Ultimate Revival Serum

by SK-II   
Price:
$265 - 1.6 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Serums
Last Updated:
2/8/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

The only thing ultimate about SK-II's Ultimate Revival Serum is the price, and that's not good news for your skin. It is nearly identical to SK-II's LXP Ultimate Serum, which costs the same and is every bit as underwhelming for what amounts to a substantial skin-care investment. For what this single serum costs, you could assemble a brilliant anti-aging skin-care routine and have money left over to go out for a nice dinner!

Unless you're a firm believer in the power of SK-II's allegedly miraculous Pitera ingredient (discussed below), there is no reason in the world to spend this much for a serum. There are plenty of great serums that cost less than $60 and offer skin a broader range of anti-aging benefits than this one.

There's also the fact that there are far more formulary similarities than differences among all SK-II serums, despite varying claims and wildly different prices—something the counter staff for this line cannot adequately explain.

In the end, this is an OK (though still absurdly priced) fragrance-free serum for normal to oily or combination skin.

As for Pitera, in essence, it's a type of yeast that has anti-inflammatory activity, but there is no published, substantiated research proving even a fraction of its claims are true, and there's no way Pitera should be considered the best anti-aging ingredient. It makes for a good story around which to build a line, but that's about it. Luckily, SK-II uses a range of proven anti-aging ingredients alongside Pitera, but that doesn't mean their prices are justified. See More Info for further details about Pitera.

Pros:
  • Hydrates skin with a blend of lightweight ingredients.
  • Contains a decent blend of skin-repairing and cell-communicating ingredients.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Drastically overpriced.
  • Not comparable to less expensive serums that have better, more wide-ranging formulas.
  • Pitera is not even a minor miracle for skin.
More Info:

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 much less stringent than the requirements for publication of study results in respected medical journals.

Even if Pitera is a wonder ingredient, that doesn't explain how it rates in comparison with other great ingredients because there are no comparison studies. Hundreds of ingredients—ranging from green tea to superoxide dismutase, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, caffeic acid, beta-carotene, pomegranate, and curcumin to vitamin E, vitamin A, and on and on and on—have stellar reputations, and there's copious published documentation to prove it. In no way is Pitera the end-all, be-all, must-have ingredient.

This revitalizing facial treatment contains the skin regenerating active, optimizing fundamental cell energy that helps to perfect the skin, and Pitera 8X, the highest Pitera concentration used exclusively for LXP only. It also contains rose absolute, the most expensive fragrance in the world with added findings on skincare efficacy.
Water, Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate*, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexapeptide-3, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xanthan Gum, Diphenyl Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA. *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.

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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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