Believe the Hype? SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Skincare is such an important part of one’s makeup routine — after all, no amount of fancy, high-end makeup will look and feel beautiful when applied on skin that hasn’t been taken care of, right? While I don’t believe that you need to spend a fortune on expensive skincare, it’s more important to use what works for you. For an example, I’ve tried Chanel and La Mer skin cleaners; but, at the end of the trial period, I always come back to my trusty Cetaphil cleanser I can get at the drugstore for a few bucks.

I, personally, don’t skimp on skincare products and I don’t mind spending money on them. However, that’s my personal preference; and, I know that you’ll have yours. Today’s post is about the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence that’s been considered some people’s “holy water.” So, is it worth the price?


“This unique pitera-rich product moisturizes to improve texture and clarity for a more beautiful, glowing complexion. It also helps stimulate the natural renewal process of the skin’s outer layer to rebalance and bring harmony to your skin. It contains over 90% pure pitera, the seemingly magical ingredient found in all SK-II products. Rely on it daily to moisturize instantly and renew skin’s surface for a smoother texture. Skin absorbs the benefits almost on contact. The result is supple, smooth, radiant skin.”

The thing about having naturally glowy skin is to keep it nicely exfoliated and hydrated. This essence does both. Because it’s so expensive, I don’t use a cotton pad to apply this — and, it’s not recommended that you do so. I sprinkle a bit in my palm, I rub my palms together, and them apply it onto my face. I pat my face lightly for faster absorption and then move onto other skincare items. This is my first step. For me, the slight scent of fermented pitera doesn’t bother me; and, either way, it disappears quite quickly. I use this only at night to preserve the product and a little bit of it goes a long way.

When I first started using this, I religiously applied it to my skin morning and night for a few days. On a daily basis, I noticed little red bumps that weren’t pimples; and they could easily be concealed with foundation/concealer. I noticed that it would continue after a week of using the Facial Treatment Essence so I started to only use it at night. However, the little bumps continued. For a few days, out of paranoia, I stopped using the Facial Treatment Essence and the red bumps stopped appearing. During this time, I contemplated taking this back — but I had briefly read somewhere that a mild reaction is normal; and, that some people reported forms of breakouts.

After a few days, I returned to using the Facial Treatment Essence and reserved it for only my nighttime routine. The red bumps never returned and I noticed my skin looking so clear — of pigmentations, pores, lines, and dry areas. I noticed that the blackheads on the nose reduced and skin felt and looked smoother and hydrated. I continued to use the Facial Treatment Essence at night for 2 months — and MAN, believe the hype. When your skin is free of debris, dead skin cells, and patchy flakes — you’re left with only your skin but better. As a process of the trial period, I deliberately stopped using the Facial Treatment Essence to see what would happen. While there were no adverse reactions, I could tell my skin looked dull and it just didn’t make me happy. I went back to using it and purchased the Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, which is an actual TONER to use BEFORE the Facial Treatment Essence.

Used together, I think yields the best results. However, it’s stinkin’ expensive. For now, I’m enjoying the products and I appreciate the results. I believe that it’s worth the hype and is a way to keep your skin in tip-top shape. My final verdict is that it’s not a necessity and it’s not worth having to pay nearly $200 every few months. Again, it depends on what your skin needs and what you’re willing to spend your money on. I’d like to finish my bottle and see how long it lasts before I decide if I want to re-purchase. My recommendation is to try a sample before purchasing, or purchase it through the Nordstrom website because they have such a generous return policy.

Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate**, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Aqua (Water/ Eau), Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid. *Pitera.
Ingredients are subject to change at the manufacturer’s discretion. For the most complete and up-to-date list of ingredients, refer to the product packaging.

*’Facial Treatment’ Clear Lotion (5.1 oz. for $60 USD)
*’Facial Treatment’ Essence (5 oz. for $155 USD)

SK-II products are made in Japan.

3 thoughts on “Believe the Hype? SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

  1. Cate Blanchett (their brand ambassador I believe?) has absolutely amazing skin so I do believe the hype. But GOODNESS $200 for a bottle? It would have to transform me, not just my face, into Cate Blanchett. x

    • You’re right, Blanchett has absolutely amazing skin! The Facial Treatment Essence is definitely a luxurious product and it’s too bad we can’t all be transformed, lol!

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