Taking the trend in wine beauty treatments one step further beer and sake are now getting in on the act. A Czech Republic firm, Chodovar is currently exploring the skin care benefits of beer, and has opened the world's first beer spa, offering beer baths, massages, wraps and a take-home cosmetics line.
A line of products called SK-II is built around a clear, nutrient-rich liquid called pitera that is extracted during the yeast fermentation process when sake is made.
The skin-smoothing properties of pitera were discovered by a Japanese monk who, when visiting a sake brewery in Kobe, Japan, noticed that all the workers had extraordinarily soft hands, says Simone Bretherton, product development manager for SK-II.
"The monk had been in multiple sake factories before. He was there to analyse the taste of the sake, he wasn't interested in skin care," she says.
But since this was the only brewery where he noted the workers' hands, he worked with scientists to discover what was special about its particular formula. Their joint experiments led to the creation of SK-II.
Apparently the company, created more than two decades ago, maintained a relationship with the monk until his death. It was a mutual agreement that his name not be tied to the product, Bretherton says. This all sounds wonderfully authentic until you find out that “the company” is none other than Proctor and Gamble!
SK-II's first product -- and still its most popular -- is the 90% cent pitera Facial Treatment Essence. Additional products include cleansers, moisturizers, anti-aging treatments and masks, all with pitera as a dominant ingredient
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