As one of the most beautiful faces on the planet, thanks to her flawless porcelain skin, when Cate Blanchett sings the praises of a brand you stand up and take notice. Last week I went along to a top secret location to meet the lady herself and find out more about her relationship with the Asian skincare brand SK-II. Although it’s still relatively unknown in the UK, SK-II is growing in popularity with celebrities and skincare enthusiasts alike thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations and endorsements by those that really believe in the results. The basis of the brand is the unique ingredient Pitera, which was discovered after a chance observation of the soft and youthful hands
of sake brewers over 40 years ago. From there, a rigorous search of over 350 strains of yeast
was conducted before the SK-II researchers discovered the unique yeast strain from which Pitera is naturally derived. Pitera’s delicate balance of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, organic acids and the natural moisturising factors it contains, gives it its unique ability to adapt to the skin and yield multiple skin benefits. The hero product is the Facial Treatment Essence that contains over 90% Pitera to deliver amazing results that have been keeping Cate happy for over twelve years. Here’s what she had to say about SK-II, her routine and her life…
Tell us about how you discovered the brand.
I was first introduced to the brand by my makeup artist, even though I didn’t really understand what I was supposed to be doing with the products as they were all written in Japanese! I’d never really thought about the texture of my skin, only the hydration, until I got older and starting investigating the SK-II line. That was over twelve years ago.
What are your favourite products within the SK-II range?
The whole range has really expanded, but Pitera is the essential core to the products. The ‘desert island’ pick would have to be the Facial Treatment Essence, which has recently been re-booted with even more active ingredient. In terms of my regime every morning, it’s so simple I don’t even have to think about it… It’s literally the essence, followed by the serum, plus the moisturiser morning and night. I also decant the essence into a spray bottle and spray over the top of my makeup so you don’t go out feeling like you’re wearing makeup, powdery or heavy.
How do you ensure you’re always looking radiant?
I think I realised just how dehydrating being on an aeroplane was when I applied a SK-II mask. As soon as the lights go down I put one of those things on. You’re meant to leave it on for about half an hour, but after fifteen minutes the whole thing had sunk in. I’ve been having really early pick ups for work recently and the masks are great in the morning; I leave one in the freezer and it’s great at reducing puffiness around the eyes. It smooths out the fine lines and I think it affects the radiance of your skin for sure.
Have you always been comfortable with your pale skin, being from Australia?
I got to about 13/14 and my mother pulled me off the roof; I was covered in baby oil, on the tin roof trying to get a tan with this skin and my mother said “darling, it’s just not going to happen for you so come in and put on some sunscreen.” So I went the other way and went a bit goth – you have to find somewhere to be. Australians, with the increase of skin cancer, are now probably the most sunscreened nation in the world.
What’s your signature makeup look?
My signature makeup look is usually minimal. I don’t have a lot of time and I have three sons, who have no patience for mum looking in the mirror. I love a good frock, so the makeup usually follows that. As I get older I wear less and less makeup, which is probably a bit counter-intuitive, but because I feel more confident in my skin. SK-II do a wonderful foundations that actually have Pitera in them, so you don’t feel like you’re reversing every good thing you’ve just done for your skin.
Do you feel comfortable without makeup?
I will not dispense with my skincare routine. What I’ve seen is the consistency of using the brand for the length of time that I have, is you don’t need to use a lot or spend a lot of time doing it. You just need to do a little bit each day and use a mask a couple of times a week; a lot like exercise – a little bit daily makes a difference.