Air Touch Foundation (Discontinued)

by SK-II   
Price:
$165 
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Category:
Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundations without Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation
Last Updated:
4/27/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes
This is one of the most unusual and absurdly expensive foundations we’ve ever tested. We were left wondering why anyone would bother with this, and not only because the price is ridiculously out of line for what you get. Air Touch Foundation is said to harness “never-before-seen technology to deliver a precise application that gives an unparalleled result.” The “never-before-seen” part must be the large circular component of the packaging; it’s roughly the size of a softball, but flatter, and we have to agree that we’ve never before seen that as a way to get makeup on. There’s a silver button in the center that has three settings: on, off, and a teardrop-shaped symbol that you set first to prime the foundation.

The priming step supposedly activates the Air Touch Ionizer, a system that’s said to give the foundation particles a positive charge while simultaneously preparing to mist a veil of negatively charged ions over skin. Without getting into an in-depth discussion about ions, which are simply atoms that have lost or gained one or more electrons, this Ionizer nonsense is as gimmicky as it gets. Priming this foundation with ionization is not an essential step that allows it to work better than any other foundation, and there’s no proof to the contrary, and you won’t experience better results, either.

Once you turn the dial to “on” this is ready to mist on skin. The mist it produces is ultra-fine, and it feels slightly damp as you move the spray around your face to ensure even application and a soft satin finish, but you must be very careful not to spray this into your eye or mouth, that’s for sure, or over your hairline.

Unless you want very sheer coverage you have to apply quite a bit, which means you’ll be buying refills more often than you’d like. Applied normally, holding the device four inches from the face, produces a fine layer of sheer foundation that needs minor blending to smooth things out and produce a uniform soft matte finish. Each of the four colors are fine (because they’re so sheer) and are suitable for light to medium skin tones.

Although Air Touch Foundation is interesting and “never before seen,” the results aren’t worth the expenditure.

Procter & Gamble, as always, is extremely helpful in providing information about their products. In this case it was for their upscale SK-II skin-care line. We certainly can't say that about most companies. We have to acknowledge P&G for having the integrity to share their "inside" details with someone like me, who might be more critical than complimentary. Thank you, P&G!

Regrettably, and we mean that sincerely, we wish we had more positive comments to convey, but alas, we don't. The data provided don't change the reality about skin care and the ingredients that can have an impact on skin. SK-II products are hardly worth the price, especially when compared to Olay Regenerist and Definity (P&G's own drugstore line of skin-care products). In fact, it takes only a quick review of the formulas to note that many SK-II items are very similar to Olay Regenerist items, except that the latter don't include Pitera, the supposedly miracle ingredient in this line. Yet there is minimal research indicating that Pitera is even helpful for skin.

Pitera is the cornerstone of the SK-II line and is present in every SK-II product. Pitera is the trade name for Saccharomycopsis ferment filtrate (SFF), a form of yeast purportedly unique because of the fermenting and filtering process it goes through before being added to these products. As it turns out, many forms of yeast have anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties, including SFF (Source: Journal of Dermatologic Science, June 2006, pages 249–257). Other than that, all of the information about Pitera comes from papers presented at medical conferences, not from published studies. Presenting papers at medical conferences is not at all the same thing as publishing the results of studies. We frequently present papers and information at medical conferences, and we wouldn't offer that material as proof of anything because it isn't. The standards for presenting a paper at a medical conference are very different from the requirements for publication of study results in most medical journals.

To give P&G the benefit of the doubt, even if Pitera is a wonder ingredient, this doesn't explain how it rates when compared with other "wonder" ingredients because there are no comparison studies. Hundreds of ingredients—ranging from green tea to superoxide dismutase, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, eicosapentaenoic acid, beta-carotene, pomegranate, and curcumin to vitamin E, vitamin A, and on and on and on—have stellar reputations, and there's copious documentation to prove it.

Another point to consider: If Pitera deserves the spotlight SK-II shines on it, then P&G needs to change their claims about Olay Regenerist and Definity, and at the very least say that these products are almost as good as SK-II except we left out the Pitera. Ultimately, unless you believe Pitera is the answer for your every skin-care need (because each and every SK-II product contains it, with very few other added extras), there is no reason to waste your time and energy on this line.

For more information about SK-II, owned by Procter & Gamble, visit www.sk-ii.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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