We’ve all been there before: So many skin-care products, so little time. As diligently as we beauty obsessives may try to commit to a perfectly planned out, multi-step skin-care routine, some days — OK, most days — it just doesn’t happen. But I’m not here to make you feel bad about that or try to convince you to invest in another half dozen products that all work toward the same goal (aka, that dewy, glowing complexion we all want).
Instead, the latest skin-care trend is here to answer our collective call for a more streamlined approach that still gets the job done — and done just as well. Enter: “skip care.” In many ways, it’s the antithesis of the popular 10-plus-step beauty routines. Although just as trendy and effective, skip care involves paring down your product and ingredient load to only a few overachieving essentials. It’s going back to basics and using a select number of powerful products that offer a multitude of skin benefits without sacrificing any efficacy.
If you’ve ever yearned for a more manageable skin-care regimen on those nights when 10-plus steps feel like too much, or you’re looking to try out a more minimalist approach in general, a skip-care skin-care routine might be just the thing. Curious about it myself, I felt it was time to consult some experts about skip care, including how it works and how to do it right. Here’s a hint: Streamlining your routine with the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence can have some serious skin and time-saving benefits.
The Benefits of a Minimalist Skin-Care Routine
A skip-care routine offers the same benefits as its lengthier and more-involved counterparts, but with fewer steps taken and products used. Simply stated, skip care is beauty minimalism at its best. How does that check out? First off, it’s all about using products that, thanks to key ingredients and formulations, perform multiple tasks in one fell swoop. Secondly, in some cases, it turns out that using too many products at once could actually present certain issues.
“A more complicated, multi-step regimen is not necessarily better,” explains Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Using more product means more potential irritation. Plus, we really don’t know whether the products you are combining are actually compatible with each other.” That last bit is especially important because not only can certain ingredient combinations cause skin irritation, “it is [also] quite possible that one product inactivates another,” Zeichner says.
Fellow New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali elaborates, saying it’s wiser to “concentrate more on the main power ingredients” in what you’re using, “and less on filler ingredients,” which may not be all that effective. “In general, I think less is more… all it takes is one ingredient in one product to throw your skin completely off,” Bhanusali explains.
In other words, rather than layering on multiple serums, lotions, and oils (which could potentially cause irritation and/or inactivate one another), using multi-tasking products is a minimalist, yet still effective, approach to achieving your skin-care goals. Because unless you’ve got a dermatologist advising your every move (I wish!), it’s quite possible that applying product, after product, after product can actually sabotage your well-intentioned efforts, especially if you’re combining treatments from several different cosmetic lines.
Other drawbacks of a longer routine are obvious. “We all have the same 24 hours [in a day],” explains cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “Multi-functional products cut down on time and money.” Well said.
The Essential Skip-Care Product (Pun Intended)
So, you’re interested in streamlining your routine, but what should the more simplified version entail? The typical skip-care routine pares it down to the hard-working basics, which can be as straightforward as just a cleanser, moisturizer or serum, and one multi-tasking product in between.
In Japanese skin care, that product in between oftentimes is an essence containing nutrient-rich fermented yeast extracts — and for good reason. More specifically, many who have used the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, swear by its skin-transforming powers. It’s formulated with a naturally occurring bio-ingredient discovered decades ago by SK-II scientists called Pitera™. If the words “essence” and “Pitera™” are completely new to you, allow us to explain.
A staple of Japanese skin care, essences are lightweight yet highly concentrated treatments with a liquid consistency. But don’t let their water-like feel fool you. Essences are an important part of a quality skip-care routine. Basically, essences are ingredient-forward, hydrating formulas that offer a multitude of skin benefits. “Essence is a highly concentrated active containing liquid, [which is] lighter than serum [and] faster absorbed by skin,” King explains.
What makes essences so particularly potent, aside from their key ingredients (which we’ll get to), is the formula itself. Like King said, because they’re so lightweight, essences are more quickly and easily absorbed into skin than a cream or even a serum, which allows the highly concentrated ingredients to get down deep and produce results (like brighter, dewy skin). Even though essences are only now becoming more well-known in the U.S., many in Japan consider them to be a skin care secret.
Now, let’s discuss the proprietary ingredient of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: Pitera™. Discovered 39 years ago in Japan, Pitera™ is derived from a natural fermentation process of a special strain of yeast. As such, it’s said to be chock full of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids, all of which provide a myriad of skin-brightening, smoothing, and plumping benefits. According to SK-II, Pitera™ also mimics the skin’s natural moisturizing factor, which, according to Zeichner, is a group of compounds in the outer skin layer made by the breakdown of natural skin proteins. It’s important because it maintains our natural hydration levels.
The discovery of Pitera™ is an interesting story, too: Back in the 70s, SK-II scientists in Japan noticed a discrepancy between the hands and faces of sake-brewers. While their faces had aged normally, their hands remained smooth and soft in appearance. What, then, was responsible for keeping their hands so youthful-looking? SK-II determined it was yeast fermentation and was inspired to investigate further.
So, after more than five years of research on 350 unique yeast strains, the SK-II scientists discovered Pitera™, the proprietary ingredient in its Facial Treatment Essence. Pitera™ is said to work on all skin types, resulting in skin that’s smoother and brighter in appearance.
How and When to Use a Facial Essence
All of this to say that, if you’re going to choose one powerful product to use as part of a skip-care routine, consider trying the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. It’s lightweight, easily absorbed, potent, and provides a wide range of skin benefits, including hydrating, conditioning, brightening, and overall plumping.
Here’s how to use it: Post-cleansing, pour approximately a quarter-sized amount of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence into your palm, press your hands together, then gently press the product into your skin — don’t rub! Instead, use your fingers to gently pat the essence in. Continue doing so for about one minute, until it’s completely absorbed, and then layer your moisturizer on top.
And boom, you’re already done. Skip care is quite literally as easy as one, two, three.