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  • Writer's pictureJuliana C Stryker

Beauty Review: SK-II STEMPOWER Essence & SK-II Men

Sponsored Review

I’ve always wondered what’s the fuss about SK-II products.

My aunties rave about it, my grandma swears by it and my friends spend hundreds of dollars each month stocking up on their products.

So when I was invited to the SK-II STEMPOWER Essence debut and SK-II Pitera House launch, I vehemently accepted their invitation. Haha!

After two fruitful afternoons with the beauty powerhouse, I began to understand why SK-II is the quintessential skincare brand with a cult following (including A-list celebs).

Since I was also blessed with some new SK-II products for myself and my fiancé, we decided to try the products for at least 3 months before publishing this review.

Read further to find out if the SK-II hype is justified. 🙂


This leading skincare brand certainly values and respects their current and potential customers.

Besides a warm invitation to their first runway show with Singapore’s top IT supermodels at Changi Airport, they also arranged a pretty cool ride for all their attendees.

Too bad I didn’t accept their offer. Yup. I did not take their ride. It only says transportation is provided on the invitation. No one clarified that the ‘transportation’ was in the form of a swanky BMW! 🙁

Anyway, I still had a great time checking out Samsonite and Love Bonito’s latest offers as well as mingling with fellow bloggers.

Here are some photos from the event.

From left to right: Patricia, me and Grace.

The Social Tree

The Social Tree is an interactive installation that allows travellers to share their photo and video memories instantly and retrieve them on subsequent visits to the airport.

That day, it was used to display SK-II’s revolutionary STEMPOWER technology and their new SK-II STEMPOWER Essence.

The event was hosted by TV Host, Linda Black

SK-II Global Marketing Director Seth Sandeep addresses the crowd.

Supermodel Sheila Sim struts her stuff in a Love Bonito number.

Top model Ivy Chng graced the runway with a trendy Samsonite luggage and a winning smile.

LB founder, Viola also made an appearance, clad in none other than Love Bonito.

Ooh.. Also spotted fellow blogger and friend, Valerie owning the runway with her pretty poses and gorgeous smile.

Just can’t get enough of her! 😛

And her.

She looks like Rose Wah Jin Swee from the Subway Commercial. Not sure if it’s her.

The models and fashion moguls also shared why they think “age does not matter”

From left to right: Linda Black, Sheila Sim, Vivien Ong, Ivy Chng, Serena Adsit and Viola Tan.

Next, Linda introduced SK-II Beauty Trainer Cindy Cheong who showed us the best ways to apply the SK-II Stempower products.

We had the honour of being the first few in Singapore to try the Stempower products.

And we also got to bring them home!

Each welcome packet contained the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, Stempower Essence and SK-II Stempower moisturiser.

I’ve tried the SK-II Stempower products for a few months and here’s what I thought about them.


SK-II’s revolutionary STEMPOWER Essence, concocted with a new and powerful Stem- Acanax ES Complex, targets and transforms the regenerative functions of the skin’s youth


Carefully researched and handpicked ingredients in the new Stem-Acanax ES Complex

consist of Stem-Acanax, Pitera™, Artichoke Extract and new Kinren Extract. As a key

ingredient of SK-II STEMPOWER Essence, Artichoke Extract has been proven to activate

our skin’s “Master Switch” to enhance the overall cell functions of anti-oxidation,

regeneration and longevity, hence promoting inner cell density and increasing skin’s

inner resilience.

How to use: After applying clear lotion, take an appropriate amount (1-2 droppers) of Essence onto palm. Smooth onto entire face and apply extra drops with gently knuckling motion onto your concerned area.

My verdict:

Since it’s part of the ‘essence’ family, I expected the texture to feel as runny as their signature Facial Treatment Essence. However, the consistency is surprisingly thick.

If you think the high viscosity affects its absorbability, well, you’re not quite right about this one. The cool serum was fully absorbed in the skin within seconds of application.

My skin felt velvety smooth almost immediately, concealing fine lines and eradicating the dryness on the surface.

Most SK-II products cause an initial break out for me but not this product. My skin has been reacting well to it but I just wish the packaging can be improved.

Okay, I know the glossy crimson glass looks stunning but it is not the most user-friendly. In fact, it also causes wastage.

Please allow me to elaborate.

You’ll have to use the dropper provided to extract the serum. Since the serum is rather thick, it does not suck up a lot of the liquid at one go. So you’ll have to do it a few times to get the quantity that you want. Sometimes, you don’t even get any at all. Pretty frustrating, eh?

Here’s the worst part. We all know that the best way to apply the serum is by patting it on our faces with our bare hands. But to use the product, you’ll have to squeeze the dirty rubber top a few times.  So I guess that’s not the most hygienic way of applying the product.

The best container would be one with a pump dispenser where you can control the amount of serum being used.

Well, besides this minor packaging fault, I’m still huge fan of its prize ingredients – the Stem-Acanax, Pitera, Artichoke Extract and Kinren Extract. They are tasked to promote the skin’s hydration and the

formation of lift proteins in the skin’s basal layer.

I wanna look young forever! Muuuaaah!

4 Honeyz crowns!

SK-II Stempower is formulated with the revolutionary Stem-Acanax Complex that penetrates deep to improve skin from within. Pores become less visible in just 1 day! The cream improves radical firmness in just 10 days, so you can feel the youthful beauty of 10 years ago.

Benefits: Texture Refinement, Firmness Power, Wrinkle Resilience

How to use: After applying clear lotion and essence, take an appropriate amount of cream (diameter 1cm) with spatula onto palm. Dot on forehead, cheeks and chin and gently spread all over the face.

My verdict:

The moisturiser comes with a spatula.

The lightly scented cream feels smooth and light for a power-packed moisturiser.

But sadly, this product was the culprit of a recent break out for me. So I stopped using it on my face and continued on my neck only.

The great news is – after the redness and zits subsided, my skin looked clearer and brighter. I don’t know if it has enhanced my skin’s resilience to winkles since I don’t have obvious lines on my face yet. But I’m definitely going to use it for a longer period of time to prevent unwanted creases.

I’ve very prominent lines on my neck from a dramatic weight loss when I was little. So I’m always looking out for moisturisers that can lift the skin and reduce the appearance of the lines.

I was hoping that the STEMPOWER cream could do that. Unfortunately, it did not deliver on that aspect but it certainly made the skin on my neck smoother than ever.

I guess it’s the pitera content that allows the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process to function at its prime, enhancing the renewal of the skin’s outer layer.

In case you’re wondering, pitera is a blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids.

Even though it did not lighten the wrinkles, as mentioned earlier, I would still continue using it to prevent deeper lines in future.

Meanwhile, 3 Honeyz crowns for its ultra-hydrating properties!

SK-II also kindly gifted my fiance, Bobby, these awesome products at their SK-II Pitera House launch.

He tried the products for many months and even replenished his skincare collection with more SK-II products. So has SK-II been doing him any good? Here’s what he has to say:

One brand that seems to be synonymous with great skin is SKII but is it really as good as people say??? With the near astronomical prices they often charge, it’s obvious that they definitely think so.

Needless to say, years of being an action hero haven taken their toll on my skin. When people think you look 10 years older then you actually are, you literally need to be thick skinned. I thought to myself, if I’m really gonna give this skin care lark a go, then I might as well go for one of the best.

I dived head into the skin care game with SKII a year ago.  I went all out, got the Facial Treatment Essence for men, Men Age Revitalize Moisturizer and Skin Signature Eye Cream. So a year on, what do I think?

SK-II MEN Facial Treatment Essence

Formulated with Pitera and enhanced with a cooling agent, this essence nourishes and hydrates your skin.

How to Use: After facial cleansing, sprinkle about 2ml of SK-II MEN Facial Treatment Essence into cupped palms, smooth onto face and neck. Conclude by patting

His verdict: I like the essence. It contains their famous Pitera ingredient which we’ve all heard of. You’ve heard of it right? The story goes that a scientist noticed the youthful hands of women working in sake breweries, researched the fermentation liquids their hands were coming into contact with which eventually allowed for the isolation and purification of the elixir known as Pitera.

I like the essence because of how it feels on the skin. Without wanting to sound like a broken record, men generally hate putting stuff on their faces. However, the essence feels like water in the hand and dries up after being patted on the skin in a matter of seconds.

Skin feels firm, toned, yet supple. The only drawback is the smell. Apologies to all SKII fans but you have to admit it, the essence smells like urine. Yes, I said urine, it’s not a typo, SKII Facial Treatment Essence smells like pee! It’s a sour peaty smell and this is the only analogy I could think of which can give you an idea of what to expect. Despite this I’ve been using it for a year now. It is damn expensive but thankfully it lasts for ages, think about 6-9 months of daily use or more.

Now the big question, does it work??? Errr… I really have no idea. Personally, I think my skin looks and feels mostly the same. Before and after photos are of little benefit as it’s so hard to get the exact same lighting conditions to take the pictures anyway. I feel good for having taken steps to do something about my complexion but I really have no idea if it’s made any real difference.

SK-II MEN Age Revitalize Moisturizer

Boosts skin moisture and firmness, Revives dull skin. Eases out fine lines, Improves skin texture and smoothness.

How to Use: Dispense an appropriate amount (3-4 pumps) and dot on forehead, cheeks and chin, and then blend into skin with spiral massage from chin to cheeks.

His verdict: A slightly oily, rich liquid cream that they advise you not to apply around the eyes. I only use it before sleeping.

My face just ends up feeling way too oily and shiny if I use it during the day. It smells nice and I haven’t suffered from any breakouts but again, I’m not sure if it’s actually done any good. It’s an effective moisturizer but I don’t think I look any younger from using it. Worth noting is that the thin and tall container is something of a nuisance as it’s very unstable and easy to knock down all over the place.

SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream

SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream is a lightweight eye cream that helps to provide a firmer and smoother eye area. This remarkably light, intensive treatment specifically targets the changes which occur in the delicate skin surrounding the eyes. The secret is a Peptide, Oli-Vityl, and Pitera complex that infuses skin with moisture that greatly firms the appearance of the lid and smooths away fine lines and wrinkles for a brighter, more youthful appearance.

How to use: Place small dots along the eye socket bone under the eye and just below the browbone. Using the ring finger, very gently massage the cream into the skin using slow and gentle circular movements.

His verdict: Dark eye circles are something I’ve suffered with for years, the consequence of a life of sleep debt that I can never repay to my body. So a good eye cream was high up on my list of needs. I’ve been applying this product religiously every night for about a year. Again, I feel this is too rich to apply during the day, you can definitely feel it on the skin.

Has it helped? Again, there is no significant improvement I’m afraid.

The cream comes with a spatula which I’m sure most people end up losing, which of course means you have to resort to the less hygienic method of actually dabbing your finger into the cream each time. Less than ideal at this price point.

In conclusion…

It may all sound very negative that I feel my skin has mostly remained the same after applying one of the most expensive skin care brands for a year, but don’t forget that my skin does not look any worse either. Perhaps my skin would have continued to deteriorate if not for SKII. So although I don’t look any younger, it may have helped to maintain the condition of my skin and prevent further deterioration.

Would I recommend these products? I do like the essence, despite the smell, but I’m sure many would feel short changed applying what essentially feels like water to their face. I do like how my skin feels after applying it; it has a kind of fresh quality you can feel as you touch your face. I don’t mean the skin feels sticky but it feels more supple to the touch. As for the other two products I’ve been using, let’s just say I shan’t be replenishing my stocks when they finish.

I really don’t think this high cost is justified. If you want the best skin care regime for your man, I suggest you mix and match products from different brands. If your man has normal to oily skin, a good regime I’m personally using now is SKII Facial Treatment Essence, Rehab London’s No Shine Moisturizer and Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On eye treatment. So far this appears to be a much more favorable and feel good combination for me.

So there you have it! The low down on the core SKII skin care products for men. I hope you’ve found this review useful =)

Don’t forget to head over to or where you can catch me writing regularly about the latest movie news and reviews.

Take it easy folks, Bobby

For the

latest news and in-depth information about SK-II, please visit

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Your friend, Juliana

Disclaimer: Please be rest assured that even though the products were sponsored, they do not have any bearing on the content of this post. Opinions stated are objective and genuine. Also note that all sources, information, content, links are valid to change at any time.



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