From The Straits Times    |
SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence

Like most women, I’ve always aspired to have skin that is bright, even toned and clear. I used to think that this ideal is only attainable with photoshop and really good filters, but now I know it isn’t – you just need to be diligent with your skincare routine and use the right products like I’ve come to discover with the SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence.

As I was born with a relatively fair complexion, I never saw the need to use brightening products. However, after trying out the GenOptics Aura Essence ($199 for 30ml, $299 for 50ml and $400 for 75ml) from Japanese skincare brand SK-II, I realised that brightening skincare aren’t just for those who desire a fairer complexion or those who wish to fight dark spots.

Brightening skincare helps to even out the skin tone to deliver the coveted lit-from-within glow and luminosity. So regardless of whether you are naturally tanned or fair, these products can help to reduce the appearance of discolouration and rejuvenate lackluster skin.

A lot of women, especially in Asia, want to be fairer so they zoom in on “whitening”, but should be focusing on “brightening” as this encompasses not only making the skin fairer, but also more even-toned, luminous and flawless. Who doesn’t want that?

The search for a whitening essence that answers all my needs
SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence

As a beauty writer, I’ve tried a fair number of facial essences from different brands, but I always find myself going back to the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (FTE).  I’ve been incorporating the FTE into my skincare routine for about a year now. The FTE is loaded with Pitera, a yeast extract that is found in every SK-II product, from the R.N.A Power anti-aging range to the GenOptics Aura Essence.

Pitera is loaded with vitamins that conditions and softens the skin; amino acids that protect and maintain the skin’s protective barrier and organic acids that gently sloughs away dead skin cells to reveal translucent and bouncy complexion, plus anti-aging saccharides and proteins to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. With every application, the FTE leaves my parched, sensitive and acne-prone skin feeling supple and hydrated, and ready for any skincare I choose to follow up with.

While I can always count on my trusty bottle of FTE for balanced, hydrated and supple skin, as I approach my mid-20s, I’m looking for something that will restore radiance to my skin. According to a survey done by SK-II, women in their 20s actually experience a loss of radiance at a faster rate compared to any other age group.

When you have so little time and so much to do, it can lead to insufficient rest, which in turn, slows down the turnover rate of your cells, leading to duller skin. Apart from lifestyle related factors, skin damage from environmental factors can also lead to an accumulation of melanin clouds beneath the skin’s surface that can cause the development of both visible and hidden spot formation.

That is why it is important to use a brightening skincare product like the GenOptics Aura Essence that will get rid of dullness and discolouration. Packed with niacinamide (vitamin B3), an ingredient prized for its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory abilities, the Aura essence promises to calm the complexion and get rid of excess melanin to unveil smooth and spot-free complexion.


Before and after using GenOptics Aura Essence
SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence

When I first got hold of a bottle of GenOptics Aura Essence, I had high hopes for the product because it contains a high concentration of skin-loving ingredients like vitamin B3 and pitera which I knew my skin would react well with. Needless to say, I tested it immediately when I got home.

On application, I notice an instant brightening effect, my ruddy cheeks appear less red and my skin looks well-rested, almost like I’ve had a good eight hours of sleep the night before. Even though it is an essence, there is some weight to the product so the consistency of this almost feels like a moisturiser. If you have oily skin, you might be able to get away with using this as a moisturiser because it is so nourishing.

Even though I don’t really like my skincare products to be scented, this essence has a mild fragrance that is very pleasant and not too overpowering. It also absorbs easily into the skin and doesn’t feel sticky afterwards so it wouldn’t cause your makeup to slip and slide. It also has a dropper that will dispense the recommended dosage into your palms, so I don’t have to worry about using too much (or too little) of the essence.

How I used the GenOptics Aura Essence in my skincare routine
SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence

I’ve been using this product religiously for about two weeks (day and night) on top of my beloved FTE and I have definitely seen a significant improvement in the uniformity and evenness of my skin tone. Even though I have very sensitive and acne-prone skin, it didn’t irritate my skin or caused any breakouts. For optimal results, I recommend priming the skin with the SK-II FTE before patting the Aura essence into the skin. Make sure you don’t rub your skin – your face is delicate and deserves to be treated with tender loving care.

So here’s my take on the GenOptics Aura Essence: On top of loving how my skin feels with every application, it also does a great job in evening out my skin tone and reducing the appearance of dark spots and blemishes. If you’re concerned about hyperpigmentation but you’re not keen to dive into a full brightening range, I would definitely recommend adding a brightening essence like this one to your existing skincare routine.

While the SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence is often sold out at DFS, you can easily pick them up at various SK-II counter locations across the island.