Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: A Review ~ by Arj

Facial Treatment Essence is the signature product from the P&G-owned SK-II. The SK-II website describes it as thus:
This unique Pitera-rich product by SK-II 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. Women are so passionate about it that they describe it as their 'holy water.' It contains over 90% pure Pitera - the seemingly magical ingredient found in all SK-II products. Skin absorbs the benefits almost on contact. The result is supple, smooth, radiant skin.
 I am sceptical about the efficacy of products that are described using adjectives like 'holy' and 'magical,' so I was not sure what to expect when I started using it. Facial Treatment Essence (I will call it The Essence from now on) is a colourless liquid with a faint smell of sake (Pitera is extracted from sake, so I guess that explains it), and its texture lies somewhere in between a serum and a toner. It's watery, but it spreads easily on the skin and a little goes a long way. 

The label says you could either shake a few drops on to your palm and spread it on your face, or you could apply it using a cotton pad. I find the former method less wasteful and have been applying it that way. I shake about 6-7 drops on to my palm and use it after cleansing my face with Mario Badescu's Enzyme Cleansing Gel and Clarisonic Pro. 

One of the main reasons I bought the Essence was because I wanted a treatment to use after cleansing with my newly-purchased Clarisonic. My skin is extremely prone to acne, and this hasn't broken me out so far. In fact, my skin has been looking a lot better since I started using it. I don't know if it's the Clarisonic or the SK-II essence, but after following the Mario Badescu-Clarisonic-SK-II regimen, my skin is looking clear and healthy. I was using Dr. Dennis Gross's Alpha Beta Pads before this, the results I get from using the SK-II Essence are much better. 

My skin looks fresh, the hyperpigmentation and post-acne scars on the sides of my face are almost gone. The Essence seems to moisturise, clarify and hydrate my skin all at the same time. I have only been using this product for a week, and it is too early to talk about the lasting benefits of this product, but so far so good. 

For something that looks looks a toner, the Essence is very moisturing, and I generally use it only in the night, before going to bed. I find that it can be too much of a good thing for my oily skin during the day, and while it doesn't break me out, my skin looks shiny after a few hours. I have tried using it with the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, and the products work well together. At this stage, I'm not sure I absolutely need the Clear Lotion, but I highly recommend the Essence.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence retails here in Australia for $99 for 75ml. I got it in a special-edition Rochas-designed box (with a deluxe sample of the Facial Treatment Clear Lotion and one sample of the Facial Treatment Mask) for the same price. 

Ingredients: Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate*, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Aqua (Water/ Eau), Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben**, Sorbic Acid.

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