This summer hasn’t been too blazing in Italy so far. Unfortunately, though, the hottest days are yet to arrive, which supposedly will happen this weekend. When it’s boiling outside, I struggle to function, so I always look for different ways to stay cool and fresh, like drinking ice-cold water or spending as much time as I can in air-conditioned spaces. Last year, I discovered the Gatsby Spray, which helps a lot in hot weather, and this year I found a new addition to my survival kit, the Ultimune Defense Refresh Mist.
The formula combines various ingredients that give a flurry of freshness and nourishment. The product features two of Shiseido’s proprietary high techs. The first one is the Uchimzu Technology with the Double-Refreshing Complex; judging by the images on the website, I assume the Complex consists of menthol and peppermint oil. Both bring a refreshing feeling, but people with a tendency to irritation may find the combo irritating. However, the vast majority should be fine. The second one is the Ultimune ImuGeneration Technology, which took 25 years to develop. It uses plant extracts of reishi mushroom and iris root to reinforce the skins’ resilience and defence mechanisms from within. The mist also includes the Ultimune Complex, like in other products from the line, with Gingko Biloba leaf extract, a potent ingredient full of antioxidants, which helps with moisture retention, smoothness, redness, and anti-wrinkle prevention overall. Then, of course, there’s also the classic glycerine, and there’s also alcohol in the formula, but the product isn’t drying at all, it’s rather hydrating. There are also different types of fragrance elements, and the product has a pleasant, refreshing scent.
Moreover, the liquid incorporates Kirishima mineral spring water. This ingredient comes from the Japanese culture of hot springs called onsen, with mineral-rich waters. They are prevalent, and as in Europe, Japanese people also believe that thermal waters improve health. A little digression, does anyone know if Japanese brands sell thermal waters in spray bottles like the French do? Because French brands print money selling those. If water from thermal springs were so expensive, all those brands wouldn’t add it to most products. A good example is Evian’s Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray. They increased the price of water sold for €1 per litre to up to €60 per litre because they bottled it in spray bottles… And, people, including myself, have fallen for it. I don’t see the Evian spray much in Europe anymore, but it seems to be popular in the US even now. At least you can still find it on Sephora’s website.
The Ultimune Defense Refresh Mist is suitable for all skin types, and it’s intended for use on bare skin or over makeup.
The mist is what it says it is, a refreshing mist. Does it work? Absolutely! I enjoy using the product throughout the day, especially on sunnier days, whether when I spend an entire day at my desk or run errands. A few spritzes reinvigorate me and help me to cool down, as the liquid gives some mild cooling effect. The product isn’t as potent as the Gatsby Spray, but at the same time, it doesn’t cause any irritation or redness. As for the skin-benefiting claims, I can’t say much about them as it’s hard for me to assess that. However, Shiseido are a trustworthy company, so I am inclined to believe what they claim is true. It’s like with toners; you apply liquid, and it does its magic. I can affirm that the mist is hydrating, as it makes my T-zone shiner, so the moisturising ingredients surely work. But I am not sure if it would fare well over makeup. I mean, it may make foundation look greasier. With sunscreen, there’s less trouble as I simply reapply once the juice evaporates.
The product may seem like a small thing, but for me, it’s about those little things that make hot days a bit more bearable, be it cold water, ice cream or a cooling mist. Supposedly, this is a limited edition product, but I hope it will be available next year because it is a game-changer. However, the only thing that I don’t like about the product is its price. The RRP is €55 for 60ml, which is a lot. It should be cut by at least 30%; otherwise, the product is just too expensive. You can always find it on offer, or at least I have been lucky. I’ve bought it twice discounted, but the original price shouldn’t be this high for a hydrating mist. Maybe it’s about the technologies used; I don’t know. Despite that, I like the mist a lot, and I am willing to repurchase it. If you struggle during hot weather, you may consider giving it a try. However, before buying, test the product in a shop to see if it’s something you’re after before splurging on it. And, as with the Gatsby Spray, pair it with a fan to get an even brisker blow of freshness.
IRIS FLORENTINA ROOT EXTRACT, ROSA ROXBURGHII FRUIT EXTRACT, MENTHOL, ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER WATER MENTHYL LACTATE, SODIUM CARBOXYMETHYL BETA-GLUCAN, GANODERMA LUCIDUM (MUSHROOM) STEM EXTRACT, MENTHA PIPERITA (PEPPERMINT) LEAF EXTRACT, GINKGO BILOBA LEAF EXTRACT, ALCOHOL DENAT, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, GERANIOL, CITRONELLOL, LINALOOL, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), BUTYLENE GLYCOL, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, PEG-6, GLYCERIN, DIGLYCERIN, PEG-32, PEG-8, PEG/PPG-14/7 DIMETHYL ETHER, PEG/PPG-17/4 DIMETHYL ETHER, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, TOCOPHEROL, SODIUM METABISULFITE, HYDROGENATED DIMER DILINOLEYL PEG-, 44/POLY(1,2-BUTANEDIOL)-15 DIMETHYL, ETHER, WATER (shiseido.co.uk)
The Ultimune Defense Refresh Mist is available from Shiseido’s stockists worldwide.