Read the Label: Shiseido Waso Quick Gentle Cleanser


Shiseido's Waso Quick Gentle Cleanser is an alcohol-free, oil-free, honey-gel cleanser that claims to foam without water to remove makeup, dirt and excess oil. Formulated with honey and royal jelly extracts, the cleanser is designed to gently rinse off clean and nurture skin by protecting its moisture.

After use, the skin is said to feel soft and clean, and appear healthier while preventing the appearance of imperfections. Designed for dry, oily, normal, combination and sensitive skin, the product touts being dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic and paraben-free. The use of royal jelly extract reportedly delivers amino acids, vitamins and minerals to skin for added moisture.

The product is recommended as the first step in skin care routines in the morning and evening. Squeezing a dime-sized amount into the palm of the hand, the user massages it carefully over the face before rinsing; makeup remover can be used for heavier makeup.

This column will review the ingredient listing for claims substantiation and functionality.

Base, Emollients and Viscosity Control

The formula is water-based with sodium laureth sulfate and cocamidopropyl betaine as surfactants. PEG-8 diisostearate and isostearic acid serve as emulsifying emollients and binders, and PEG-10 dimethicone, a silicone derivative, is a conditioning emollient.

Betaine and sodium chloride are viscosity-controlling agents,and  butylene glycol is an additional solvent. The buffers and chelating agents are disodium EDTA and citric acid. Tocopherol serves as an antioxidant while caramel is a colorant.

Preservation and Actives

The formula is preserved by phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). It also contains fragrance, with the potential allergen limonene.

Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate is included as a UV-absorbing filter, most likely to maintain the formula's stability in its clear bottle. Other actives include glycerin, a humectant; honey and royal jelly extract.

Featured Ingredients: Honey and Royal Jelly

Honey, a mixture of fructose and glucose, contains proteins and amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals and other minor components. It is traditionally recognized for antimicrobial properties in wound healing and the treatment of burns, seborrhea, dermatitis and other skin conditions. In cosmetic formulations, it exerts emollient, humectant and soothing properties, potentially preventing wrinkle formation, regulating pH and preventing pathogen infections.

Royal jelly has been implicated in skin anti-aging, particulary for mitigating UV damage.


In my view, the ingredients contained in the formula support the claim for quick cleansing; however, for consumers with sensitive skin, surfactants other than SLES are recommended for cleansing facial skin.

Ingredients: Water (aqua/eau), 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

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