When scientists in the 70s were researching the best ingredients to give users beautiful skin, they never expected a chance meeting with aged sake brewers would lead to a groundbreaking discovery. The scientists noticed a stark contrast between the brewers’ youthful hands and weathered faces and surmised the cause must be in the yeast of their craft. A decade of research later, they isolated the single strain of yeast that now offers crystal clear skin to users of the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask.
The first bottle of Secret Key-II Facial Treatment hit the market in Japan in 1980. Four years later the company shortened the name to SK-II. Within 10 years, the company had sold more than 3 million bottles. Four years after that, Kaori Momoi became the first brand ambassador for the business, and she still holds this title today.
In 1990, the company embarked on a decade-long Akita Study, the world’s first holistic longitudinal skin care study. The program tracks 100 women and their skin care and health over the course of the next 10 years.
In 2002, world-famous actress Cate Blanchett discovered the product and became the global ambassador for it in 2007. The following year SK-II enjoyed crossing the milestone of 20 million bottles sold.
In 2010, award-winning actress Tang Wei joined as an ambassador. That same year, phase two of the Akita Study began. This stage, known as the Skin Destiny Study, lasted for eight months and investigated the relationship between skin care and DNA type. Researchers found women can transform their skin when using the right formulation.
The Proprietary SK-II Formula
The unique ingredients in the all-cotton treatment mask come together in an exclusive serum, which is absorbed by the skin during application. They are as follows:
- Aqua – Water is the main ingredient in the SK-II mask.
- Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate – Also known as Pitera™, this is the secret ingredient that makes this facial mask so unique. It is an exclusive yeast that is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
- Butylene Glycol – Used as a solvent and conditioning agent, butylene glycol is found in many cosmetics.
- Xanthan Gum – This polysaccharide is used as a stabilizer and thickening agent.
- Sodium Salicylate – Manufactures add sodium salicylate to cosmetics for its preservative qualities. It also renders them unpalatable.
- Methylparaben – Formulators in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries use this paraben as a preservative.
- Disodium EDTA – Often referred to as edetic acid, this helps maintain cosmetic’s clarity and reduces rancidity.
How to Apply
The mask should be administered once or twice a week after toning. Apply it on clean, dry skin, starting at the eye area and then smoothing over the rest of the face. Take care to avoid touching the serum on the mask to help keep it sterile. Once set, leave it on for 5 to 15 minutes. Leaving it on for more than 30 minutes could cause the active serum to dry out and not remain on the skin after removal.
Once the sheet is removed, do not rinse. Any remaining serum on the skin may be wiped off with a moist cloth. Carefully following the directions provided with the mask can help users not dry out their skin inadvertently or suffer any side effects.
Pros of the Facial Mask
The SK-II Mask is not a chemical peel mask, so may be the perfect fit for anyone trying to steer clear of harsh products. When the 100% cotton one-time use mask is applied, the skin absorbs the amino acids and vitamins that it contains. The target market for this beauty product are users who wish to revitalize dull, dry skin. However, the manufacturer claims it also aids in soothing inflamed skin and may be beneficial to acne sufferers.
The luxurious mask provides a healthy dose of Pitera™ to the skin, which instantly adds moisture and fills out fine lines and wrinkles. Many happy users report this feeling of fullness in their skin lasts for up to a full day after treatment. Pitera™ contains more than 50 nutrients essential to the skin. Because it stimulates natural cellular repair, it also aids in the rejuvenation of facial skin cells.
Benefits of Pitera™
- Protein – The formula’s proteins include keratin and collagen, both of which are essential in the elasticity of the skin.
- Amino Acids – The building blocks of protein, amino acids aid in the collagen production in the dermis, or upper layer, of the skin. Aging reduces the bodies’ levels, so topical and internal supplementation of these vital nutrients is essential.
- Minerals – Pitera™ is formulated from a strain of yeast, which contains an impressive array of minerals necessary for skin health.
- Organic Acids – The serum includes acids made from organic material that aid in removing and preventing dead skin cell build-up. The result is a clearer, fresh-looking face.
- Vitamins – The vitamins provided in the serum give the skin a healthy, youthful appearance.
- Saccharides – The Xantham gum in the serum allows the skin to absorb it more smoothly, and its moisturizing properties are reminiscent of hyaluronic acid.
Cons of the SK-II Facial Mask
While seemingly easy to use, some users report that it does not fit well on their face. The formula also contains propylene glycol, which can cause redness and irritation to those users who have sensitive skin. Should this occur, consult a dermatologist prior to using again.
Another drawback to this mask is the cost. Users can try the product at a cost of
$17 for one sheet. Six sheets are $95, and a pack of 10 are $135 on their official site (See Current Price & More Details). At a recommended use of once or twice a week, this beauty routine can add up rather quickly.
Does SK-II Facial Treatment Mask Really Work?
SK-II has won many awards in the past few years, such as Elle Magazine’s Reader’s Choice 2013 Global Beauty Award, Best Hydrating Mask from New Beauty and Bride’s 2015 Beauty Award, among others. Yahoo Beauty calls the mask a “cult beauty classic” and other market enthusiasts include Allure, Vogue and Style.com.
The mask enjoys a 4-5-star user rating on Amazon.com, Sephora.com and their site. A vast majority of women report that primary benefits of using the mask are refreshed and hydrated skin. Many say results are instantaneous, with small lines disappearing after use.
Overall, the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask is one highly recommended to try out, as long as your budget allows!