcohol: as a rule of thumb, I always tell myself that if alcohol is  listed as the fifth ingredient or higher, there is too much alcohol in the formulation and it can be drying. Lower amount of alcohol is not as problematic, it can be used as a texture modifying agent to make the product more cosmetically elegant (i.e., thin it) and act as penetration enhancer. Here it’s listed as the 6th ingredient so it’s borderline. I would say this should not pose any issue because to be honest, the amount of alcohol is reasonably low but if you want to avoid alcohol by any means, be aware that this cream does contain some (although again, not in a crazy amount).
¨     PEG-20, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane is a silicone with emollient properties.
¨     Dipeptide-15 is a peptide. Some pepetides used in cosmetics have anti-aging interests but I couldn’t find anything about it
¨     Dimethicone a silicone and emollient. Applied to skin, dimethicone forms a permeable barrier that works to prevent moisture loss and impart a silky feel.
¨     Erythritol is a humectant and moisturizing ingredient
¨     Polymethylsilsesquioxane and PEG-10 Dimethicone are silicones and emollients
¨     Betaine is an anti-irritant
¨     Hydrogenated Polyisobutene is a synthetic polymer used as a skin-softening agent and emollient. It has a rich, thick texture.

In summary, the formula is made of:

ð  Some silicones and polymers (-ones, siloxane, silane,..) used to fine tune the texture of the gel (thick, firm gel), some of them also have emollient properties and can help form a barrier on the skin to prevent water loss; others are slip agents (such as dipropylene glycol)
ð  Some humectants (glycerine, xylitol, erythritol, threalose)  to draw and retain water in your skin = hydrating
ð  Betaine, an anti-irritant
ð  Carrot is present in the formula but at the end, so not very relevant.
ð  Contains alcohol but not present in a too high amount so not problematic here.

Overall, this forms a firm and thick gel that is easy to spread, that is hydrating and that leaves a thin film on the skin to prevent water loss. The film is not something you can actually feel on your skin, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable or anything. This is typically a good formula for a sleeping mask that you apply just before going to bed and that prevents water loss during your sleep. Perfect to wake up with a skin that feels hydrated and therefore more plump and resilient. You can also use it in the morning but personally I rather use an emulsion in the am, so I haven’t tried it that way.

I've started using it 2 months ago and I use it as a sleeping mask (i.e,, as the last step of my skincare regime in the evening just before going to bed). I really like how it keeps my skin hydrated and I think it moisturizes it as well.

·       Hydrating, i.e. makes the skin more plump and resilient
·       Prevent water loss, i.e. keep your skin hydrated for a several hours (a whole night or day)
·       Oil-free formula, it doesn't feel greasy
·       Scent: some people might like it

·       Rather simple ingredients, no antioxidants for example; focus is hydration and nothing else
·       Shiseido claims it contains carrot extract but it’s present in a tiny amount so not very relevant
·       Scent: some people might not like it

EDIT: I've moved to a region with a drier climate and my skin has been suffering. The first weeks my skin was feeling dry and I had developed some dry patches on my cheeks and forehead. So I decided to change my skincare routine and started using this WASO gel in the morning as my last step before my sunscreen and makeup. And to be 100% honest, this gel made a huge difference. It may not contain 1000 different botanical extracts or antioxidants but it really helped to bring hydration and lock it in my skin. Honestly the more I use it, the more I like it! I've almost finished the jar and I'm seriously considering repurchasing it! That's how much I love it!


Name: Waso Quick Gentle Cleanser
Content: 150mL in a plastic bottle
Use: as a day or night gel cleanser
Claim: “This is a gel cleanser that foams without water to remove makeup while removing dirt and excess oil. Formulated with honey and royal jelly extracts this gentle cleanser rinses off clean and nurtures skin by protecting its moisture.”

This is a gel cleanser with a medium viscosity. To use it, you can apply it directly on your dry or wet skin, then massage, add water and rinse off. When you add water, it gets milky and foams up a bit (not much). It rinses off clean and doesn't leave any residue.
pH is 6.0 ± 1.0, so slightly acidic and therefore great for the skin. It doesn't strip your skin of the oils that keep skin healthy and balanced.
In terms of performance, it removes foundation and sunscreen perfectly well. For eye makeup, I always use micellar water so I haven't tried this gel for this purpose. If you double cleanse, you can use it instead of your foam cleanser but again this gel cleanser works perfectly fine to remove foundation and sunscreen and it rinses clean so double cleansing isn't really necessary anyway.

It has about the same scent as the gel moisturizer.

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-8 Diisostearate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Isostearic Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-10 Dimethicone, Caramel, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Limonene, Betaine, Honey(Mel/Miel), Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Royal Jelly Extract, BHT

This cleanser contains gentle surfactants, such as sodium laureth sulfate (not the same as sodium lauryl sulfate, which is irritating) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine (milder surfactant), as well as an emulsifier (PEG-8 Diisostearate) and that’s it for the cleansing portion of the formula. Then you also have glycerin, a humectant; sodium chloride that might be used here to thicken the formula (I’m not sure) and then phenoxyethanol, a preservative that is present in concentration between 0.5-1.0%. So here you have the bulk of the product. You do have honey and royal jelly extract but they are at the end of the ingredient lists, i.e. in low amount and therefore not very relevant.


Quickly, this is an interesting mild gel cleanser. It works nicely to remove face makeup (foundation, sunscreen), doesn't strip your skin of oils (skin doesn't feel squeaky clean), has a slightly acidic pH, which is ideal for the balance of your skin, and feels overall nice on the skin. It has a medium flowery scent that I don't mind but that not everyone might like. The con is that I wished that honey and royal jelly would be higher in the ingredient list and a honey scent would have been great.


Name: Waso Color-Smart Day Moisturizer
Content: 50mL in a plastic squeeze tube
Use: in the morning as a tinted moisturizer
Claim: “A skin-tone enhancing tinted day moisturizer that adapts to your skin color with long-lasting hydration. Broad Spectrum SPF 30"

It is dispensed as a greyish-white cream with pigments in it. When I start spreading it on my skin, I can see some pink-red pigments bursting and the more I massage it in, the more it adapats to my skin tone and blends in. As I can see some pink-red pigments, if you have yellow undertones I don't know if this tinted moisturizer will suit you or not (For info, I have cool undertones). It is sheer and doesn't cover blemishes but even out the skin tone.

It feels moisturizing and leaves the skin moist. Finish is dewy and glowy. It's suited for normal to dry skin (dry skin will love it, I guess), but will be too dewy/moisturizing for oily skin. There is another version (green packaging) for oily skin by the way.

Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, SD Alcohol 40-B, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Triisostearin, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dipropylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Erythritol, Silica, Trehalose, PEG-6, PEG-32, Caffeine, Betaine, PEG/PPG-17/4, Dimethyl Ether, Dipeptide-15, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Lamium Album Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Protoplasts, Citrus Junos Seed Extract, PPG-17, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Isostearic Acid, Trisodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Polyester-1, Alcohol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, BHT, Alumina, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Sodium Metabisulfite, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica.

I will not go into too many details concerning the formula (for some reason I'm less picky about ingredients for foundations, bb or cc creams as they sit on top of my mineral sunscreen, but yes I know I should pay more attention, anway...), but note that it contains glycerin (humectant), alcohol (I only notice it now that I write this review so apparently I couldn't tell there was some alcohol in it), some emollients and texture modifiers, some plant extracts including white peony, white nettle, carrot and yuzu in higher amount than in the 2 other products I reviewed here. Finally it has a SPF30 but as I always say, do not rely only on SPF in foundation or tinted moisturizer but use a separate sunscreen if you want to be really protected from the sun (you can't apply enough product to get an actual SPF30 with foundation or tinted moisturizer).

First time I used it, I thought it was almost too dewy but I started using it again in October and I must say that I really like it now (maybe my skin got drier with that cold wind we're getting). I actually like this extra dewy finish as I think it makes my skin looks really healthy. I've used about half of the tube. If you're not into dewy finishes, run away from it.

So yes, what you have to know about this tinted moisturizer: it's moisturizing, very dewy, and sheer. It doesn't cover up skin imperfections but brightens and evens the skin tone out. I have mild redness on my cheeks and this is concealed with this tinted moisturizer but that's all. People that will like it are people with dry skin (normal skin can also use it, but that's a no no for oily skin) that want something moisturizing to even out the skin tone. For me it's perfect to use instead of foundation for light makeup days!



So overall, I must say that the first time I looked at the ingredients of this WASO line, I was not 100% sold. I usually like formulas with lots of antioxidants and skin beneficial ingredients, such as vitamin C, niacinamide, etc. and that's not what you find here. The line focuses mainly on hydration, it claims this and that's just what it does in the end, which is already not bad - hydration is one of the most important things in skincare if you want a plum, resilient and healthy skin.
After trying the products for almost 2 months, I must say that I actually do enjoy the Mega-Hydrating Cream. I think it works wonderfully as a sleeping mask to seal in all the products you've used before, to hydrate the skin and prevent water loss throughout the night. The more I use it, the more I like it actually. That's a very nice discovery and I'm really happy that I got the chance to try and use it! The gel cleanser is nice but nothing super special, it's a regular gel cleanser in my opinion - the packaging is super cute though and it makes me want to use it. And finally the tinted moisturizer is really interesting if you want a dewy and even complexion. I really like using it for light makeup days, it makes my skin look healthier and fresh. It's possible that I will repurchase it when I run out of it.

picture from Shiseido

Purchase info
Shiseido Waso products can be found at Import Parfumerie (a lot of sales at the moment and free shipping) and Douglas in Switzerland. For international customers, amazon or has the products.

*PR Samples*

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  1. Coucou Carine! Ravie de te lire, et félicitations pour tous les changements. Honnêtement, après avoir lu ta revue, cette gamme me deçoit un peu. On dirait qu'ils ont mis plus d'effort dans le packaging que dans les ingrédients :/

    1. Coucou Natalia! Merci ;) Je dirais que ça dépend ce que tu attends de tes produits. Ici le focus est l'hydratation et pas l'anti-aging, le brightening ou autre. C'est vrai que le packaging est super mignon, j'imagine que c'est pour attirer les plus "jeunes" qui justement recherchent principalement de l'hydratation, mais à nouveau l'hydratation est important à tout âge donc à ce propos je trouve le gel intéressant comme masque de nuit ;)

  2. Very informative review! I like the sound of how simple they are because I use a lot of other active ingredients on their own like acids etc but it still sounds like a nice line if simplicity of ingredients is what you’re looking for. Xx

    1. Hi Rachel, thank you! Yes exaclty, totally agree with you!

  3. Karine, merci beaucoup pour cet article!
    Je suis un peu comme toi je prête peu attention aux ingredients des fonds de teint ou BB cream mais bien plus niveau soin et j'avoue que la compo de cette gamme est un peu décevante.
    Mais comme on le disait, il s'agit d'une gamme pour faire découvrir et aimer la gestuelle du soin et je pense que pour ça elle est réussie!
    Un grand merci pour cet article!

  4. Coucou Karine,
    Encore une revue très détaillée comme j'aime car on peut vraiment prendre connaissance des produits et de leur compo aussi ;) J'ai testé le soin visage et j'avoue que l'effet film ne m'a pas franchement plu... je l'essaierai à nouveau comme masque de nuit comme tu me l'avais d'ailleurs conseillé... je pense qu'il sera mieux effectivement... quant à la BB cream c'est typiquement le genre de produit teint que j'aime ;) Je note donc cette référence hi hi !
    Des bisous !

    Kédidja |

    1. Coucou ma belle Kédidja! Merci pour ton message. Oui essaie le en sleeping mask, peut-être que tu le préféras comme ça! :D des bisous!

  5. Great review Karine. I agree with Rachel that I like the simplicity of the ingredients. Sometimes it's good to back to basics and leave all the marketing jargon and the really hyped up ingredients behind.

    These do sound like love products for hydration. I sure will be looking out for these here in Australia.

    Lubz ||

    1. Hi my dear! Exactly, I agree with you :D There is also a liquid/lotion that I'd be curious to try!

  6. Hi! Do you think I can add in my own vitamin c serum before application with this?

  7. Thanks a lot for the info! very informative and useful! a lot of effort in it!
    your explanation is way better than the Shiseido promoter I chanced upon today (and she told me there's no alcohol in Waso line >.<)!


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