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Review: How SK-II Skincare Changed My Life

As a beauty editor, I get a zillion products to review. Rough life, you might say, and I can’t argue with that. It’s truly a joy and privilege to look at some of the most well-constructed, highly effective products on the market and learning about the R&D process.

There are some lines that truly stand out above others. For the past several months, my skin has been on a breakout spree. Blame it on the weather, extra-long moisture-sapping showers, the icy winds etc. etc. I tried everything and nothing worked. My skin was always dry (even though I have oily skin, it was drier than the Atacama Desert).


And then I learned about SK-II, a Japanese skincare line that uses Pitera as a key ingredient. Pitera is actually a signature blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids, and the key ingredient of SK-II is a yeast that took several years to formulate and perfect. Pitera produces a seemingly miraculous rebirth of the skin through stimulation and renewal of the outer layer.

Cate Blanchett swears by SK-II, and she was using the line even before the brand tapped her to be their Brand Ambassador. My first thought was, if Cate loves it and if it’s a Japanese skincare brand, it has to be gentle and effective.

I’ve been using SK-II for a few weeks now and already my skin looks and feels a lot more radiant, a lot less muddy. Here are some of my favorite products:

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: This, in my opinion is hands-down the most luxurious facial cloth mask out there; it DRENCHES your skin in moisture (it’s saturated with Pitera). Your skin cells are hydrated beyond compare, and if you’re having a particularly bad day or rough winter, you need this. It’s saved me from dialing beauty 911. I love that this cloth mask is full of rich enzyme-like gooeyness that you can spread all over your face and neck. It also has a cooling effect. There’s also the Eye Mask which I haven’t tried yet, but promises to depuff and soothe your tired eye area.

Japanese brides-to-be know about the genius of these masks, and follow a well-known tradition that begins after she becomes engaged; for three months leading up to her wedding day, the bride applies a SK-II Facial Treatment Mask each day. An expensive habit, certainly, since these masks don’t come cheap. 10 sheets retail for $125.

SK-II Essence

Facial Treatment Essence: The other product that I can’t live with is the Facial Treatment Essence, which is considered the “holy water” by a lot of zealous users in Japan. It’s a serious Award winner (Allure’s Best of Beauty in 2009) that will hydrate skin to improve texture and clarity. It also promotes skin cells’ well-being and harmony. Use this every day after your cleansing routine to awaken and refresh the skin.

Because this is a completely gentle essence, it works beautifully on all types of skin, even acne-prone ones like mine. You’ll have to pry this essence away from my dead, lifeless hands.

It retails for $195 for 7.3 oz.

Skin Signature Cream: This is an ultra light yet RICH cream (I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn’t) that has changed my skin’s texture, look and feel almost overnight. The cream hydrates to help restore and prolong skin firmness and elasticity and it also contains skin conditioners, along with Vitamin B3, Pitera® and Oli-Vityl™, a new ingredient for SK-II derived from an olive species that thrives in Tuscany, Italy.

I now SWEAR by this cream: I use it religiously, morning and evening, and thank the stars that it was made. Because I don’t handle harsh fragrances or scents very well, this fragrance-less cream is just the ticket. It is considered part of SK-II’s “Anti Aging” line and retails for $205.

I would pretty much venture to say these three products have completely changed my skin, and in so many ways, my life. Because having clear skin is totally priceless…it’s something no concealer or foundation can really ever change.

For Valentine’s Day, receive a Golden Compact Foundation with a purchase of $300 or more.

Which skincare routine has changed your life? Have you tried SK-II? What do you think? Leave us a comment below!

– Charu Suri

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  1. I have tried a free sample of Sk-II that I received from BeautyStat and I loved it! It was a whitening mask and let me tell you how soft and brighten my skin was with that one time I used it! The products are pricey and will I ever purchase any of their products maybe not at this moment. If the mask alone did that to my skin I only could imagine what their other products could do!

    Shared on Twitter MadamM03

  2. I read lot of good things about the SK-II, I just ordered the facial treatment essence (small size since it is expensive), can’t wait to try it. Hope it works as lot of reviews say.

  3. Did you know that SSK-II owns olay? The products are very similar. The olay tighting mask is very similar from what I was told by a sales person. I tried the Olay mask. It did take away the puffiness from my face and it looked brighter. But the two companies are owned by the same people. I would certainly expect more from the SSK=11 because it’s supposed to be a wonderful product. It’s too expensive for me to use but I would love to try it someday.

  4. Miracle !!! that I can say…….
    My mom 63 years old and all her face skin a lot of pigmentation,wrinkle and sagging , the last I met her in Sept 2010, after that when I met my mom in february 2011..I really shocked,,, she looking younger 10 years old…. no more sagging skin and her skin become fairer I ask her secret and she inform she using SK II…
    only 2 weeks of usage you can see the miracle…

    Wow … SK II is an option for plastic surgery…why must we undergo
    a plastic surgery when SK II is here for a solution ….

  5. SK-II is owned by P&G!!!!
    Japanese no way…

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