SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Review

Hi everyone. I’m back from my travels in Japan! Lots to update you all with in the next few weeks. Sorry for the impromptu hiatus again. Without further ado, in the spirit of all things Japanese, I thought I’d give a review today on a product I had always wanted to test out after hearing about it, tested for a while now, and finally feel ready to share my thoughts on it – the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.


The purpose of the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is to help reduce the visibility of spots and appearance of wrinkles, refine skin texture and improve firmness of skin. It contains over 90% Pitera, which is a clear liquid rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. Pitera is SK-II’s proprietary compound derived from the sake fermentation process.


The standard size for the product is a 150mL frosted glass bottle with a twist off lid. I started using this product once daily on a continuous basis sometime this past summer. I now have about a quarter of a bottle left. So I’d say the bottle would last me anywhere between 7-9 months (on a once daily use basis).


After cleansing, pour a small amount of the essence into the palm of your hands and pat all over your face and neck.

The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is a watery, clear liquid. It has what they call a “fermented” smell. The scent is due to the main ingredient used in this product – Pitera, a rice ferment. This is the thing about this product that gets to me the most. To me, the fermented scent of this product reminds of stinky feet or dirty, damp clothes. It is gross and I am patting it all over my face. The scent bothers me enough that after the first couple of uses, I actually wanted to stop using it. However, the cost of this product (well over $100 CAD depending on where you get it from) and its reputation made me continue with it (to see its effects) and put aside the scent until I’m through with the bottle.

The product absorbs relatively quickly. It keeps the skin feeling moist for some time after application. Overall, I have found that this product provides a most welcomed extra layer of hydration to my skin. However, I have not seen any noticeable anti-aging effects. Other than adding extra hydration to my skin, which aids in reducing the formation of wrinkles, I haven’t seen much improvement in the already existing fine lines on my face.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence


  • I really like the extra layer of moisture this product adds to my skin.
  • Packaging is elegant and sturdy (though since it is made of glass, I am always weary of breaking it on my travels).


  • As previously mentioned, the smell really bothers me. IT SMELLS LIKE FEET. Probably my least favourite smell in the world. That and mildew.
  • It is very, very expensive. I bought my 150mL bottle for around $180 CAD (I don’t remember the exact price anymore as I had picked it up so long ago and also from the US).


No. The scent really bothers me and it doesn’t do anything noticeable enough to justify its extremely high cost. (I am super saddened by this as there are rave reviews on the benefits of this product. Unfortunately, my skin just doesn’t take to it as well as some other’s.)

And I will leave it at that. I hope to be back with a more regular posting schedule. Look out for plenty of updates on my trip to Japan and as always skincare, skincare, skincare! (Note: I managed to do a mini skincare haul whilst in Japan! :D)

Tell us what you think!

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