Shu Uemura Ultime8 Cleansing Oil review, photos | Unmask Limited Edition

Shu Uemura Ultim8 Cleansing Oil

The product: shu uemura ultime8 sublime beauty cleansing oil (unmask edition packaging)

The collection

To celebrate a classic (and one that’s been on shelves for 46 years, at that!), shu uemura have released their top-selling cleansing oil in limited edition “unmask” packaging — a far cry from the minimalist bottles in the permanent range.

Shu Uemura Unmask

From left to right, we have the ultim8 cleansing oil (reviewed here), the fresh pore clarifying gentle cleansing oil (for pore concerns), the high performance balancing cleansing oil (for all skin types), the cleansing beauty oil premium A/O (for ageing skin), and finally, the whitefficient clear gentle cleansing oil (for brightening).

ultim8 cleansing oil

Shu Uemura - Ultim8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

Created to target global skin concerns, the ultim8 cleansing oil is something of the crème de la crème of cleansing oils. Its eight oils are infused with botanical ingredients to fight any of the skin concerns you may have, and shu uemura describe it as a “cashmere-like cocooning oil.”

I’ve tried two of shu’s cleansing oils so far  (the other was their A/O formula), and this one has been my favourite. Lighter than the A/O while still feeling comforting and a little weighty, I much prefer the scent of this one — and, of course, its cleansing powers don’t disappoint.

Shu Uemura Ultim8 Cleansing Oil Unmask Skin Purifier

As a blogger, one of the things I struggle with the most is getting super-pigmented swatches off of my forearms on swatch days. It doesn’t sound like much of a feat, but trust me: with very pale, dry skin, my arms pick up colour like crazy.

Cleansing oils aren’t my favourite way to remove makeup from my arms (you need a sink, and I’ve yet to find one that’s truly cost-effective), but when I have a lot of products to go through in very little time, the shu oils have been my go-to. Without even needing a cleansing cloth to scrub with, they remove product more quickly and gently than anything else I own — including bi-phase makeup removers and micellar waters!

Shu Uemura Unmask Skin Purifier - Ultim8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

Making a classic: in the numbers

shu uemura’s cleansing oils are pricey–the range starts at $67 USD/$79 CAD and goes up to $90 USD/$98 CAD–but they have a serious cult following.

If you’re a cleansing oil fan, though, here’s something to consider: unlike your typical cleanser, you get a whopping 450 mL/15.2 oz in a bottle of shu, more than double the normal cleansing oil size. The range starts at $4.41 per ounce, then; for comparison, Bobbi Brown’s cleansing oil is $5.82, and the popular NUDE Skincare version is $10.59 for the same amount.

Just something to think about. They’re an investment, but if you like committing to a product, shu makes it easy.

Shu Umask Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil Ultim8

Availability & ingredients

Get it: $90 USD/$98 CAD, available exclusively at Holt Renfrew (in Canada) and online.

The ingredients:

Zea Mays, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, Capylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Octyldodecanol, Polyglyceryl-6 Tricaprylate, Phenoxyethanol, Squalane, Simmondsia Chinesis Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Linalool, Tocopherol, Geraniol, Aqua, Zingiber Officinale Root Extract, 2-Oleamido-1, 3-Octadecanediol, Parfum.

Shu Uemura Unmask Cleansing Oil collection

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  • that packaging! by now, I use either olive oil or just baby oil to remove my makeup, I am a bit picky about spending money on makeup removing oils, lol. But I am always tempted to buy cleansing oils.
    My recent post Youngblood Pressed Mineral Blush ZIN

    • I hear L'Oreal is coming out with a drugstore cleansing oil (the first, if I'm not mistaken!) this year ;) Might be a good time to give them a try!

  • I really love the Shu cleansing oils and it's been a staple for many years. I think once I'm through with the green one (premium a/o) I think I will give this one a try. thanks for this review. It does sound quite luxurious and worth a try.

    • No problem :) I hope you enjoy it — I like the ultim8 even more than the premium A/O!

  • Got to love their packaging! Thanks for the review, I've been planning on getting one from Shu myself but I had no idea which one to pick, lol.
    My recent post Guerlain Rouge G in 65 Grenade

    • This one! :D But only because it is the prettiest :P

      I believe the high performance is somewhat of a "starter oil;" it's good for all skin types and sounds pretty general. Perhaps give that one a try to begin with?

  • muj

    awesome post
    which one do you recommend for sensitive, dry skin?

    • Thanks, muj! I haven't tried them all, but the ultim8 and A/O are very well-suited to dry skin :) (As a general rule, I find products made for ageing skin tend to be good for dry skin, too — both skin types respond well to products made to hydrate and plump the epidermis.)

      If yours isn't too dry, though, the high performance would be a great choice for something a little lighter!

  • toyarosie

    LOVE the packaging for these, Rae!! I've always wanted to try the Shu oils, but honestly I CAN'T commit to a beauty product that would last me so long, and also I try to avoid anything with fragrance or linalool, which I think I have a sensitivity too [FYI – it is in almost EVERYTHING and makes me sad :( ]. Still…..PRETTY!
    My recent post Um, so…I Went On a Little Shopping Spree…

    • I know! I have a total packaging crush on the packaging of these — the idea is just so well-executed, and I honestly think all of the bottles look great.

      Sorry to hear about your linalool allergy, hon :( It really does seem to be everywhere! (I have a shu post coming up tomorrow that I think you'll love, though — no linalool/fragrance and an awesome product overall!)

  • Alison

    I LOVE Cleansing Oils. They're so gentle, effective and lovely. I'm definitely thinking about investing in the Shu oil – as a lover of cleansing oils, it'd be a shame* not to try one that is such an icon and a beauty blogger favourite.

    Its too bad I'm sick, or I would have tried some of their eyeshadow palettes from this year! Still loving Prestigious Bordeaux, Rae?

    (*As in "For shame, Alison, for SHAME.)

    • Hahaha. For shame indeed, Alison! :p You really do need to try out a shu oil — even if it's just a GWP with another purchase.

      Still loving Prestigious Bordeaux in theory, but I'm completely distracted by Spring at the moment. I definitely think shu Spring < shu Holiday, though; keep an eye out for tomorrow's post! The latter's still online; it's not too late :P

      Hope you're feeling better soon! *hugs*

  • ladybug

    I love cleansing oils! My favorite is DHC’s which only has 5-6 ingredients. I would love to try shu’s but it is really out of my budget!

    • They're quite an investment, eh? Even though the cost breakdown is surprisingly favourable (shu's start at $17.56/100 oz; DHC is $14.50/100 oz), the size is still a pretty big commitment.

      If only they'd come out with smaller sizes! I think a lot of people would get hooked :p

  • blueraccoon

    I bought the shu pore clarifying oil, because I have oily skin, and I have to say I love it. It takes off my makeup like there wasn't anything there, and it rinses clean. I bought the small bottle and I think it'll take me forever to get through it, but I'll probably buy the ultim8 when I need a new bottle.