SK-II Brightening Derm Moisturiser
2.6 fl. oz. for $135
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We should be surprised that a product which consists mostly of silicone, yeast (that's what Pitera is, listed as Saccharomycopsis ferment filtrate), slip agent, and niacinamide is able to capture consumer's attention. It’s absolutely not worth its inflated price. Sadly, this is just one more example of how incredibly out of hand this segment of the cosmetics industry has become. If you were hoping this moisturizer would be the answer for your skin discolorations, it might; but you don't have to spend anywhere near this much to see if those ingredients will improve your dark spots. Any of the products with niacinamide from Olay's Regenerist would work at least as well (and possibly better) against skin discolorations and at a fraction of the cost. This product's best attribute is making skin feel silkier; all of the plant ingredients and antioxidants will deteriorate quickly once you begin using this jar-packaged moisturizer.

Last Updated:02.08.2013
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

AN INTENSE HYDRATING CREAM Also designed to work in harmony with SK-II Whitening Source Derm Definition, this deeply-moisturizing cream helps to optimize the look of skin that lacks radiance and evenness. SK-II Skin Brightener is packed with nourishing hydrators and texturizers to give your skin the correct smooth texture and a beautiful, soft glow effect. It also contains micro-fine visual modifiers, to bring an impressively uniform tone to your skin.


Cyclopentasiloxane, Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate**, Glycerin, Aqua (Water/Eau), Polyethylene, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, 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, Sodium Metabisulfate

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.

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