Shiseido Perfect Whip Cleanser Review

This week's review is of the best cleanser sidekick for my Clarisonic, the Shiseido FT Sengansenka Perfect Whip Facial Wash.  This cleanser is unlike anything I had ever encountered in western skin care, and on its own it seems gimmicky and unremarkable, but when paired with my trusty Clarisonic, it's a match made in skincare heaven.  I've also included how to make Perfect Whip foam, using two different methods.

Shiseido is a very widely recognized Asian luxury brand, but this particular product is from their 'drug store' line of products, so they are affordable but still considered to be decent quality.  I wouldn't dare use conventional drug store skin care like Neutrogena, etc, on my face (cue skin rage) but I've heard good things about Shiseido's drug store products and certainly my skin likes the Perfect Whip just fine.

Full product name: Shiseido FT Sengansenka Perfect Whip Facial Wash
Purpose: A foaming cleanser with a unique foam formation that resembles a very thick, dense shaving cream more than your traditional foaming cleanser.  It creates a thick cushion of foam on the skin, and is supposedly to be very gentle on the skin.
Texture: Starts as a pearly ultra thick cream and looks like toothpaste out of the tube.  It's slick and stringy at first, but when water is added and agitated with fingers, brush, or foaming net, it whips into a giant cloud of dense, superfine foam which resists pressure.  Almost like a mousse texture.
Scent:  Medium.  It has a sort of chemical smell, like Clearasil, Neutrogena, etc, but with a pleasant fruity/floral scent on top. Doesn't linger after rinsing.
Packaging: A squeeze tube, so be careful as a little goes a long way.
Quantity: 5oz, which is a large amount considering how little you need.
Availability: I bought mine from Amazon, also available various places online.  If you happen to live in Japan, it will be easily available.
Price: With shipping, it came out to about $9 from the above seller.  Compare that to the $33 for the ElishaCoy All-In-One BB cleanser that also has a place in my beauty lineup, it's a steal.
Rating:  5/5!  9/22/14 Update:  I have since learned that any cleanser over 5.6 actually damages your skin (click here for full post including scientific sources) so sadly this previously loved cleanser is no longer something I can recommend.  
Repurchase: You bet.  I have had a Clarisonic for years, and have always been hunting for the perfect cleanser to pair it with-- this foam is it.  As this cleanser is a stratum corneum-wrecking nuclear pH level of 8, no.  Never again.  I miss you, Perfect Whip, but you're destroying my ability to fight off acne bacteria every time you touch my face.

Onward to the review of this strange, but brilliant, little product!

Full Review:

Up until when the Shiseido Perfect Whip joined my skincare regimen, I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my Clarisonic.  On the one hand, no scrub, peel, mask, etc, had ever made such a dent in my constant congested skin crisis, but on the other hand, having all my cleansers souped-up to 6x their normal cleaning power made my skin cry for mercy.  I tried switching to different cleansers: ultra gentle types, cream types, milky types, gel types, and I noticed that the gentler the cleanser got, the worse the Clarisonic made my skin feel.  Without a foaming cleanser to form a protective layer between the bristles and my skin, it was just too rough.

I tried all their brush heads made for sensitive and delicate skin, but the fact remained it worked best with foam cleansers, even if the foaming cleanser +brush result was too harsh and drying for my skin.  I even tried stepping down the frequency of usage, but then I lost the skincare benefits of using it regularly and I was at an impasse.

Cue PBunnieP to the rescue; I asked her what she would recommend for my Clarisonic dilemma since she is a fellow die-hard Clarisonic user, and she suggested a few things including the Shiseido Perfect Whip.  Like all things that interest me, I had to research it to death before I purchased it. 

That brought me to this youtube advertisement, where I watched with amazement as this unremarkable cream turned into a giant fluffy mound of foam:  

Of course, it's not nearly as easy to produce that much foam using just your hands, which is why they cut away after she starts and then return when she has a fistful of foamy goodness.

Either that, or she has some sort of amazing skills that keep the foam from turning into a runny, spattering mess as you agitate it with your fingers, in which case, kudos to you, advertisement lady!

What this video does do well is show how dense and mousse-like this foam is, because you can see it resisting the pressure of her hands and almost forming into a ball.

For those of us not steeped in the ways of ultimate foam creation, there are a few more beginner-friendly options, one of which is using a brush: either of the old-fashioned shaving cream variety or using the Clarisonic brush itself.  The other method is using a foaming net, which I will show after the Clarisonic method.  I usually only use the brush method if I am feeling extremely tired and/or lazy, because you get a better result with the net.

Step 1: Dispense appropriate amount of Perfect whip onto an either dry or wet hand, doesn't matter.  Your Clarisonic brush will be wet and provide the water you need.

Step 2: Run your Clarisonic (or old-fashioned shaving cream brush) under water and plop it on your hand, sopping wet, and with gentle circular motions, start working up the foam.  The idea is not to scrub your hand, it's just to work up the foam.

The first round with the brush will result in a pretty small amount, but as you re-wet the brush and concentrate the foam in your palm, it will build.

**I should add that the Clarisonic is Off, because I haven't noticed any improvement by having it running when I am creating foam.

Step 3: Scoop the foam off the edges of the brush as it builds up, so you are gathering the foam in your palm.

Step 4: After you have scooped the foam off the brush back onto your palm, re-wet the brush head and go back at the dollop of foam in your palm.  I usually do 2-3 rounds of scrub-scoop-add water before I am done.  It doesn't take long.

And here is our final result with the brush method!  As you can see, there is plenty of foam and although it's not as dense/cushiony as the net method which I am about to show you, it's certainly good enough for those late nights where you're tempted to just wipe your face with a makeup remover sheet and be done with it.

Next up we have the foaming net method.  Foaming nets are easily found in Japanese dollar stores, and mine were kindly mailed to me by a friend there.  I think any sort of loofah-type netting would work, or you can hunt around online.

There are a few different kinds of nets, apparently, with the slightly more expensive ones producing more ideal foam.  She sent me a few to try, and these nets with a looped (as opposed to open-ended) layer seem to work the best, which is the white one pictured below (you can find it here).  The pink one still in the package is the open-ended type, which is the less expensive of the two.  I have been using the white (looped) type for a few months with no issues, I just hang it up in my shower to dry.

As you can see in the instructions in the close-up image on the right, you work the product inside the net, using your hands, and then wring the resulting foam out of the net.  It produces more abundant and dense foam than either your hands or a brush.

As specified in the commercial, a 2cm stripe of the whip is enough to work up a nice lather.  I use the same method of working the net, reapplying water, and repeating until I get the foam I want.

Step 1: Wet your net before applying the whip, and I prefer to lift the outside layer, which is looped in on itself, away from the inner layer.  I find that sandwiching the whip between the layers gives me better results.

You could just as easily apply the whip in the net and then wet it, it really doesn't matter.  You want to watch for sufficient water in the net as you work, because if you don't keep the whip loose with water, it won't foam up easily.

Step 2:  Start working the net between your hands to create the foam.  You can either work the net like you would a garment you are hand-washing (like I am doing in the picture) or grab the net in one hand and scrub it against your other hand in a circular motion, like I did with the Clarisonic brush.

Re-wet the net as you need to during this step.  As I said earlier, you want to keep the foam loose with water, but it's a balancing act between wet enough for optimal foam, and washing too much of it away.  You'll figure it out quickly enough.

Step 3: When you've got it fully foamed up and with the amount you want, just grab the net by the handy top loop with one hand, and squeeze down the length of the net with the other hand, wringing the foam down to the bottom of the net, and the out onto your hand.

In this picture (since it's a lot of white on white) I have the loop around my left index finger, and I am using my right hand to wring the foam out of the net. I already have some from an earlier pass in the palm of my left hand, because it takes a few passes to get it all off.

Here is the final result of the net method, a super dense, light, firm, mousse-textured foam, ready to allow the oscillations of your Clarisonic to reach your skin without the bristles abrading the skin surface.  In fact, it feels a lot like meringue that has been whipped to form stiff peaks, if anyone out there makes pies.

Seriously, can you imagine the foaming cleanser currently residing in your bathroom being able to do this?  It's positively bouncy.  In fact, if you shape it into a ball in your hand, like the above Shiseido commercial, it will resist the pressure of your fingers and try to hold its shape, instead of instantly oozing everywhere like a typical foaming cleanser.

How neat is that?  I apply the foam directly onto my face, so it looks like a strangely thick face mask, and then go in with my Clarisonic brush.

I have tried this on its own, and was completely underwhelmed.  It had a classic case of "neither fish nor fowl"; it was neither gentle enough not to be drying, nor was it strong enough to give me a decent clean on its own.  When paired with a Clarisonic, it becomes an amazing product unlike anything else I've ever tried.

Final thoughts:
If you have a Clarisonic but you haven't yet found your Goldilocks cleanser for it, give this a try.  It's cheap and effective, what more can you ask for?

Leave me a comment below with your favourite cleanser for your Clarisonic, or let me know if you have any questions.  I'd love to hear about your Clarisonic experiences!

All the best,

**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever.  This blog contains  both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.


  1. Whoa, buying this as soon as I leave this comment! So cool! I haven't been using my Clarisonic lately and I think this face wash may be just what I need!

    1. It really makes a difference in how often I can use my Clarisonic. The foam barrier makes the brush glide over my skin, but it still vibrates the goo out of my pores just fine. I recommend following up a Clarisonic session with a face massage with a moisturizer, especially if you have any with a thinner, milky texture as opposed to a rich cream. I find that pulls out anything that the Clarisonic moved up to the surface of my skin.

    2. Great tip, thank you! I definitely have some thinner moisturizers I can't really use during the winter that I could use for a face massage.

      By the way, I searched Amazon and eBay for "foaming net" and several popped up. It's a little hard to tell if the ends are closed on some of them but they're pretty inexpensive so I think I'll order a few and keep my fingers crossed. They're also available at Muji but are sold out on the site. However, the Muji one has the open bottom.

    3. If you are looking for the close-ended type, Muji does have them (I updated the post with the link) and it's got an open-ended net inside, and then the looped layer on the outside. Here's the one I have: Hope that helps!

  2. I just bought both the foaming net and the perfect whip based on your review! I cannot wait to try them both!

  3. Ok, I just tried the Perfect Whip using the foaming net and my Olay Pro-X brush (fake clarisonic contraption) and it worked exactly as you said! The foam was thick like shaving cream and whipped up super quick using the net. It was fun! I only used a pea shaped amount of product to get enough foam to cover my face like Mrs. Doubtfire. It rinsed off cleanly and so far, I haven't noticed a film or any irritation. Thanks for the awesome review! I want to use my magical foaming net with everything now!

  4. Hello, I was wondering if the cleanser also removes BB cream and waterproof sunscreen. The soap I use daily for washing my face at night does not get rid of all the gunk on my face, so I have to resort to using the black sugar scrub from skinfood, but I don't think exfoliate often is good for the skin. Please let me know!

    1. Yep! It's my favourite method to remove everything at the end of the day, and I not only wear BB cream, but I use a beauty blender style brush to really bounce it into my skin. While that makes for good adherence, longer lasting coverage, and a more natural finish, it does make it hard to get it off at night. As i mentioned in the review, I am totally not impressed with the cleanser on its own, but the Perfect Whip + Clarisonic is ideal. I know that others have used cheaper skin brushes to good effect.

      I also have the Skinfood Black Sugar scrub, which is nice as a scrub, but I can't imagine using that on your face every day! Ouch! D: