The jar packaging for this product means the several light-and air-sensitive ingredients it contains won't remain stable and active once this is opened, which is a big letdown. In better packaging, this would be a very good (though still absurdly priced) moisturizer for normal to combination or slightly dry skin.
As for the claims, all they're really stating is that this moisturizer makes skin's surface smoother so it is better able to reflect light. Of course, hundreds of products make skin smoother, so this is hardly the only option out there. It's plain physics that smoother skin reflects light and looks more "illuminated" (or "cell-uminated", if you prefer) than skin with a rough, uneven texture. Knowing this, the claim, though seductively worded, sounds less impressive, doesn't it?
Hydrates and refines the surface to boost skin s natural, healthy-looking glow and to help diminish the appearance of discoloration for a more even tone. It conditions and refines for a skin surface with more even texture and transparency that boosts light transmission within the surface. More light transmission creates a healthy looking natural glow and makes the look of discolorations such as age spots have a less obvious contrast to natural skin color.
Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate**, Niacinamide, Triethylhexanoin, Pentylene Glycol, Isopropyl Isostearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Batyl Alcohol, Squalane, Panthenol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Centella Asiatica Extract, Lecithin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Stearate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Stearoxy Ether, Stearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone Vinyl Crosspolymer, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate-80, Sodium Methyl Stearyl Taurate, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, Limonene, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Pitera
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.