SK-II Signs Up-Lifter
1.3 fl. oz. for $265
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Brand Overview
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Signs Up-Lifter contains an even more concentrated version of this strain of yeast, called Pitera 4. It's there along with many of the same ingredients you find in Olay's Regenerist products, and that means this is a good, fragrance-free moisturizer for normal to dry skin. There are a few extras in Signs Up-Lifter, like Padina pavonica extract, from a form of algae that has some antioxidant properties. But as it turns out, a comparison study (our favorite kind) found that a different form of algae had far more potent antioxidant abilities, namely Caulerpa racemosa (Source: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, July 2005, pages 35-41). This also contains Crithmum maritimum extract, another form of algae. There is some research that shows Crithmum maritimum has some antioxidant properties, but there is also research showing it can be cytotoxic (toxic to cells) (Source: Journal of Natural Products, September 1993, pages 1598-1600). In the greater scheme of things, these extras add up to a whole lot of nothing.

Last Updated:02.08.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

This remarkably effective concentrated firming serum visibly improves the skin’s elasticity and firmness, including problem areas such as around the eyes and mouth. It has be specifically formulated with Pitera 4, an extremely concentrated form of Pitera that has been repeatedly filtered, and combined with a peptide complex to create an incredibly potent and high powered anti-aging product.


Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate (Pitera), Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Pentylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Centella Asiatica Extract, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Padina Pavonica Extract, PEG-100 Stearate, Biotin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Metabisulfite, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben

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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