Goodness me! The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence certainly brings back some memories! I am often asked about this very iconic product, but it had been years since I first dipped my toes into the brand. I did share a review back in 2010, through a friend. I said then, that my favourite item in the brand is the Facial Treatment Essence (FTE), which was one of my first introductions to using an essence lotion.
Recently, SK-II asked if I might give their Facial Treatment Essence another go, and share my thoughts on it with you. Almost 15 years after my first time trying it, and after turning down numerous offers before this, I decided that this time, I would! Perhaps my 40 year old skin would appreciate this SK-II experience better than my 20 year old skin. One can hope LOL!
By now, most of us would be familiar with the concept of an essence. It isn’t exactly a toner. What it does is far more than that of a toner, in that it boosts hydration and along with it, radiance. What is unique in the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is the use of PITERA, a sake ferment. PITERA is a combination of nutrients that is said to bear a close resemblance to the skin’s natural moisturizing factors, and this helps improve the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process and thereby promotes what SK-II says is “crystal clear skin”. Don’t we all want that? 😛
If this is something you’re currently using or have used, I’d love to know what you think of this very iconic product!
How to use the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Use this as you will any other lotion or essence. After cleansing, and before moving on to the rest of your skin care. When I use this, I skip my normal facial mist and because it is so liquid, just like water, it refreshes my skin very well and sinks right in.
There are a couple of ways how you can apply it. But because it is pricey, I’m going to share with you some cost effective ways to use it.
- Use a cotton pad – This is recommended by SK-II. You can moisten a cotton pad, and then wipe or pat it over your skin. I find that this results in the most wastage so I don’t recommend it. However, if you want a quick mask, soak some cotton pads or a compressed paper mask in the SK-II FTE and leave on your skin for a few minutes.
- Pour into your palm and pat on skin – This is how I use it. The stopper actually controls the flow of liquid quite well, so I find that 2 dashes is just about right. It isn’t too much to be dripping wet, but is just enough to dampen your skin. I then spread the liquid between my palms and press onto my skin. This is my favoured method to apply for least wastage.
- Pour into a spray bottle and mist your skin – I got this idea from my empty SK-II Mid-day Miracle Essence. I decanted a little bit of FTE into an empty bottle, and then use it as a spray after cleansing and before going on with my serum and moisturiser. You can end up using a little more than you like so be careful with this. But what’s fun is that you can store this little bottle in the fridge and have a little pick-me-up on hot days 🙂
My SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Experience
Remember that it’s been 15 years since I last used the Facial Treatment Essence, so I honestly had trouble remembering how it was for me. My first impression was the scent. I remembered that it used to smell stronger and more fermented, like sake. This time, the scent is far lighter than I remember, to be practically unnoticeable.
My skin now is far drier than it was 15 years ago. However, as you will know, I am very diligent with my skincare routine and I place a great emphasis on hydration. In this past month, I’ve stayed away from my usual facial mists and hydrating lotions and only use this Facial Treatment Essence.
What I can say is that it has been doing an excellent job at helping my skin stay hydrated. I also haven’t experienced any breakouts, and it almost seems as if my skin appears a bit clearer and with better texture. I can’t quite say for certain if it’s due just to the FTE, because you know I use Vitamin C serums and retinol products. But what I can say is that I am happy with the current state of my skin, that isn’t dehydrated despite the long hot days, and cool air-conditioned nights, and appears to be a touch smoother.
I usually apply it after cleansing, but I also sometimes “sandwich” it, by patting on another drop or two after I apply a serum. It feels like it makes a difference, although it’s hard to say off hand of course.
Does SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Work? Is it worth it?
Remember what I once told you about “worth” – you have to decide it for yourself 🙂 As for whether the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence works, I think it depends on what your expectations are.
For me, being quite familiar with essence waters like this, my expectations was simply for it to maintain and boost my skin hydration. I depend on other products to boost skin clarity. If the SK-II FTE had contributed to skin clarity, it would be a bonus. So for me, yes the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence works for what I expected it to do.
Did it perform better than other products I’ve used? In a way yes. I do find that my skin seems to retain its moisture better through the day, and does not dehydrate as quickly. In this time that I’ve been using it, my skin also seems to be behaving itself quite well. No breakouts, fairly calm, fairly clear. Because I use just a few drops each time, I have barely made a dent in the bottle, and it’s been about a month. So, in a manner of speaking, yes I do think it’s been worth it, and I might even contemplate repurchasing it after 15 years! 😀
IN A NUTSHELL
The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is a watery essence that contains PITERA. What is PITERA? A ferment that helps skin become more resilient, less lined and clearer. I find that it helps my skin stay hydrated longer, and works well to refresh my skin and boosts my skin’s hydration. For someone with drier skin, I do notice the difference in using this, because I only use quite little each time for maximum impact.
PROS: Watery texture absorbs into skin easily, Stopper in bottle controls the amount of liquid dispensed so you don’t pour out too much, Glass packaging is very aesthetically pleasing, Essence helps skin stay hydrated for longer, Can be used as a quick mask or as a mist through the day
CONS: Pricey, Glass bottle isn’t very portable
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants an essence that absorbs quickly into the skin and boosts skin hydration, Anyone who wants a lightweight, fragrance-free essence
PRICE: Facial Treatment Essence – RM239 for 75ml, RM529 for 160ml, RM715 for 230ml and the PITERA™ Welcome Set – RM260 (containing Facial Treatment Essence 75ml, Facial Treatment Clear Lotion 30ml, and R.N.A.POWER Radical New Age 15g)
If you’re interested, here are the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ingredients.
Have you tried the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence?
This has been around for years, so I’m quite sure you’d have tried it or come across it at least once! I used to use their whole range when they first arrived on Malaysian shores. But then I fell off that bandwagon. I guess you could say I just got back on! LOL! 😀