SK-II Facial Treatment Essence has been advertised as the Magic Potion in Asia. I always thought it's a hype, but after using it for a month now, I really am impressed!
The Essence vouches to enhance your skin texture and regulate your skin's natural pH balance, making your skin refined and crystal clear. It features Pitera, a secret ingredient churned out of rice yeast fermentation process which is said to keep the old brewers' hands soft and smooth. As the star item of the Pitera line, the Facial Treatment Essence is said to contain an intense dose of up to 90% Pitera. Because of its watery consistency, it is easily mistaken as a toner. But listen, it is an essence! In one way or another, it also serves as a pre-essence which promotes the absorption of the skincare products that follow.
For me, the first sign of improvement was visible within days of using it. My skin was noticeably softer and smoother. Weeks passed by, my skin became less prone to irritation and the blotches and spots that did surface appear to recover much faster than before, most of time under control the next morning - Hurray! Another obvious improvement is the healthier and more even complexion I now get in the morning, except for those mornings of monthly discomfort...otherwise I'm pretty presentable indeed, I think. I love the glow on face so much that, on a few occasions, I deliberately tilted my face at different angles to admire the way light was reflected...Uhem, a bit narcissistic I know...In a word, my skin is calmed and refined, with the dull areas brightened and the entire face radiated after a month.
So how is this different from Sulwhasoo First Care Serum (see my earlier review HERE)? My observation is that this essence gives a more refreshing finish and it works faster in terms of skin 'retexturing' while the First Care Serum helps make my skin plumped with moisture and elasticity. Although many people regard them as two mutually-inclusive pre-essences (i.e. you only need one of them), I actually find them complementary. I tried using either one of them, but the result is not as...complete...in one way or another. Of course, that said, I will have to increase my budget for skincare, but I personally think it's worthwhile as these two are the most impressive serums I have ever used so far. For your information, I have only survived with Laneige Water Bank Essence (see review HERE) for hydration and no other whitening serum after using these two 'pre-essences' lately. And guess what? I actually find my complexion fairer and more even than before (you know, the truth reveals in the morning)! As it's advertised, I think it's functional, and it's multifunctional. My apology for harping on about how magical SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is, but that's because I'm so truly super duper impressed and I have already listed it as my staple beauty item, though again, that's simply my personal experience for your reference.