The crux of this product is that it’s supposed to even your skin tone. To that end, it contains niacinamide and a form of vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside), both ingredients with promising to impressive research behind their abilities to fight brown spots and sun damage that results in, you guessed it, an uneven skin tone. The real problem with this skin-lightening serum is its price! The core lightening ingredients are found (in efficacious amounts) in numerous other products, including some from Olay (whose parent company Procter & Gamble also owns SK-II), Paula’s Choice, Clinique, and Estee Lauder. You absolutely do not need to pay anywhere near this amount for a brilliant skin-lightening product. If you decide to indulge, Whitening Source Brightening Derm Specialist is best for normal to slightly dry or oily skin. Its silicone content makes skin feel very silky. Thankfully, the DNA ingredient this contains cannot affect the DNA in your skin (doing so could lead to numerous problems).
This revitalizing gel emulsion enhanced with a Vitamin C derivative and Pitera hydrates and evens skin tone. SK-II Whitening Source Derm Definition moisturizes to promote a clear and translucent glow revealing brighter, more translucent skin.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate**, Glycerin, Aqua (Water), Polyethylene, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Allantoin, Agarum Cribosum Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, DNA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide, Alumina, PEG-10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone Carbomer, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Ehtylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Beta-Carotene
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.