December 17, 2015

[Review] SK-II Essential Power Moisturizing Cream

Today we’re talking about the SK-II Essential Power Moisturizing Cream. I received this product complementary from BzzAgent for review purposes, however all views expressed are my own, authentic opinions. To learn more about my review policies, click here. To learn more about BzzAgent, click here*.
This is a deluxe sample size (0.51 fl. oz./ 15 ml). The full size (shown below) is $215 (yes, two hundred and fifteen dollars) for 2.71 fl.oz. Are your eyes rolling out of your head yet? Mine are. 
Full size of the SK-II Essential Power Moisturizing Cream from the Sephora website. Geez, Sephora, why isn’t your lighting this good in your stores? I’d never go home with the wrong foundation shade again. 
I use a few luxury products and I’m perfectly willing to splurge on a product here and there if the quality is high enough, but good lawd I think this price per ounce ratio falls under the “not even if I won the lotto” category.

The price alone puts me off of this product, but let’s say that you’re feeling a bit spendy or you’re looking for a fancy gift for someone special, and operate under the premise that shelling out the moolah for this product isn’t going to make you hyperventilate.

I initially received this product over the summer, along with a few other products from SK-II, and found that this moisturizer was a bit too heavy for me to use in the summer. I shelved it until fall hit so I could really get a feel for the product. The BzzAgent campaign is long since over, but I wanted to go ahead and review it anyway because I figure, why not? 
Skin type: I’ve got acne-prone, oily-dehydrated skin that can act a bit more like oily skin or a bit more like dry skin depending on its mood, the weather, its horoscope, whether or not Mercury is in retrograde, etc. Basically, my skin is moody. In the fall and winter, it’s pretty consistently dry and I really struggle to keep it hydrated. 
This moisturizer contains glycerin, a humectant, which pulls water from the lower layers of the skin and from the atmosphere, several silicone derivatives which help to keep skin from losing moisture via trans-epidermal water loss, and niacinamide which improves tone and texture, among other things. The star ingredient in this and other SK-II products is saccharomycopsis fernment filtrate, also known as galactomyces ferment filtrate or pitera, which functions as a moisturizer and antioxidant. It’s a type of yeast derived from the fermentation process of the Japanese beverage, sake. SK-II basically bills this as a miracle ingredient in their marketing, but having used both this and their famous Facial Treatment Essence, I’m not sold. This also contains isopropyl isostearate, which is a potential acne trigger, as listed by CosDNA*. I managed to find two studies that listed isopropyl isostearate as being comedogenic, but these studies were both performed on rabbits, and there are many other studies that came to the opposite conclusion, so take that with a grain of salt. Personally, I didn’t find that this product caused breakouts, but as is the case with all skincare, people can have very different reactions to the same ingredients. 
I actually quite liked this moisturizer, especially layered over an oil. It had a very pleasant, creamy texture that felt a lot like water as it was applied to the skin, similar to Belif ‘s The True Cream Aqua Bomb. It has a somewhat odd scent to it, a little bit like a fragrance-free lotion, but with a slight sourness that may come from the pitera. I don’t think the fragrance is anything that anyone would find offensive, but it’s definitely not something I would consider appealing enough to make it a selling point for the product. I’ve completely finished the jar now, and while I enjoyed it while I had it, I don’t intend to purchase the full size. It’s a good moisturizer, but the ingredients and the results I saw (hydration) aren’t enough to get me to keep using the product. If it were available as a sample from Sephora or included in a gift with purchase, I’d happily use it again, but it’s just not a mindblowingly awesome product, and at $215 it damn well better be. As for whether or not I’d recommend it as a splurge for yourself or someone else, I’d say spend the money elsewhere and get a few other high end skincare or makeup products. They’ll feel a lot more special than this product and you’ll get more for your money. 
*Not an affiliate link. Disclosure is cool, yo. 
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