My Favourite Facial Essences (Part 1)

Disclamer: This is not a sponsored post.

Happy 2020!! I am back.

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

I did a post about my favourite afforable toner. So I was thinking of sharing about my favourite facial essence that I have used over the past years because essence is one of the must-haves in my skincare routine.

I am sure that majority would have heard of facial essence aka “miracle water”. Facial essence is has been very popular in Japan and Korea. Recently, it has grown over in the beauty industry and many beauty brand had jump into the bandwagon to create their own facial essences.

For those who are not familar with a facial essence, it is a lightweight liquid formulation that add a level of hydration and prep your skin properly to absorb your next skincare products (such as serum, cream or moisturiser). Furthermore, it contains concentrated active ingredients that target different skin concern such as wrinkles, fine lines, dullness and uneven skin tone.

Do not be confused between a toner and an essence. Both product have different functions. Toner mainly helps to reset the skin surface pH level back to normal (healthy range) and removes any remaining dirt and gime if it is not being cleanse properly. On the other hand, skin essence helps to hydrate as well as rejuvenate your skin by penetrating deeply to your skin after cleansing and toning.

Disclaimer: I personally find this product beneficial to my skin but it may or may not works for everyone. Kindly understand that every individual has different skin type and texture. Even if you have the similar skin type as me, it may or may not work for you. I recommend that you do some research before purchasing the product or patch test on your skin before usage.

Here are my favourite facial essences which are categorised into 3 price point:

1. Luxury: price more than $200

2. Mid range: price less than $150

3. Affordable: price less than $80

Price stated in SGD

Favourite luxury facial essence: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Photo taken from

This facial essence is self-explanatory, it has been around for more than 38 years and I am sure that majority would have came across this through the YouTube advertisement or TV commercial. The essence comes in 3 sizes: 75ml, 160ml and 230ml and the prices are available from $108 to $289.

More information: SK-II

What’s so special?

It contains 90% of this unique active ingredient: Pitera™.

If you are wondering how did Pitera™ came about? It was discovered by a group of Japanese scientists. Read more: link

According to SK-II webpage, Pitera™ is known as “natural bio ingredient derived from yeast fermentation that resembles your skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factors; contains over 50 micro-nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids to condition skin’s natural functions“.

This facial essence is a versatile product that work on multiple skin concerns and also compatible to all skin types. It promises to deliver a brighter glow, prevent spots, less visible wrinkles, smoother texture and suppler skin.

I started using this facial essence in year 2015 till early 2018. Back then, I was 21 years old and it was my first time incorporating essence to my skincare routine. For a start, I purchased the PITERA™ First Experience Kit which retails for $99. The kit includes the facial treament essence (75ml), facial treatment clear lotion (30 ml) and facial treament mask (1 piece).

Photo taken from

This kit lasted less than 2 months so I decided to continue with this essence and brought the bigger size bottle of 230ml that can last for 5 months depending on indivdual usage.

First off, although this facial essence is fragrance-free, I would like to warn that it gives off a pungent smell due to its natural fermentation. For me, the smell was bearable but to some, this may be a turn off. Secondly, the viscosity of this facial essence resembles like water.

From my experiences of using SK-II facial treatment essence for more than 2 years, I do notice a change on my face. Initially my skin texture was slightly bumpy and my skin type is combination-sensitive so I do experience occasional breakouts on my forehead and cheeks.

After using for two months, to my surprise, my mum actually complimented about my face looking more radiant and hydrated compared to previously dull and slight flaky skin that she was concerned about. I even felt that my skin texture is smoother and bouncy. Most importantly, its reduced my skin’s redness and breakouts which seem to balance my skin’s sebum secretion, keeping it shine free.

I felt that the downside of this essence: Expensive, so you might want to think twice or even thrice before purchasing. If you are new to this, I recommend to get the kit that I mentioned above to see whether you will like the product before investing on the bigger size bottle.

Another downside of this essence is the presence of paraben ingredients in the facial treatement essence. If you do not know what parabens is, it is a chemical that is commonly used in the cosmestics product as preservative to prolong the shelf life of the product.

There is allegation that parabens may cause cancerous skin damage with prolong exposure. This may or may not be proven. The amount of paraben used to preserve cosmestics is at a safe level of less than 1%. However, if you are still concerned about paraben, perhaps this facial essence may not be the choice for you. More information: Link 1, Link 2.

How to apply?

The application is simple. After using a toner, pour a small amount of essences onto your clean palm and gently pat on your face and neck until completely absorbed. OR another method is to pour a small amount of essence into a cotton pad and gently pat on your face and neck until completely absorbed.

A video demonstration link

Apart from the normal application, I do have a bonus use for the facial treatment essence.

As a Quick Eye Mask:

Soak some cotton pads with the facial treatment essence, placed them into a sealed Ziploc bag and leave it overnight in the refridgerator. The next morning, take out the chilled cotton pad from the fridge and placed over your eyes for about 5 minutes. The coolness will help to temporary reduce the puffiness of your eyes to make your eyes look brighter.

Alright! I have come to the end of the first part. Thank you for taking your time to read this long post. If you are interested in getting the product, feel free to search it up online. Stay tuned for the part 2 of my favourite facial essence! Cheers!

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