The Secret to Japanese Women’s Flawless Skin Is in the Sake

This fermented rice wine has been keeping Japanese women youthful for years. But it’s not the actual drink that’s been giving them unlined faces — it’s a strain of yeast produced during the fermentation process known as PiteraTM.

The discovery was made by accident in the 1970s, when a group of scientists working for the skin care company SK-II noticed that workers at a local sake brewery had soft, youthful hands compared with their wrinkled faces. An exhaustive search of 350 strains of yeast at last yielded the golden ticket — PiteraTM, a unique combination of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids that optimizes the skin’s ability to renew itself. SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, which is 90 percent pure PiteraTM, is known in the East as “miracle water.”

Another favorite for special occasions is the Facial Treatment Mask — a swath of cotton that soaks skin with PiteraTM, quenching thirsty cells in just 20 minutes.