SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – Review

What would be a blog like mine without a review of the one and only SK-II Essence? This product has been an irreplaceable staple in the routines of many people globally for years. Despite its price, many keep buying it. 

The product includes a patented Saccharomycopsis ferment filtrate, called by the company Pitera. The patent might have expired, as I can’t find information on its current status. Pitera’s particular production method guarantees a unique blend of 50 micronutrients like probiotics, vitamins, and other elements similar to Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF). Even though there are arrays of imitations of this iconic product, the SK-II Essence remains irreplaceable for many skincare connoisseurs. This essence contains a bit less of the ferment compared to its dupes, however, sometimes less is more. It’s a common theme with high-end brands – they don’t like to overstuff skincare. Even if a higher amount of an active ingredient may seem like a good thing, it doesn’t necessarily render better outcomes. In recent years, there has been a surge of affordable brands doing just that. They put a huge, usually not tested for efficacy, amount of an ingredient and market a product around it – skincare fast food.  

The rest of the formula includes water, preservatives, texture enhancers, and no fragrance. Compared to many dupes, this one does not include niacinamide or other plant extracts, so people with sensitive skin will appreciate the formula’s plainness. The essence has a faint scent of watered-down sake (maybe beer), as the liquid is a by-product of rice fermentation, which I actually find reassuring. I expect yeast dough to smell like yeast, as that means it contains the real stuff. But, of course, not everyone has to agree. 

The product, despite its watery and seemingly simple formulation, is quite effective. The results are noticeable after the beginning. The next morning after I had first tried the product, I could see that my complexion was more luminous. Over weeks, my skin became clearer, more even and fresh-looking. Even though other essences deliver similar results, I have noticed that SK-II works more rapidly, and the results last longer after I stop using it compared to its dupes. It also helps to alleviate temporary reddening either from weather changes or when using a different product proves incendiary.

And most importantly, it hydrates my skin. Last month, I took a two-week break from using the essence, and I could see how much drier my skin became at that time. One of the results that the SK-II Essence yields, and no other essence could, for me, is naturally-looking, mat skin. The essence didn’t fix my problem with sebaceous filaments, and it won’t, but it controls sebum production and effectively lowers my oil levels. Even if there’s a layer of sebum on my face, it doesn’t glisten too much. It’s something that I’d never seen with other essences, at least not to this extent, and I’d used and reviewed a few of them before this product. The SK-II Essence makes my skin look unblemished, even if I have a spot or two. In general, after using the essence, my skin looks balanced and glowing. It’s the SK-II effect that everyone fancies.

Overall, the SK-II Essence is a stellar product. It makes my skin more even and healthy-looking. Thanks to this essence, my skin always appear well-rested, even after 4 hours of sleep. It’s enough to use this essence regularly to achieve radiant skin. 

Ingredients: Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (PITERA™), Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Water, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid. (

Let’s talk about the price. The SK-II Essence is an expensive brand, and I will not justify the high price tag. I think Procter & Gamble could drop it a bit. But, there are other more costly essences, too, like the Amore Pacific Vintage Single Extract Essence. The SK-II Essence is no longer the most expensive fermented essence out there. It’s hard for me to say whether the SK-II Essenceis worth the price or not. I like it, and I am willing to repurchase it, but the choice is up to you. 

The SK-II Essence is available from [aff].

7 responses to “SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – Review”

    • That’a unfortunate. I think it’s like that with many products, not everything works for everyone. Have you got any essence that you enjoy using?

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