Alexa Garcia is a freelance writer & photographer based in the Washington D.C. metro area. She has worked with various local & global publications & brands khổng lồ create beauty, lifestyle, & fashion nội dung.

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Alexa Garcia/Design by Cristina Cianci

Per the famed 10-step Korean skincare routine, you should apply your essence directly after toning, since your toner essentially preps your skin to lớn reap the full benefits of your essence.

As for application, the brand suggests khổng lồ pour two khổng lồ three shakes onkhổng lồ the palm of your hvà, press your palms together, và gently pat directly onkhổng lồ your face & neck. The essence is watery, but a little product goes a long way. SK-II’s global ambassador, Tang Wei, demonstrates her signature “Pat-Pat” routine here.

The Ingredients: Nourishing và bouncy

Containing more than 90 percent Pitera (SK-II’s name for the yeast more commonly known as galactomyces ferment filtrate), this essence’s unique yeast-derived formulation allows for rapid cell turnover in your skin while enhancing your skin barrier. Pitera contains over 50 micro-nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic acids that act as a “magic liquid”—I can atdemo, regular use of this sản phẩm on my skin does, in fact, feel lượt thích magic.

The Scent: Slightly yeasty

As mentioned, the active sầu ingredient in SK-II's Pitera Facial Treatment Essence is a yeast, so there is a subtle yeasty scent, though it's nothing too off-putting. The formula has no artificial fragrance, so anyone whose skin is sensitive sầu lớn that can feel good about using it.

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The Results: Smoother, plumper skin

Alexa Garcia/Design by Cristina Cianci

After a week of using SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Essence, I can officially say that I understand the hype surrounding this skincare hàng hóa. I’ve already noticed a remarkable difference in my overall skin tone và brightness, and my skin feels more rejuvenated within this first week of use than it has all year, which is a complete win in my book. SK-II claims that their essence will help your skin look và feel even brighter within 28 days, so I’ll be continuing my use of this sản phẩm to lớn see the results for myself.

The Value: Expensive sầu, but the formula justifies the price

As a luxury br& with a highly secretive formulation and cult-following, it makes sense that the price point for this “miracle” hàng hóa is high. I’m not usually one khổng lồ splurge on skincare anywhere over $40, but after seeing the incredible results on my own skin (in merely a week, no less!), I’d consider myself an SK-II convert.

Also, SK-II customers say that the smaller bottle of the Pitera Facial Treatment Essence, which sells for $99, can last up to lớn four or five sầu months even when used daily.

Similar Products: You've got options

Then I Met You The Giving Essence: This indie brand’s essence ($50) contains the same active galactomyces ferment filtrate ingredient as SK-II & has proven itself khổng lồ be a worthy dupe of the cult-favorite. It also contains other noteworthy ingredients, such as ellagic acid to brighten and protect against UV rays, and red algae to remove sầu dead skin cells and other impurities. Even better, The Giving Essence is sold in a 3.38-oz. bottle for half the price of SK-II’s 2.5-oz. form size ($99).

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence: Formulated with a whopping 95% galactomyces ferment filtrate, this COSRX essence ($25) contains nearly identical ingredients to lớn SK-II’s essence at a quarter of the price. However, some users have sầu reported that COSRX’s essence triggered an acne outbreak (a few reported fungal acne), so you might be better off avoiding this particular hàng hóa if your skin is extra sensitive sầu or prone khổng lồ acne.

Honestly, my skin feels more rejuvenated within my first week of using SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Essence than it has all year, which is a complete win in my book. The br& claims that their essence will help your skin look and feel even brighter within 28 days, so I’ll be continuing my use of this product to see the results for myself. Although SK-II’s essence is priced higher than others on the market, the quality of their ingredients (and over 40 years of expertise in their field) lets them speak for themselves. If you’re looking for a step khổng lồ add to your skincare routine that is sure to revive your skin, no matter what type, look no further than SK-II.