Brightening Power Specialist USE THIS ONE

Age-old Japanese ingredients + cutting edge science = winning combination for ageing skin


I first tried SK-II when it launched over a decade ago. Make-up legend Mary Greenwell had told me Cate Blanchett swore by it and so, given that Blanchett has skin like vellum, it seemed mad not to give the new Japanese brand a go. I loved it and so did every beauty industry insider at the time. The textures were gorgeous, the results great, the story fascinating. I probably won’t tell it as well as it was told to me, but here goes: a little over 30 years ago, scientists observed that elderly workers in Saki breweries had wrinkled faces but astonishingly soft, youthful, line-free hands. They analysed the fermentation liquid with which the workers were in constant physical contact. After countless tests, they found the answer in a unique yeast strain they named Pitera. The ingredient, rich in over 50 minerals, organic acids, vitamins and amino acids, would form the basis of every product in SK-II, a new luxury anti-ageing skincare brand.


FTESummer_NewLRBefore you begin to use SK-II, you have to check conventional thinking at the door. This is not your trad cleanse, tone, moisturise type deal. There are two cleansers, in keeping with the double cleansing rituals beloved by Japanese women. Whatever the cleansing regime, what follows is the cornerstone of the entire SK-II philosophy: Facial Treatment Essence. This is a liquid containing over 90% pure Pitera, and is applied directly to clean skin with either fingertips or a cotton disc to treat blemishes, enhance radiance and firm skin. For a limited time, SK-II are releasing a special Crystal Edition of Treatment Essence, the same iconic essence in a huge crystal cut limited edition bottle, exclusively at Harrods for £120.


There are several serums and moisturisers within the range for specific anti-ageing concerns. An SK-II consultant can help you find the right one for you, but if pigmentation or dullness are your chief beauty gripes, the two latest releases are for you.


Brightening Power Specialist USE THIS ONE


Power Brightening Specialist, £82, is a new dark spot treatment designed to fade any existing discolouration resulting from sun damage, and to stop new sunspots from forming following UV exposure. Perfect for post holiday, and used day and night in place of your normal serum, it combines the signature Pitera with De-melano P3C to discourage melanin from transferring to the skin’s outer layer, and Inositol to prevent its production in the first place.





Cellumination Aura Bright, £160, is more of a year round glow bringer. Perfect for dullness, it scatters light at the skin’s surface and inhibits melanin production. It can be used on all skin colours to restore luminosity – 92% of women in trials agreed they saw increased radiance in a week. Just massage in a couple of drops after the Treatment Essence.




SK-II products are exclusive to Harrods. To try them before you buy, you can now treat yourself to one of their one-hour facials: Essential Power Facial, the LXP Bi-Hada Facial, the Aura Bright Facial and the Crystal Clear Facial. Booking fee is £100 but fully redeemable against any recommended SK-II product on the day.


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