SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 75mL
The August SK-II Starter Set I have comes with:
- Facial Cotton 90 sheets
- Facial Treatment Clear Lotion 40mL
- Skin Signature Cream 2.5g
- Facial Treatment Essence 75mL
So I've read that this "miracle water," umm, stinks. Literally. Well, I think it has more of a pungent, yeast-like odor, thanks to the high content of pitera, which is derived from yeast. It's not that bad up close, at least to me. It's when the stuff comes into contact with my skin that I think the odor becomes most noticeable because, well, it's on me. Splashing this stuff onto my face sometimes feels like I'm splashing on someone's sweat. Yuck. Ick. Thankfully, the odor doesn't last and dissipates quickly as the "miracle water" is pretty much like...water - it sinks right into my skin and is even better than the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel in that it feels like I hadn't applied anything to my face at all! ^.^
There is not exactly a "correct" way of applying essence. As you can see, the Japanese guidebook says to soak a pad of cotton and wipe your face with it. On the other hand, the SK-II USA website says to pour some into your cupped hand, rubs hands together, and then press into face and neck. I prefer the latter to the former, firstly because I'm already applying the Clear Lotion, which is supposed to go on first, with a pad of cotton. I try not to torture my skin too much since I am already double exfoliating (physical exfoliation via cotton pad with Clear Lotion, and chemical exfoliation via the acid blend in Clear Lotion). And secondly, I do think it's wasteful to soak a cotton with this essence because unlike a toner, it doesn't contain any alcohol that will evaporate off. I'd rather for it all to be absorbed into my skin like it should be.
So, did this "miracle water" transform my skin? Nope. Did anything even change when I switched climates, going from hot and humid Japan (3 weeks) to the super dry US of A (3 weeks) to super hot and crazy humid Taipei (2 months, 3.5 months of use in total)? Not really. Not even as part of the dream team that is the Clear Lotion. Sure, my skin does look somewhat brighter, somewhat smoother, and my pores are somewhat less visible, but I can't really decide if the credit should belong to this Essence, the Clear Lotion, the TriAcneal, or a random combination of the three. It could just be too that I'm totally delusional and my skin really doesn't look any different now than it did before ^.^' I guess sometimes, having a lot of hype does more harm than good as it only sets a product up to disappoint.
All that said, I will not boo this "miracle water" just yet since I still have a little half a bottle left to go. And this is after 3.5 months with daily use in the morning (face only) and at night (face and neck). I don't pour a whole tea spoon into my palm as suggested, because it all will just spill through the cracks between my fingers, but I do sprinkle a generous amount. So at the very least, a bottle comes a long way for me. Unless something "miraculously" change by the time I'm through with this bottle, I will not repurchase. There are still so many nice things out there waiting for me to try, not to mention many don't cost an arm and a leg like this essence does.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence:
Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate**, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Aqua (Water/ Eau), Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid. *Pitera
***List of ingredients from SK-II USA.