Cult serum match-up -SK-II and Estee Lauder


Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is a cult product in the UK as well as in Japan. It's one of the best selling serums in Japan, and it's chosen to be the best beauty product in beauty magazines almost every year. SK-II Essential Power Essence, also, is a very popular serum in Japan. As you know SK-II is a luxury skincare brand that represents Japanese beauty brands. As SK-II is even more expensive than Estee Lauder, I had never tried anything from the brand until when I was given the serum to review on my Japanese blog a few months ago. I almost finished my bottle, so I thought it's a time for me to do a comparison review on two cult serums!

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair 
I totally understand why people have been raving about this serum. And also, why people spend quite a lot of money on this serum. Because it's definitely worth it. Apparently this super serum reduces wrinkles and lines while hydrating the skin. As you can guess from the name, it's a night serum that you apply before bed, and it helps your skin to recover from the damages it received during the day while asleep.

The scent did not impress me when I first used it, it's very subtle yet herbal and medicinal. I expected a floral scent because their products tend to smell good so I was a bit surprised at first. The texture is very loose, it goes on like a lotion when applied on the skin. It sinks in quickly, and leaves a slight stick film on the surface. It doesn't feel uncomfortable at all especially when a night cream is applied on top.

It's the next morning you notice your skin is in a better condition. It's plumped, hydrated yet not greasy or oily, and most importantly (at least to me) the pores have been shrunken. I was shocked to see how minimised my pores were when I tried it for the first time. It's definitely effective and I will continue using it until it stops working on my skin.

SK-II Essential Power Essence
Now let's talk about SK-II, A friend of mine has been using SK-II for years and she raves about the brand. People assume that it's cheaper in Japan as it's a Japanese brand, and I have no idea how much they are in other countries, but believe me their products are super expensive here in Japan as well.  This serum is 16,500yen, which is about $137.5 ($=120yen). I was excited to try this out because I would never be able to afford it yet I was very curious to find out what is so amazing about it.

This serum contains Pitera, just as other products from the brand,  which is full of vitamins, amino acids and minerals that work together to allow the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process to function at its prime. Pitera is said to have a strange smell, but I didn't pick up the smell at all as this serum smells very nice and floral. To me it smells like a floral earl grey tea. 

When I looked at the ingredient list, I was shocked to find out how many different types of silicons it contains. And as expected, it feels very siliconey that it almost feels like a primer rather than a serum. It's said to plump up your skin and minimises the pores, but it didn't sink into the skin at all and I didn't feel that it was working. It would just sit on my skin and stay there until I wash my face in the morning. It contains polymer that plumps your skin temporally, and it did work I think because the shape of my pores slightly changed from oval to round, which is a sign that it's plumped. But that's the only thing I noticed about my skin since I started using it. It didn't break me out but didn't do a fantastic job either. For 16,500yen serum, I was pretty disappointed.

Overall, I much prefer Advanced Night Repair because it did actually work. I ended up giving my SK-II serum to my mum and she is loving it. She says it plumps up her skin and it feels much smoother. She is 52 (yes she was quite young when I was born) and I guess that must be the appropriate age for the brand. I might try SK-II when I'm older, but if you are in your 20's or 30's, you might want to wait a bit more to spend a lot of money on their products. Just my opinion though!