Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel (Discontinued)
3.5 fl. oz. for $55
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:04.27.2012
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview
Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel is an extremely standard, mineral oil–based (yes, mineral oil) wipe-off cleanser that, shockingly, comes in a jar! Sticking your fingers into any product is bad news for its stability. This is more reminiscent of a cold cream than anything else, and it’s a very expensive cold cream! The only reason to blow $50 on this would be because you actually believed that the Pitera it contains was simply the most important skin-care ingredient ever. It also contains Crithmum maritimum extract, from a seaweed commonly known as rock samphire or sea fennel. Some research does show that it has antioxidant properties, but there is also research showing it can be cytotoxic (toxic to cells) (Source: Journal of Natural Products, September 1993, pages 1598–1600).
A tissue-off cleanser formulated to gently remove makeup, this cleanser contains special cleansing ingredients and moisturizes to help prevent dryness.
Mineral Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Glycerin, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Water, Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate (Pitera), Polysorbate 60, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Butylene Glycol, Triethylhexanoin, Sucrose Palmitate, Tocopherol, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Diisostearyl Malate, Sucrose Distearate, Disodium Edta, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Ammonium Silver Zinc Aluminum Silicate, Butylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
Brand Overview

SK-II At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some well-formulated moisturizers and serums; all of the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection.

Weaknesses: Shockingly expensive, especially for the wide assortment of mediocre products; unreliable skin-lightening products; AHA/BHA products that contain an ineffective amount of exfoliant; no products to help manage blemishes; jar packaging.

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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