Everyone wants a flawless complexion, and finding the right skin care line which improves the appearance of your skin can be difficult.
There are so many brands out there offering a similar range of products, from cleaners to toners to moisturisers and everything in between.
How can you know which one is the best for you? Today, we’ll take a deep dive into two of the industry’s most luxurious skin care brands: La Mer vs SK-II and compare the brands, ingredients and show you some of their most loved skincare products.
First let’s look at who these brands are. If you want to see some of my favourite SK-II and La Mer skin creams scroll down.
La mer vs SKii Product comparison table
SK-II vs La Mer – who are these luxury brands?
SK-II hails from Japan, where it was founded in the 1980s. Based on a decade of research, the brand’s premise is that workers at a sake factory were observed to have exquisitely youthful hands, which was attributed to all the years they spent dunking their hands in yeast while working at the factory.
The company’s team of scientists spent 5 years researching over 350 strains of yeast until they found the right one. The result of their research and development is Pitera.
Pitera is a yeast extract that undergoes a strict fermentation process and is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids, and is the ‘secret’ ingredient to their skin care products.
SK-II products promise users crystal-clear and smooth skin. Some of their bestsellers include the Facial Treatment Essence, which is a hydrating serum that will transform your skin in 28 days, and the GenOptics Aura Essence Serum, which is a lightweight brightening serum.
SK-II sells a variety of kits containing a series of products to use in combination to achieve best results.
They have different product lines, including Skinpower, R.N.A.Power, LXP and the aforementioned GenOptics, which each contain a different assortment of extracts and all contain pitera.
Within each product line they have different combinations of products, including serums, moisturisers, eye creams, cleansers, toners, and masks.
SK-II is now owned by Proctor ; Gamble, and is sold throughout North America, Europe, Australia and East Asia.
When buying from SK-II there should be a code on your product to check for authenticity, if not there should be a way for you to check the serial number with SK-II to prove authenticity.
La Mer had very different origins compared with SK-II. La Mer was founded in California in the 1950s by a physicist seeking a product to reverse burn damage caused by a lab accident. 12 years of research led him to establish a 3-4 month fermentation process.
The fermentation process La Mer use is different to the yeast fermentation process SK-II because it transforms sea kelp, vitamins, minerals and other ingredients into micro nutrients which become the magic component in La Mer’s line of luxurious products.
The giant sea kelp that La Mer uses in its products is harvested off the coast of Vancouver Island. La Mer terms this fermented ingredient its ‘miracle broth’ and infuse each new batch with a few drops of the last one, which they believe creates a timeless link to their original batch.
La Mer’s star product, which launched the company to fame, is Creme de la Mer, a lightweight moisturiser which heals dryness and adds vibrancy to the skin.
Creme de la Mer comes in a variety of sizes and can be paired with other products, including a regenerating serum, treatment lotion and eye concentrate.
La Mer products also address a range of skin concerns, from uneven skintone and inflammation to dark circles and eye puffiness.
La Mer doesn’t just stop with face care- there are also products available for the rest of the body.
There are body lotions to keep all of your skin supple, rejuvenating hand care lotion to ensure that your hands age with grace, and a neck and decollete concentrate to keep your chest skin firm and vibrant.
There is also a body oil balm to lock in hydration wherever you apply it, and oil which softens and gives the body a warm glow.
La Mer also has a range of makeup products, all of which have SPF as part of their composition. This range includes liquid and powder foundations, concealer, primer, and skin tint to provide even coverage, absorb oil and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
La Mer is part of the Estee Lauder group of companies, and is available in high-end retailers around the world.
SkII use Piltera as a main ingredient across their skincare range. This is a yeast extract that is full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids. Yeast has a number of benefits for your skin.
Skin care products that contain yeast extract are often good for sensitive skin because they have qualities that are similar to your skins natural proteins and these make allergic reactions much less likely.
Yeast extracts can also help your skin to retain moisture and potentially give your skin a brighter appearance.
LA Mer don’t use Piltera in their formulas and instead take a different approach using a similarly unique and interesting ingredient, sea kelp.
La Mer use sea kelp to magic up their miracle broth formula that gives their skin care products their luscious creamy texture that protects and moisturises ageing skin.
Even though La Mer don’t use a yeast extract their sea kelp extract is fermented in a way that brings out all the good nutrients that work so well on our skin.
When considering the benefits of Creme de la mar and SKII skin signature melting rich cream we can see that both formulas have amazing textures and aren’t sticky or oily.
Creme de le mar offers an intensive moisturiser that works especially well overnight as a intense night cream. La mer and some users of the product also say it has benefits that include improving skin firmness, reducing lines and making your skin look younger.
In my opinion the formula is a pleasure to wear and does make your skin feel good. I think it’s moisturising qualities and thick creamy formula are what are most likely to protect your skin from any signs of ageing.
La Mer vs SK-II eye cream
La Mer offer a few different eye cream, Including the eye concentrate and the eye balm intense. Both Cream use the brands signature miracle broth sea kelp extract formula.
The eye balm is a little cheaper than the eye concentrate and I like the thicker substance, even though it doesn’t have the thick creamy texture of some the Creme de la mer, in your eye area it’s nice to have a thicker, more solid cream that you can apply to the sensitive under eye skin more precisely.
The la mer eye balm comes with an applicator stick that has a metal ball on the end. You need to dab the stick into the formula, putting a small amount onto the metal ball and then apply carefully dabbing the formula into the fine lines and any puffy areas under your eyes.
The applicators metal ball helps cool your skin and I like the feeling of applying the balm using it even though I do prefer to apply eye creams and balms using my little finger as I feel like I have more control with the skin on skin contact.
Using this cold metal ball is also supposed to help stimulate micro circulation, so basically increasing blood flow to that area of your eye. This works even better if you put the applicator in the freezer or fridge for a short while before using it to apply the balm.
For me it feels like it’s most likely having a similar affect to jumping under a cold shower and bringing your body and mind to life if you are brave enough to try them out.
What I like most about the La Mer eye balm is that it offers intensive long lasting moisture to the sensitive skin around your eye and some users experience a decrease in puffiness and fine lines.
For me I just like the experience of applying a luxury cream under my eye, there is a gentle reassuring scent and in my mind I like to think the miracle broth is doing something good to my skin.
SK-II have created an RNA power eye cream and Ultimate revival eye cream. The R.N.A power eye cream comes in a 0.4 oz container, slightly smaller than the La Mer eye balm which is 0.5oz.
This Radical new age eye cream contains the brands Piltera bio ingredient which contains vitamins and amino acids that help improve your skin cell renewal process. SK-II have also began to add their radical new age complex in most formulas and this is a mix of hydrolyzed soy and yeast proteins.
The idea behind these ingredients is to improve the firmness of your skin. Some Peptides and Chlolleragen have also been included to help fight wrinkles.
All round this ingredients list sounds great, so let’s see what the formula is actually like to apply and whether it is likely to give some good results. This formula is rich and creamy and not oily or greasy.
On application, it feels creamy but more watery then La Mer’s thicker eye balm and it is absorbed into your skin much faster which makes it good for daytime wear even if you are applying eye make-up on top. The cream is focused on anti ageing ingredients but in my opinions works best as a moisturiser that feels lovely to apply.
Some of my friends felt that it did help make their dark circles and wrinkles improve a little, but others said that it kept their eye moisturised and stopped it drying out but didn’t have any big effects on their signs of ageing.
If you like the brand, their vision and the interesting ingredients then this is a great product, just don’t ever expect a miracle from any anti ageing product. You might see better results with more intensive retinol formulas like Roc eye care and Strivectin face creams offer.
SK-II essence vs La Mer treatment
Let’s take a look at La Mer The Tonic and the super popular SK-II facial treatment essence. The idea behind La Mer’s tonic is to apply it onto your skin after cleansing before you sleep.
The watery and slightly oily substance is a calming formula that gently tones your skin and helps increase brightness.
If you don’t already tone your skin, then think about adding a toner into your skin care routine because they help balance your skins PH level and add moisture to your skin. Be sure to apply a night cream of intensive moisturiser after, to lock in all the goodness and moisture from the tonic.
The SK-II facial treatment essence is one of the most widely used hydrating and colour correction tonic I’ve seen. So many of my friends love applying this facial treatment as it makes your skin really soft and lightens the tone of any darker patches on your skin.
Which is better La Mer or SK-II
Both SK-II and La Mer are very luxurious brands, and their products retail at a higher price point than regular skincare brands. All of their products are made with premium ingredients, and are sure to give you a decadent experience when you use them.
In terms of which one would be better for you, it depends on what you’re looking for. SK-II’s products are heavily geared towards preserving youth, and offering a bit of a plump to keep skin looking its freshest.
La Mer has a wide range of facial, body and cosmetic products, with many of them being geared towards addressing specific concerns such as dark spots and uneven skin tone, in addition to their general range.
The best thing to do would be to get a starter pack from each brand which has small samples of their bestselling products. You can then try them both, and decide which you prefer!