“Gimmicky” is a nice way to describe this two-piece cloth mask. You get individual pre-cut masks for the upper and lower parts of the face. The mask for the upper face is supposed to target wrinkles while the mask for the lower part is supposed to address sagging skin along the jaw line. Both masks contain SK-II’s star ingredient Pitera, which is a strain of yeast they claim can seemingly vanquish every wrinkle while also lifting, firming, and revitalizing skin. Well, it absolutely can’t do that, and definitely not when applied in these absurd waste-of-time cloths.
The ingredients in the upper and lower masks are so similar to what’s in SK-II’s other moisturizer, serum, and “treatment” products that you have to wonder why they bothered. We suspect it’s simply because they know some women can be easily swayed by words such as “breakthrough” coupled with anything that sounds like it could replace cosmetic surgery. Really, other than the novelty of fitting a cloth mask over different parts of your face and the addition of the film-forming agent PVP in the lower mask (which will make skin feel temporarily tighter, sort of like putting hairspray on your face, but also risks irritation), there is nothing different about this mask compared to most of the leave-on products from SK-II. Both masks in this set contain beneficial ingredients for skin, but they’ll make little difference when used occasionally versus daily. And using this mask daily would be bad for anyone’s beauty budget, and what a waste of time!
Breakthrough Anti-Ageing Treatment. Two mask sections designed to fit both upper and lower areas of the face – each infused with a different formulation. Upper mask targets wrinkles by re-energising the look of the skin. Lower mask addresses loss of firmness around the jawline. Both masks contain Pitera to hydrate and smooth.
Upper Mask: Water, Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Atelocollagen, Isopropyl Isostearate, Isohexadecane, Phytosteryl/Behenyl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Squalane, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Steareth-20, Pvp, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben.
Lower Mask: Water, Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Carnitine Hydroxycitrate, Isopropyl Isostearate, Isohexadecane, Phytosteryl/Behenyl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, PVP, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium Edta, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben
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.