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Sk-II GenOptics Spot Essence Serum Ingredients Explained

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Published on December 10, 2022

Overview

What it is

Serum with 37 ingredients that contains niacinamide, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any sulfates

Fun facts

Sk-II is from Japan. This product is used in 1 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Niacinamide

Benefits

Hydrating (3)
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing (2)
Reduces Irritation
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (2)
Dark Spots (2)
Scar Healing (2)
Acne Fighting
Brightening (4)

Concerns

Drying
May Worsen Oily Skin (2)
Irritating (2)
Rosacea
Eczema (2)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Humectant
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
3
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
4
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Silicon Icon
5
Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
Masking, Skin Conditioning
7
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
8
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
9
Non-Reef-Safe Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
11
Humectant
12
Silicon Icon
13
Absorbent, Skin Conditioning
14
Masking, Skin Conditioning
15
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
16
Emulsifying
17
Skin Conditioning
18
Emulsion Stabilising
19
Preservative
Preservative Icon
20
Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Silicon Icon
21
22
Emulsifying
23
Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
24
Buffering
25
Emollient, Solvent
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
26
27
Preservative
0 / 0
Preservative IconParaben IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
28
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
29
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
30
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
31
Antioxidant
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
32
Skin Protecting
33
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
34
Emulsifying, Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0
Fragrance IconOil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
35
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Silicon Icon
36
Cosmetic Colorant
37
Cosmetic Colorant

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 37 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Humectant
Community Rating: Liked

Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (GFF) is a yeast traditionally used to make the Japanese alcoholic beverage, sake. GFF has moisturizing and antioxidant properties.

Studies show GFF applied to the skin improves our skin's natural moisturizing factors (NMF). Our NMF consists of many components that naturally moisturize our skin. Having healthy NMF keeps our skin plump, protected, and hydrated.

GFF tells our skin to create more filaggrin, an important component for NMF. Filaggrin gathers all the structural proteins in our outer layer of skin and creates a tight barrier, helping to protect our skin against allergens and bacteria. This also helps prevent moisture loss.

Thanks to its antioxidant properties, GFF also protects our skin against oxidative stress and UV induced inflammation. One study found GFF helped regulate sebum and keratin in participants.

GFF may not be fungal-acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Many components of sake, such as GFF, are studied for their anti-aging benefits today. This is because sake brewers are known to have youthful hands.

Learn more about Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate
3
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

4
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Disliked

Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone used to improve texture and trap moisture. An easier name for this is D5.

D5 is considered lightweight and volatile. Volatile means it evaporates quickly after application. Once evaporated, D5 leaves a thin barrier that helps keep skin hydrated.

D5 is an emollient. Emollients help soften the skin and prevent water loss. Silicones create a silky texture in products. D5 helps other ingredients become more spreadable.

Studies show D5 is safe to use in skincare products. We recommend speaking with a skincare professional if you have concerns.

Learn more about Cyclopentasiloxane
5
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
6
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Triethylhexanoin is created from glycerin and 2-ethylhexanoic acid. It is a solvent and emollient.

As a solvent, Triethylhexanoin helps dissolve ingredients to stable bases or help evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product.

It is also an emollient and helps condition the skin.

Learn more about Triethylhexanoin
7
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
8
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

The hydrophilic trait of Pentylene Glycol makes it a humectant. As a humectant, Pentylene Glycol helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This can help keep your skin hydrated.

This property also makes Pentylene Glycol a great texture enhancer. It can help thicken or emulsify a product. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Pentylene Glycol also acts as a mild preservative and helps to keep a product microbe-free.

Some people may experience mild eye and skin irritation from Pentylene Glycol. We always recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient in your routine.

Pentylene Glycol has a low molecular weight and is part of the 1,2-glycol family.

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol
9
What it does:
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Nylon-12 is a polymer. It is derived from 12-aminododecanoic acid, an omega-amino fatty acid

According to a manufacturer, it is a talc substitute. Like talc, nylon-12 gives products a satin feel. The manufacturer also claims this ingredients does not block pores and has moderate oil absorption.

This ingredient may not be reef-safe.

Learn more about Nylon-12
10
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate.

11
What it does: Humectant
Community Rating: Liked

Inositol is a sugar alcohol naturally found in the human body. Our bodies use this ingredient in the process of growing new cells.

Studies show inositol to be a key component for keratinocyte growth.

Keratinocytes make up the majority of the outermost layer of skin. These cells protect our skin from UV exposure, infection, and help keep skin hydrated.

This ingredient is also considered a humectant. Humectants help hydrate the skin by drawing moisture to it.

Learn more about Inositol
12
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Polymethylsilsesquioxane is a silicone used as a film forming agent.

When applied to the skin, this ingredient creates an invisible film on the surface. This film still allows oxygen to pass through, but prevents moisture from escaping. This can help condition and hydrate the skin. It also leaves a silky feel when applied.

Polymethylsilsesquioxane has not been shown to clog pores. It has been deemed safe to use up to 55%, but most cosmetics use much less.

If you have concerns about using this ingredient, we recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Polymethylsilsesquioxane
13
What it does: Absorbent, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Boron Nitride is compound consisting of boron and nitrogen. It is used to absorb oil and modify adherence/ slip in products.

This means it is often used in makeup products to help them last longer.

14
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
15
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

lt is a humectant, meaning that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammatory abilities. This means that it's great for sensitive, irritation-prone skin.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
16
What it does: Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Peg-20 Sorbitan Cocoate.

17
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer is a silicone used to improve the texture of products and absorb oil. It does not get absorbed into the skin.

Like other silicones, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer helps condition the skin by creating a barrier. In this sense, it can act as an emollient and trap moisture in.

18
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Disliked

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer. It is used to thicken and improve the texture of products.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is also an emulsifier. Due to its properties, it can prevent water and oil ingredients from separating.

19
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

20
What it does: Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Peg-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone is a type of silicone.

21
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer. It is used to stabilize products and bind ingredients. When hydrated, Polyacrylamide forms a soft gel.

Polyacrylamide is low-toxicity. If source properly, it is deemed safe to use in cosmetics.

It should be noted the precursor to Polyacrylamide is acrylamide. Acrylamide is a carcinogen. Most reputable sources of Polyacrylamide will screen for residual acrylamide to make sure the count is in a safe range. Acrylamide is not able to be absorbed through the skin.

We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Learn more about Polyacrylamide
22
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Disliked

Laureth-7 is created by the ethoxylation of lauryl alcohol using ethylene oxide. Lauryl alcohol is a fatty alcohol with hydrating properties.

Laureth-7 is an emulsifier and cleansing ingredient. As an emulsifier, it is used to prevent ingredients from separating. It also helps cleanse the skin by gathering dirt, oil, and pollutants to be rinsed away.

23
What it does: Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

Benzyl Alcohol has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These properties help lengthen the shelf life of products. Benzyl Alcohol is a solvent and helps dissolve other ingredients. It can also improve the texture and spreadability.

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is an astringent alcohol.

Using high concentrations of these alcohols are drying on the skin. They may strip away your skin's natural oils and even damage your skin barrier. Astringent alcohols may also irritate skin.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

According to the National Rosacea Society based in the US, you should be mindful of products with these alcohols in the top half of ingredients.

Any type of sanitizing product will have high amounts of alcohol to help kill bacteria and viruses.

Learn more about Benzyl Alcohol
24
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Liked

Aminomethyl Propanol is used to adjust the pH of products. It is also used as a base to create other organic compounds. Having a balanced pH is important for protecting your skin.

Aminomethyl propanol is safe to use in cosmetics up to 1%. It is soluble in water.

25
What it does: Emollient, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

C13-14 Isoparaffin is created from petroleum-based mineral oils. It is an emollient and helps thicken a product.

As an emollient, it helps keep the skin soft and smooth by creating a barrier on top. This barrier traps moisture in, keeping the skin hydrated.

C13-14 Isoparaffin may not be fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about C13-14 Isoparaffin
26
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
27
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Methylparaben is a preservative and is a paraben. It is used to prevent the growth of fungus, mold, and other harmful bacteria. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in both cosmetics and food.

Methylparaben can be synthetically created. It can also be found naturally in some fruits, such as blueberries.

Oftentimes, Methylparaben is combined with other parabens to help increase the shelf life.

The safety of Methylparaben is currently being studied. While ongoing studies are looking into the safety of parabens, the results have been very mixed. Some studies have not found Methylparaben to be harmful.

Learn more about Methylparaben
28
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hexyldecanol.

29
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
30
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
31
What it does: Antioxidant
Community Rating: Liked

Ascorbyl Glucoside is a stable form of Vitamin C. It is created by combining glucose from starch.

When applied to skin, Ascorbyl Glucoside turns into Ascorbic Acid.

Ascorbyl Glucoside is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals, or molecules that may damage skin cells.

It can help to reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and brighten skin.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Learn more about Ascorbyl Glucoside
32
What it does: Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Laminaria Saccharina Extract.

33
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
34
What it does: Emulsifying, Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Zea Mays Oil is refined oil. It is created from the process of wet milling corn, or zea mays. Zea Mays Oil is fragrance ingredient, hair conditioning agent, occlusive skin conditioning agent, surfactant, and emulsifying agent.

It is composed of several fatty acids, including myristic, palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic.

35
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Methicone is a type of silicone.

36
What it does: Cosmetic Colorant
Community Rating: Mixed

Ci 77492 is also hydrated iron III oxide. It's sole purpose is to give a yellow hue to products.

Iron III oxides are classified as inorganic chemicals for coloring.

Synthetically created Ci 77492 is considered safer than those naturally found. This is because the synthetically created version may contain less impurities. Iron oxides are generally non-toxic and non-allergenic.

Learn more about CI 77492
37
What it does: Cosmetic Colorant

We don't have a description for Ci 75130.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 37 ingredients in this product ✨

27% are loved or liked
14% have mixed ratings
43% are disliked or very disliked
16% have no rating yet

When to use

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

Directions

-Use this skin brightening serum after you cleanse, tone, and treat, but before you moisturize.
-Use daily, in the morning and again in the evening.
-Release a dropper-full amount of serum into your palm.
-Apply evenly onto your face by dotting on forehead, both cheeks, and...

-Use this skin brightening serum after you cleanse, tone, and treat, but before you moisturize.
-Use daily, in the morning and again in the evening.
-Release a dropper-full amount of serum into your palm.
-Apply evenly onto your face by dotting on forehead, both cheeks, and chin.
-Add a few extra drops to areas you're concerned about and gently massage into skin, starting in the center and spreading outward.
-Complete the treatment with light tapping for better penetration.

When to use

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