GenOptics Aura Essence, $299 for 50ml, SK-II

When it comes to my skin, I guess I have quite a few things to be thankful for. For starters, I don’t have wrinkles around the eyes, thanks to my religious use of eye cream since I was about 17 or 18 when none of my friends even cared about skincare. Number two: my skin is pretty hardy and hasn’t reacted adversely to the multitude of stuff I subject it to. Number three: my skin is relatively clear, apart from the occasional breakout.

But as I approach the end of my 20s, something’s been bugging me: the loss of radiance. Just yesterday as I was going through pictures of my university days and I noticed that even with little or no makeup, there was this subtle, even enviable glow on my skin. And this reminded me of a study that SK-II did, which revealed that women experience a loss of radiance at a faster rate in their 20s than at any other age group. We would usually think it’s lifestyle-related, because this is the stage where we work hard and possibly play even harder. Insufficient rest can slow down of cellular turnover, and thus inevitably lead to duller skin. But according to SK-II, this could also be the accumulation of melanin clouds beneath the skin’s surface that has yet to surface as pigmentation.

SK-II’s solution for it? The new GenOptics Aura Essence, $199 for 30ml. Of course I ripped open the box once I got home and gave it a go. On application, its milky emulsion texture instantly masks sallowness and my skin looks more energised, like I’ve had eight hours of sleep the night before. Plus, I want to point out that personally, I prefer products with a bit of “weight”, those that feel filmy or more nourishing. This serum spreads on skin smoothly but doesn’t disappear like many lightweight serums do. And even after it’s fully absorbed into skin, I love how soft and supple my skin feels. I follow with SK-II’s R.N.A Power Radical New Age cream and makeup glides over like a dream.

I’ve been using this for about two weeks now, and while I haven’t noticed a visible change in the size or intensity of existing spots, my skin tone does look more uniform and my complexion is definitely more radiant. So here’s my take on the GenOptics Aura Essence: in addition to loving how my skin feels with each application, I also feel comfortable enough to skip foundation. And that, in my opinion, is what makes this a true winner.

By Joyce Cheo