SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener

Not deterred from having a disappointing experience with SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (reviewed yesterday), I purchased another SK-II product – SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener – and my skin loves it!  Read on for my review.

SK-II, moisturiser, reviews

What SK-II Say

Whitening Source Derm-Brightener is a whitening formula specially designed to address skin tone issues caused by exposure to UV rays, helping to redefine the skin’s crystal clarity.  This formula can also help with spots reduction by providing additional nourishment to the skin.  Whitening Source Derm-Brightener contains the advanced DMT Blocker, a combination of Vitamin C derivative, Pitera and Niacinamide.  DMT Blocker helps to maintains skin’s natural radiance by sweeping away dullness.

My Opinions

First of all, the packaging of SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener is definitely unique.  The beautiful shiny chrome container is totally high-end luxe but beware of unsightly fingerprints and its attraction to dust.  The tub itself is not unique but it’s the dispenser which eliminates the need for the unhygienic practice of finger-dipping.

SK-II reviews

Slowly turn the dispenser anti-clockwise (as indicated by the arrow) and cream will emerge from the hole.  (If you turn too much and too fast, a LOT of cream comes out and there’s no way in putting it back into the tub so it can be a very wasteful and costly mistake!)  I like the idea of this dispenser as it protects the cream from dirty fingers and protects the formula from undergoing changes due to the environment (e.g. sunlight).  The only downsides are not knowing how much moisturiser is left in the tub and not being able to scrape the sides of the tub for any remainder cream ( – hello?  If I am paying an arm and a leg for a moisturiser, I want to get my money’s worth and get every last drop of it on my skin!)

The cream has a subtle fragrance which is only obvious if you give it a good sniff.  The texture of the cream is oh-so-smooth!  It somehow just glides onto my skin and my skin soaks it up leaving behind a slippery but non-greasy film.  It’s like it gives me skin a plastic coating??!!  (That probably doesn’t make much sense so go to an SK-II counter now and test it on your skin and you will know what I mean.)


Now, if I had not moved to Australia, I would never have purchased this whitening moisturiser.  There’s not much sun in UK!!  Unfortunately, even though the sunshine makes me happy, the skin on my face did not appreciate it and it broke out plenty of freckles…and let’s not talk about the wrinkles!  I noticed that my skin tone evened out and brightened up from using SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener (but my freckles did not get lighter – which is forgiveable as it does not claim that it would…but I had wishful thinking…)  As for reducing spots, it’s hard for me to comment on that as I am super-blessed and I rarely get spots (okay…now that I have said that, I bet I will break out tonight!!)

The current RRP in AUD $180 for 75g – is that the weight of the cream or with the luxe jar??  Hmmm…?  Luckily, I bought this in the airport in KL so I didn’t have to fork out so much cash.

Please note that I only use SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener in the evening during Spring and Summer.  For the colder seasons, I have to switch to a more intense and nourishing skincare routine to combat the harsher environment.  When the warmer seasons come round again, and if I have enough money, I am going to try and get my mitts on the SPF 50 version of this for my morning skincare.

Likes :  Special dispenser, instantly smooth skin, evens out skin tone
Dislikes :  Price tag
The Best Beauty Blog Rating : 10 out of 10 – SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener is my high-end luxurious moisturiser for Summer skin!  Definitely worth investing in!


SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

SK-II facial treatment essence

Asian beauty magazines – Chinese, Korean, Japanese…they’re all the same to me – glossy pages full of pretty pictures and Asian characters I cannot read, but I still like buying them.  If you have ever flicked through an Asian beauty magazine, you will definitely see an SK-II advert endorsed by a famous (Asian) female celebrity.  Once upon a time, my mindset was that if celebs use SK-II then I had to spend my savings on SK-II too.  Thus, I purchased SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and did my skin transform into one of a celebrity, i.e. flawless perfection with not even a fine line wrinkle in sight?  Read on for my review…

sk-ii facial treatment essence

What SK-II Say

Women everywhere are so passionate about Facial Treatment Essence that they describe it as their ‘holy water.’ Pitera, the seemingly magical ingredient found in all SK-II products, helps restore vital balance by promoting the skin’s natural 28-day surface renewal process. This singular blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids produces a seemingly miraculous rebirth of skin’s appearance. Over 90% pure Pitera, Facial Treatment Essence is the ‘heart’ of every SK-II skincare ritual. Rely on it daily to moisturize instantly, and renew skin’s surface for a smoother texture. Skin absorbs the benefits almost on contact. The result is supple, smooth, radiant skin.

How I Used It

I used this in 2 different ways for 2 months.

1.  Every night, after cleansing, I used this like a toner and patted the essence water around my skin until it soaked in and then applied my evening moisturiser.

2.  Once a week, I would soak some cotton pads in this SK-II clear liquid and place them all round my face – like a sheet face mask.

My Opinions

When I was in my early twenties, the burgundy colour and packaging of SK-II products screamed “old lady”…but when I finally bought my first SK-II product in my latter half of my twenties, I adored the luxe packaging and it took me a while to chuck out the cardboard box this glass bottle came in.  I almost felt a sense of achievement when I sauntered into the SK-II department and walked out with my goods.  (How many times have you walked into an expensive shop and browsed but not bought anything due to the hefty price tags?  I do that ALL the time!)

Sadly, this miracle product failed to deliver for me.  Maybe I was expecting too much from SK-II’s ‘holy water’ because after using the Facial Treatment Essence for weeks, my skin remained more or less the same.  My skin was still dry / sensitive with occasional flaky patches – where was the promised “supple, smooth, radiant skin”?  Yes, my skin immediately felt fresher after using this – but every other (cheaper) toner yields a similar ‘fresh’ feeling for me.

I purchased SK-II Facial Treatment Essence a while ago so I can’t remember the exact price but it was not cheap.  (Current RRP in AUD is $100 for 75ml)  Of course, I know that what works for some people does not work for everyone.  I wish I had been smarter and bought a wee sample size to test out first.

I have read that this product is marketed as “the longer you use it, the better it gets” – but I’m sorry, I’m a “I want fast results now” type of gal!  After two months with no noticeable results, I stopped using this and I have two thirds of this left and is packed away in my “opened but unfinished” beauty box.  Eventually, I will give it another chance and try it again – but seeing as I have plenty of other miracle products for my skin with quicker results, this bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence will by lying unloved for a while.

Likes :  Luxe packaging, ‘fresh’ feeling, did not break out my skin
Dislikes :  Skin did not feel smoother and more radiant, pricey

Having a bad experience with one product from a brand does not put me off from buying other products in their range.  In fact, I have a few other SK-II products which I simply love – SK-II Skin Signature Cream (reviewed here) and SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener (which shall be reviewed tomorrow).

Have you tried SK-II Facial Treatment Essence before and how did you find it?

SK-II Skin Signature

I splurged!  I bought SK-II Skin Signature moisturizing cream.  SK-II products are expensive everywhere but while I was in KL airport, I couldn’t resist the Duty Free SK-II products.  (Yes, I say products because I have 2 other SK-II items which I shall review later once I have had time to test them out.)

SK-II, Skin Signature cream
Product Description

Skin Signature Moisturising Cream strengthens skin power by helping to restore firming moisture, smoothness and radiance.  It contains Vitamin B3, Pitera and Oli-Vityl, including skin conditioning ingredients which deliver a similar benefit to those naturally in your skin


  • Comes with a spatula to scoop out cream which helps prevent contamination
  • No smell; not even the unscented clinical smell
  • Easily absorbed cream
  • Skin felt smoother and looked more radiant


  • Hefty price tag
  • No SPF when used as a day cream
  • Cream got a bit runny after a few uses

In Conclusion

SK-II Skin Signature cream is part of SK-II anti-aging range.  With its skin-firming and moisturising properties, it really does benefit people like me with dry skin types – which are more prone to wrinkles!!  You get what you pay for!

Other Beauty Blog Reviews Of SK-II Skin Signature

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