February 20, 2014

Better Than Shu Uemura? Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil Review

We know, we know. Our title is a pretty wild claim. Better than the most (in)famous cleansing oil in the whole wide world?! Well, what you'll hear from us is one big, resounding yes. If you're looking for a Shu Uemura dupe, you should definitely check out this cleanser from Kose. Like Shu Uemura, Kose is a popular Japanese company that houses and distributes a whole range of products, from high end to super affordable drugstore products. This Deep Cleansing Oil falls under Softymo, their line of cleansers.

How to use: Dispense 1-2 pumps of the cleansing oil and massage gently on a dry face. After massaging for a bit (usually 1 minute), wet your hands with water and continue massaging. At this point, the product will emulsify. Rinse off with water. (But is the face still oily? Not at all! But more on that later.)

The Packaging:

Packaging comes in a standard plastic case that feels neither cheap nor expensive. Regular fare for cleansing oils. This is a minute detail but I do like how the text is printed on the bottle itself, instead of just on a sticker. The pump dispenses just the right amount of product. If I have a full face of makeup on, 2 pumps should generously remove everything perfectly. There's quite a lot of product, 230ml for only 58HKD (roughly 350 PHP and 9.5 SGD). This was purchased in Colourmix in Hong Kong, but Sasa has it as well. 

The Product:

I have nothing negative to say about this product. It performs amazingly! Once emulsified and rinsed off, there is NO trace of oil whatsoever. I know that people who are new to cleansing oils might be a little averse to slathering oil on their face but it doesn't feel like greasy cooking oil at all. If anything, it feels like the oil is fetching the makeup from your pores. It works well in removing pretty much everything. Except maybe the Dolly Mascara from Sasatinnie and Majolica's Lash Expander Frame Plus (but it did remove MJ's Lash King really well!). This is a heavy duty cleanser that'll take off makeup in 1 step. We like to cleanse afterwards with a cleansing foam for good measure, but just this step will do. As for harshness, there is no scent and we believe this is gentle enough for people with sensitive skin. It didn't break us out, and in fact, helped prevent breakouts from residue left over from makeup clogging pores. 

KOSE vs. Shu Uemura

We're not going to review the cleansing oil from Shu Uemura because there are thousands of reviews all over the interwebs, but after thorough use of both brands, we can say that this cleansing oil works better for us. Everything the Shu cleanser does, Kose does too. 

 1) With Shu Uemura, there is still a hint of oiliness even after rinsing, while the Kose rinses out 100%.
 2) Shu doesn't emulsify as well as Kose. (which probably accounts for the oiliness not being completely removed)
3) Shu Uemura's cleansing oil averages at $65 for 450ml (Php 2,900) while the Kose is only 58HKD for 230ml. Even if you buy 2 bottles of Kose to get 460ml, you'll only spend $15 or Php 670. WHAT A STEAL. (and what a whole lotta numbers hahaha)

So here we are testing it out in its full glory. 
This was around half a pump. Pretty pigmented lipstick and Tony Moly's Backstage Gel Liner.  
Massaging the oil... (if you have a face full of makeup you will resemble a depressed clown during this step HAHAHA)
When you mix water in, it forms a white-ish liquid. You know how in science class they'd always say that water is insoluble in oil? Well, I don't know how the chemists did it but they do mix together. And it works. 

 (If you watch Breaking Bad, this is us giving you a virtual fist bump.)

And ta daaa! All clean. Spic and span. (sorry the picture is a little blurry!)


Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil, we love you with every fiber of our being and will continue to do so until we're old and gray. We hope more people will discover your beauty so you shall never be discontinued. Will we repurchase? Definitely! 


+ One step cleansing - great for lazy people haha!
+ Does not leave oily residue
+ Gentle enough for sensitive skin
+ Value for money - super affordable

- Hard to find in Manila

Because we're so impressed with this product, we're curious about the other products in Kose's line. Have you tried their masks and other cleansing oils? Did you like them? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below! :)

About The Author

We're sisters in our early twenties, both with normal/combination skin, and a common love for makeup, skincare, and fashion.


  1. Love your review! I've been sticking to Biore's Perfect Cleansing Oil all these while and I might give this a try (that is if I can find it here at Sasa Malaysia...) Price wise they should be similar and it looks good, so why not? Haha!
    Biore's cleansing oil cleans pretty well and I hardly have any breakouts but I really have to make sure I wash my face afterwards with a proper facial cleanser or it'll feel as if there's some residue left on the skin after 1-2 hours. Thanks for the review! (^^)


  2. Hey Hanie! Oooh, that Biore cleansing oil sounds good! I've had pretty good experiences with Biore (nose strips!) so it sounds really tempting! :D I might just try it out. I mean, you can never have too many cleansers! Haha :D Thanks for dropping by :)

  3. Hmm... Biore's nose strips didn't work that well for me though... (^^;) But their cleansing oil and cleansing wipes were so good! :D

  4. I would do a home sauna on my face before using the nose strips, so I think that helped make it work better somehow? :D

  5. I've used this before! I replaced it a couple months ago with the FANCL mild cleansing oil, which was #1 highest rated in Japan when I picked it up. It's great, but you can't beat the drugstore price of Kose products!


  6. Fist bumping you right back there absolutely love Breaking Bad! This sounds like a great cleanser and I personally love the tacky sticker on the packaging!


  7. True! Especially if you're just going to wash it off right after hahaha! XD

  8. Hi Abbie! Right on... yo. Haha I miss Walt and Jesse already! The sticker packaging isn't bad at all, I agree! I personally like organic paper packaging while my sister doesn't. To each their own :D

  9. Hi do you know where I can order this here in Manila? Omg I love your blog!

  10. Hi Lucille! Thanks for kind words ♡ Not so sure where you can get it here, but some online shops do pre-orders for Japanese cosmetics. I think Japanesecandy allows pre-orders of Kose, though I'm not so sure :)

  11. I tried a Kose Softymo cleansing oil, but I think it's a different variant. It gave me soooo many whiteheads!T_T especially on the chin area. My skin became so rough, it felt like man's stubble! It clogged my pores so bad, I'm now having terrible bumps and pimples for 2mos now. Maybe because of the mineral oil? Not so sure. I already stopped using it since last month, but my skin hasn't recovered yet. I have been doing the "double-cleansing method" and Kose Softymo cleansing oil is the new item on my routine. All else is just my regular cleansers, toners and moisturizer. It's nice that cleansing oils are working for you. I like how it removes makeup, though.

  12. Oh no!! :( I am so sorry that happened to you! Everyone's skin is really different. *sighs* Hmm, have you tried topical medication? Not the regular skincare in pretty packaging that promises to clear pimples, I mean ointments you can buy in pharmacies and the dermatologist. Skin exfoliants (not the beads or scrubs) like salicylic acid, LHA, and tretinoin are the big guns in combating bumps and clogged pores. :)

  13. Unfortunately, I ran out of the stuff provided to me by my dermatologist. I need to go back to my home country for that. (x_x) But I'll visit soon, I hope everything's not too late. Lol! Anyways, I have tried DETClear Fruit Jelly peeling gel for exfoliation (loads of AHA/BHA? I was actually looking for Cure, but cannot find it at that time, so I bought DETClear instead) but I think it really didn't help. Can you suggest other mild exfoliating Japanese products, or techniques? No baking soda please. I have tried that, and failed. Haha.