03.13.2015
25
Whitening Source Brightening Derm Specialist
1.7 fl. oz. for $190
Expert Rating
Community Rating (0)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:03.13.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes

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).

Community Reviews
Claims

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.

Ingredients

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

Brand Overview

Despite its high-end pricing, much of the SK-II products are surprisingly ordinary—many contain a small assortment of beneficial ingredients in addition to standard moisturizing agents and fragrance. Though their marketing campaigns are compelling, much is left to be desired when you compare glossy layouts to ingredients and formulas.

Pitera is the cornerstone of the SK-II line and is present in every SK-II product. There is some research demonstrating that this yeast, galactomyces ferment filtrate, has a protective effect on the skin barrier, working to prevent damage to the proteins that play a critical role in maintaining its integrity. There isn’t much beyond this single study, so there is no way to compare it to the already well-researched ingredients on the market, but it is intriguing (Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 2015). Why SK-II chose to base their line around this ingredient given the lack of knowledge about it is curious—there are plenty of research-proven alternatives they could have considered (vitamin C, green tea, retinol, etc.), or at least paired with Pitera!

In the end, much of the SK-II line lacks the formulas to warrant their price tags. However, if you’re looking to splurge, there are a few products to consider—see our full reviews for more information.

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

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

Despite its high-end pricing, much of the SK-II products are surprisingly ordinary—many contain a small assortment of beneficial ingredients in addition to standard moisturizing agents and fragrance. Though their marketing campaigns are compelling, much is left to be desired when you compare glossy layouts to ingredients and formulas.

Pitera is the cornerstone of the SK-II line and is present in every SK-II product. There is some research demonstrating that this yeast, galactomyces ferment filtrate, has a protective effect on the skin barrier, working to prevent damage to the proteins that play a critical role in maintaining its integrity. There isn’t much beyond this single study, so there is no way to compare it to the already well-researched ingredients on the market, but it is intriguing (Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 2015). Why SK-II chose to base their line around this ingredient given the lack of knowledge about it is curious—there are plenty of research-proven alternatives they could have considered (vitamin C, green tea, retinol, etc.), or at least paired with Pitera!

In the end, much of the SK-II line lacks the formulas to warrant their price tags. However, if you’re looking to splurge, there are a few products to consider—see our full reviews for more information.

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