Every new skincare product we buy is quite literally hope in a jar/bottle/tube. We are always hoping for that new skincare product to transform our skin, and to make our complexion everything we have ever wanted it to be – even toned, supple, smooth and problem-free. Well, then the one skincare product you need to know about is the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

So what is a facial essence?

Essences as the first step of your routine

An essence is typically applied to a clean face to prep skin to effectively absorb subsequent products like serum and moisturiser. The essence provides an additional layer of hydration so skin can better absorb the active ingredients from the rest of your skincare.

Just like how you would loosen garden soil before watering it, you need to soften and prime your skin with essence so it has enough moisture for ingredients (from your serums, moisturisers and targeted treatment) to be absorbed through the layers of the skin.

If adding another step to your skincare routine doesn’t sound appealing, investing in an essence that provides more benefits than its base layer of hydration could even save you the moisturiser step – always based on your skin’s condition and needs.

The facial essence known as “miracle water”

More than just softening or hydrating your skin superficially, a good skincare essence packs more nourishment and treatment ingredients to work skin deep and give you the complexion you always desired.

When discussing essences, we need to name the ‘mother of them all’: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

As we were saying, there are some essences that provide much more benefits than just hydration, and SK-II’s iconic Pitera Essence is the best example we can think of.

Made of over 90% Pitera – the brand’s key ingredient – the Facial Treatment Essence is said to improve radiance to reveal brighter skin, prevent sun spots, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin’s texture, and boost its retention of moisture, ALL in one single product.

This facial essence can be used on all skin types from your 20s, 30s to beyond.  In your 20s, it will help balance skin’s sebum secretion, keeping it shine free. In your 30s, it will even out your skin tone, just when pigmentation becomes a problem. In your 40s, the Pitera essence will help to preserve youth and radiance, and so on.

How to use: Maximize the mileage of your Facial Treatment Essence

Instructions are quite clear and simple: place a couple of drops on your palms and pat it into your skin until it gets fully absorbed.

But how else can you use the Facial Treatment Essence? Read on for all the tips and tricks to leverage each drop to its fullest.

Soak a dry mask sheet with a Facial Essence for a quickie facial treat

As a soothing five-minute mask

Here’s a way to fend off fatigue for visibly softer and smoother skin, even if you’re running on empty: Soak dry facial sheets with your essence, stick them in a sealed Ziploc bag and stash it in the fridge.

Once the sheets are nice and cool, slap them on your face whenever you need a pick-me-up for your skin. Leave them on to work their magic for a few minutes, then proceed with the rest of your skincare. The soothing salve will quench your thirsty skin and reduce redness.

As a hydrating face mist – that can be used over makeup

A tip from American actress Chloe Grace Moretz, who was recently featured in SK-II’s Bare Skin Chat: you can decant the Facial Treatment Essence into a little spray bottle to create your own DIY face mist to refresh your skin and replenish any moisture you might have lost throughout the day. It’s the perfect hydrating pick-me-up you can practically douse yourself in without fear of disrupting your face paint.

As a quick trick to de-puff your eyes

Under eye bags are terrible tell-tale signs of tiredness and torpor. Here’s how to de-puff and detoxify your eyes in a pinch. Soak a couple of cotton pads, drop them into a sealed Ziploc bag, then chuck it into the fridge. Leave them overnight.

The morning after, place the chilled cotton pads over your eyes and leave them on for about five minutes. The coolness will lend an instant lift to your lids and shrink swollen capillaries for less puffy eyes almost instantly.

To repair your skin from sun damage

Dry and flaky. Burnt and spotty. That’s the aftermath of too much sun. Restore your skin’s natural balance and help improve tone and texture by adding the facial essence into your skin care routine. Simply splash on an essence after you’ve cleansed and toned your skin to hydrate and replenish your face with vitamins and amino acids.

When skin is burnt or injured such as from sun damage, the light, watery texture of an facial essence is ideal as it will help to repair skin more effectively and gently compared to a thicker, richer cream or lotion, which might not be able to penetrate the skin’s damaged superficial layers as quickly and easily.

There you have four different ways to use SK-II Facial Treatment Essence but it doesn’t just stop there. Fans of the cult favourite product have found other innovative ways to incorporate the miracle water in their skincare routines – from minimising pores to smoothing over peeling skin. This is one product your skin will fall in love with no matter how you use it.


The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence retails at $289 for 230ml, and is available at major department stores, as well as SK-II’s LazMall flagship store.

This article was brought to you in collaboration with SK-II. All opinions are our own.