Skin Care Product Reviews

SK-II Review – Is SK-II Skincare Brand Really Worth the Hype?

The Japanese cosmetics brand, SK-II, is distributed and marketed in East Asia and North America, Europe, and Australia, as a premium skin care solution. It’s a brand users want to know about.
By Dermspotlight Staff,
Updated Mar 1, 2022
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SK-II: A Quick Overview

SK-II is a cosmetics company that has won numerous awards. The company offers a wide range of facial treatments, including cleansers, lotions, and masks. Each product is meticulously crafted to nourish and moisturize the skin for a healthy, glowing appearance. The company caters to people who want a basic but effective skincare routine.

SK-II researchers happened to be in a sake brewery in Japan by chance, where they discovered that while the senior workers’ faces were wrinkled, their hands were exceptionally supple and youthful-looking. This discovery sparked a detailed investigation that included over 350 different types of yeast.

Finally, the researchers discovered Pitera, a rare yeast strain that held the key to flawless skin. Pitera can be found in the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, the brand’s top-selling, as well as the rest of the SK-II skin care line.

About the Manufacturers

After years of submerging their hands in the fermented yeast, older workers at a sake brewery had smooth, transparent, and youthful-looking hands, which led to the development of SK-II in the 1970s by Japanese researchers studying the use of more naturally produced ingredients. In the early 1980s, the company developed a yeast extract called pitera for cosmetic application, and thus the brand was introduced.

Coty, Inc. founded SK-II in 1980, and it is now owned by The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G).

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

SK-II
SK-II Products. Image/Dermspotlight

SK-II Skincare Products

SK-II offers a wide range of products to help you achieve beautiful, clear skin. Cleansers, toners, masks, serums, moisturizers, lotions, eye creams, wrinkle creams, night creams, and more from the brand provide an easy-to-follow skincare routine that nourishes your skin with vitamins and amino acids.

One bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is sold every two seconds, making it the brand’s top-selling product.

Here are some of SK-II top-selling products:

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

No matter your skin type or condition, this mild facial essence claims to help you “get your finest skin ever.” This SK-II essence is said to hydrate, soften, and smooth skin texture, minimize the appearance of dark spots and fine wrinkles caused by dryness, improve radiance, and even skin tone, among other things.

All skin types can use this product, and it is perfect for those with signs of aging, a poor complexion, dark patches, or a rough texture.

Price
Prices range from $99 to $235.

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.


SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

A Pitera-infused face sheet mask. It is suggested that you use it twice a day (morning and night)

All skin types can use this product, and it is perfect for those with signs of aging, a poor complexion, dark patches, or a rough texture.

Price
Prices ranged from $95 to $139.


SK-II SkinPower Cream

An anti-aging face lotion that dissolves into the skin to deeply hydrate and seal in moisture, restoring skin’s suppleness and bounce.

Price
It is sold for $199.


SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion Toner

This SK-II toner is supposed to get rid of stubborn impurities and prepare your skin for the rest of your skincare routine.

Price
Prices ranged from $49 to $76.

SK-II SkinPower Eye Cream

This SK-II eye lotion claims to “supercharge” skin around the eyes, making them appear larger and younger.

Price
It is sold for $139.


SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence Serum

For even and radiant skin, this SK-II essence serum is intended to absorb fast to help diminish the appearance of dark spots produced by sun damage.

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

Price
The price ranged from $191 to $240.


SK-II GenOptics Spot Essence Serum

This SK-II essence serum claims to reveal your skin’s clarity for a bright, even complexion while also preventing dark spots produced by UV exposure.

Price
The price ranged from $173 to $225.


SK-II RNA Power Essence

This SK-II essence serum claims to restore your skin’s youthful softness and refine texture for a smooth, bouncy appearance.

Price
The price ranged from $144 to $195


SK-II SkinPower Airy Milky Lotion

This SK-II moisturizer is said to improve the skin’s elasticity and bounce for a more youthful appearance. Recommended for those who live in hotter regions or have oily skin.

Price
Prices ranged from $29 to $160.


What Are the SK-II products’ Key Ingredients?

Pitera
Pitera is yeast extract obtained from a natural fermentation process that was carefully controlled. It is also known as galactomyces ferment filtrate. It’s a clear liquid that is high in peptides, proteins, amino acids, carbs, and organic acids and contains over 50 micronutrients.

Pitera has been shown to minimize the appearance of black spots in various studies. Pitera also has anti-irritant qualities that help to calm the skin.

Pitera makes SK-II products safer, more effective, and more accepted for sensitive skin types by neutralizing toxins.

Niacinamide
Niacinamide is the amide derivative of vitamin B3 (niacin), which has numerous skin advantages.

Niacinamide can restore the skin barrier and increase skin hydration, as well as reduce acne, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and wrinkles, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

Is SK-II Harmful?

While SK-II cosmetics have therapeutic chemicals such as Pitera and niacinamide, they also include potentially hazardous substances such as parabens and synthetic perfumes.

One or more parabens are found in nearly all SK-II products. Parabens are preservatives that help a product last longer by preventing microbial contamination.

Because there is inconsistent data on the potential health effects of long-term exposure to parabens, their usage in cosmetics and skincare products is controversial.

Pros and Cons of SK-II

Pros

  • A wide range of cosmetics and skincare items
  • Extremely efficient and suited for a variety of skin types
  • A lot of favorable feedback

Cons

  • International shipping is not available.
  • Some products could be ineffective.
  • Some consumers developed skin rashes and allergic reactions as a result of using the product.
  • High-price
  • Parabens are present in some products.
  • Synthetic perfumes are used in some products.
  • SK-II is not a cruelty-free brand.

Which SK-II Essence is the Most Effective?

SK-II creates a variety of essences but based on the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence reviews; it’s evident that this product is the best. Furthermore, it is believed that the simple formula with 90% Pitera and no additional aroma is superior to the other essences.

The sole disadvantage is that methylparaben is used as a preservative in the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

What Others Have to Say About SK-II?

The majority of SK-II reviews on the brand’s website are positive. The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence has received the most ratings, with an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars after more than 2,400 customer reviews.

Many of the 5-star reviews for this SK-II essence sound the same: users rave about the effects and complain about the exorbitant price, but most think it’s worth it.

While, after using this SK-II essence, some customers reported to have experienced breakouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is SK-II?

A: SK-II is a multi-award-winning Japanese cosmetics brand that offers a wide range of facial treatments, including cleansers, creams, and masks.

Q: Is SK-II a cruelty-free product?

A: SK-II is not a cruelty-free company. Procter & Gamble, a business that conducts animal testing, owns SK-II. Animal testing is required by law in mainland China; thus, SK-II distributes its products there as well.

Q: Where Can I Purchase SK-II products?

A: Products from SK-II can be found on the brand’s website as well as via a variety of third-party online shops like Sephora, Costco, Macy’s, Dermstore, and others.

Q: Is it Safe to Use SK-II products While Pregnant?

A: Before using any of these products, consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Conclusion

Despite the positive feedback, the products are all somewhat expensive.

Every person’s skin is unique. Find an SK-II product that you like, and if it’s not giving you the results you want, stop using it.

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References

[1] Galactomyces ferment filtrate reduces melanin synthesis and oxidative stress in normal human melanocytes: https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(14)00529-5/fulltext
[2] Alactomyces Ferment Filtrate: https://procoal.co.uk/blogs/skin-school/galactomyces-ferment-filtrate
[3] Topical niacinamide-containing product reduces facial skin sallowness (yellowing): https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(04)02915-9/fulltext
[4] How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921764/
[5] Niacinamide Protects Skin Cells from Oxidative Stress Induced by Particulate Matter: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824628/
[6] Niacin – Vitamin B3: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/niacin-vitamin-b3/
[7] Parabens Factsheet: https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Parabens_FactSheet.html
[8] Parabens in Cosmetics: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/parabens-cosmetics