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Reviewed and rejected: SKll Facial Treatment Essence

March 8, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 6 Comments
Making Cate Blanchett the new face of SKll could be a double-edged sword. And I'm not referring to her blade-like cheek bones. We all want to be tall and marble-esque like Cate. On the other hand, the new marketing campaign makes people like me start snooping around. My brain cells start (in a blurred kind of way, I'll admit) to summon up cosmetic trivia; wasn't there some recall scandal around SKll in China a couple of years ago?

Anyway, let's start with the fun part. SK11 comes with an 'origination myth' and a La Mer-like mysterious ingredient. As SKll is made by Proctor & Gamble, I think we can safely assume our skeptical hats. The myth: 30 years ago (the bowels of time for the 28-year-old marketing executives who write this stuff), Japanese scientists wondered why the humble girls working in the local saki factory had such beautiful skin. In scientific defiance of closely held saki trade secrets, they traced the cause to a yeast. Not content with this, SKll's marketers invented a secret ingredient that is "seemingly miraculous" and called Pitera.

Let's take a look at SKll Facial Treatment Essence. Apparently, it was this product in particular that got the young (as then unknown and positively gawky Cate) switched on to this brand. And it has a whopping 90% Pitera. It is almost pure Pitera!

P&G does its best to make sure you can't find the ingredients for Facial Treatment Essence without buying the damn thing. Thankfully, a fellow blogger posted it. Here it is:

Saccharomycopsis ferment - yeast, to you and me; two moisturizers that you will find in most creams under the sun, butylene glycol and pentylene glycol; water; and three preservatives.

The Chinese recall did happen. There was a scare about a year or so ago that SKll products contained toxic amounts of heavy metals. This had a negative impact on P&G's beauty division revenues, hence the need to splash out on Cate. I hope she's thought of a good charity to donate her fee to.
  • July 26, 2016

    by nur baizuriana

    I like sk11

  • November 6, 2014

    by Belinda

    I was living in China when the 'recall' happened it was a 'tit for tat' by China because SK-11 withdrew from China due to piracy of the product in China and the setting up of fake counters in department stores. I saw one of these counters and I couldn't tell the difference. The recall had nothing to do with the quality of the product.

  • January 21, 2013

    by Will

    i started using SK-II a year ago only two products and i still maintain using products from other brands as well and I can honestly say its the best product i've ever used. I've used other things where I can tell a difference but this is the first line I've used that other people compliment my skin...and I'm a guy!

    I pretty much never really used much as most guys do, but I got hooked on this Essence. Oh and by the way the workers in that sake brewery were actually old men and women. And the company was acquired by P&G years after SK-II came out with Essence. You made it sound like P&G created it. Just saying...

  • September 12, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Katrina, I agree that it is time for us to go back to the SKII range and give it a try. I'll report back.

  • September 11, 2012

    by Katrina

    This article does not explain why SK2 is rejected. Just based on the 2006 Chinese recall to me is not enough.
    There is simply no basis for saying if it works or not!

    I have been a SK2 user for several years (before you start judging, I am here reading this article because I have doubts about SK2 and I want to find some answers), mainly using the facial treatment essence (I have tried the facial clear lotion, cleanser and a mask as well) and have stopped using it for a couple of years. My skin during those years were wonderful and pimple free, people say I have wonderful skin (mind you, before that and right now, I have oily skin, large pores and break out).

    Granted, in those years that I was using SK2, I also had a super wonderful beautician/facialist keeping my skin in check every month, and now that I have moved to another place, I have not been able to find a good facialist.

    I don't know if it is because that I have stopped using SK2, or is it because I have not been able to find a good facialist, or just that I am in my mid-30s now that my face has not been as it was before. But recently I have been thinking of going back to SK2 again as I think it might be the missing link.

    I came to this article full of hope in reading something useful and reading people's reviews on their experience with this product, but SK2 is really not being much reviewed in TIA unfortunately.
    Hope to see another (in-depth) article on it with an actual review (after actually trying it for some time).

  • January 3, 2011

    by Lola

    its not Sk11
    its SK-II (you pronounce it SK-two)

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