Now I'm a believer: Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil

The first thing you'll notice about the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils is the price tag. They're quite expensive, there's no way to get around it! I used to think that there are equally good alternatives and for a while I've even used some like the ones from Muji and Pure Beauty, which are less than P500 for a big 200ml bottle.

However, when I got sample bottles of the Shu oil, I found out why it was so expensive. It is the best makeup remover + skincare product I've ever tried! And you know I've tried quite a number of them. Thus, I committed to a 450ml bottle of the Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil (P4,000).

What I love about it:

  • Removes all makeup (except long-wearing, waterproof mascara) in a jiffy. I use less than one pump for my whole face and just massage gently to dissolve the makeup. It gets rid of waterproof eyeliner and liquid foundation, primers, lipstick, and powder makeup. They all wash off.

  • It's skincare. Ever since I started using it, my skin looked better. I break out rarely now and the overall texture and appearance is more healthy. Must be the natural ingredients in this product and how effectively they purify skin!
  • A little product goes a long way so I get a good cost-per-wear out of it.
  • The pump is easy to control and closes with just a twist.

How I use my Shu oil: I slather some on my face with my fingers

Then, I massage gently in circling motions

Easy does it! Makeup melts quickly, as in it only takes seconds

Primed eyeshadow, eyeliner, and eyebrow wax gone. Didn't use a mascara in this look, sorry, but I assure you the Shu oil removes non-waterproof mascara easily. Repeat routine all over face. Rinse with water.

What I don't like about it

  • Obviously, I wish it could be cheaper.
  • Unlike the other variants, this leaves a residue of oil after rinsing. Nothing a facial wash can't solve though. I immediately follow it with my Clinique cleanser, but sometimes I leave it on overnight. My face is oily in the morning but my skin actually looks better.


Concerns about mineral oil

The main ingredient of Shu Uemura cleansing oils is mineral oil. Mineral oil is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to make gasoline and other petroleum-based products. It has gotten a bad rap in the past years because it is thought to be comedogenic, that is, it blocks pores and causes pimples.

However, a recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2005 clears cosmetic grade mineral oil of these concerns. It is not comedogenic. It is safe as long as you don't use the industrial-grade version.

I've been using the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil for two months now and I haven't experienced any skin problems. In fact, my skin is better than it's ever been!


I highly recommend the Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil. I've tried the other variants and this is the best - at least, for my skin type. Other variants would either break me out or provide nothing more than makeup removal. High Performance removes my makeup AND improves my skin.

I suggest that you try different variants first before settling on a full size. Not all Shu cleansing oils will work for your skin; it's hit and miss in my experience. That's why you should try to score travel sizes first from Duty Free malls if you can.

Speaking of, the Shu Uemura oils are cheaper in Duty Free (locally). This 450ml variant is $66 (almost P3,000). It's just $1 more expensive than US prices. However, not all of us have access to DF, so next best thing is to buy from Shu Uemura in Rustan's and their atelier in Rockwell.

The 150ml bottle of the High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil is P1,700 at Shu Uemura counters.


Love it to death. It's probably the most expensive beauty product I've ever personally bought, but it's definitely worth it!

What do you think about Shu Uemura cleansing oils? Have you tried one? Too expensive, or worth the dough?

PS - Read this for reference: How to choose the best makeup remover for your needs