Facial Treatment Essence

by SK-II   
$155 - 5 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Toners > Toners
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Facial Treatment Essence is supposed to contain “the most concentrated amount of Pitera of all the SK-II skincare products—around 90% pure SK-II Pitera.” Indeed, that is all this contains, other than some slip agents, water, and preservatives. What a waste, and what a strange gimmick to thrust on women the world over. There is no substantiated research proving Pitera is a must-have for skin. Even if it was an amazing ingredient, skin needs more than just one great ingredient to be at its healthy, youthful best.

Skin Balancing Essence. Women everywhere are so passionate about Facial Treatment Essence that they describe it as their 'miracle water'. Pitera, the seemingly magical ingredient found in all SK-II products, helps restore vital balance by promoting the skin's natural 28-day surface renewal process. This single blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids produces a seemingly miraculous rebirth of appearance. With over 90% pure Pitera, Facial Treatment Essence is the 'heart' of every SK-II Skincare ritual. Rely on it daily to moisturise, balance, and renew. Skin absorbs the benefits almost on contact. The result is supple, smooth, radiant skin.

Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate (Pitera), Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Water, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid

Procter & Gamble, as always, is extremely helpful in providing information about their products. In this case it was for their upscale SK-II skin-care line. We certainly can't say that about most companies. We have to acknowledge P&G for having the integrity to share their "inside" details with someone like me, who might be more critical than complimentary. Thank you, P&G!

Regrettably, and we mean that sincerely, we wish we had more positive comments to convey, but alas, we don't. The data provided don't change the reality about skin care and the ingredients that can have an impact on skin. SK-II products are hardly worth the price, especially when compared to Olay Regenerist and Definity (P&G's own drugstore line of skin-care products). In fact, it takes only a quick review of the formulas to note that many SK-II items are very similar to Olay Regenerist items, except that the latter don't include Pitera, the supposedly miracle ingredient in this line. Yet there is minimal research indicating that Pitera is even helpful for skin.

Pitera is the cornerstone of the SK-II line and is present in every SK-II product. Pitera is the trade name for Saccharomycopsis ferment filtrate (SFF), a form of yeast purportedly unique because of the fermenting and filtering process it goes through before being added to these products. As it turns out, many forms of yeast have anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties, including SFF (Source: Journal of Dermatologic Science, June 2006, pages 249–257). Other than that, all of the information about Pitera comes from papers presented at medical conferences, not from published studies. Presenting papers at medical conferences is not at all the same thing as publishing the results of studies. We frequently present papers and information at medical conferences, and we wouldn't offer that material as proof of anything because it isn't. The standards for presenting a paper at a medical conference are very different from the requirements for publication of study results in most medical journals.

To give P&G the benefit of the doubt, even if Pitera is a wonder ingredient, this doesn't explain how it rates when compared with other "wonder" ingredients because there are no comparison studies. Hundreds of ingredients—ranging from green tea to superoxide dismutase, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, eicosapentaenoic acid, beta-carotene, pomegranate, and curcumin to vitamin E, vitamin A, and on and on and on—have stellar reputations, and there's copious documentation to prove it.

Another point to consider: If Pitera deserves the spotlight SK-II shines on it, then P&G needs to change their claims about Olay Regenerist and Definity, and at the very least say that these products are almost as good as SK-II except we left out the Pitera. Ultimately, unless you believe Pitera is the answer for your every skin-care need (because each and every SK-II product contains it, with very few other added extras), there is no reason to waste your time and energy on this line.

For more information about SK-II, owned by Procter & Gamble, visit www.sk-ii.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Anggita, A.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Great, but can't fight acnes
    • This product is work great for me! I use it everyday & my skin feels supple, moist, & glowy. I need 3 months to realized the miracle effect. I've use it for 3 years now along with SKII Clear Lotion & Cellumination Essence. But unfortunately, it can't help me fight against horrible break out that I got from my last BB cream, that's why I seek Paula's Choice. Now I'm trying 2% BHA liquid & 5% benzoyl peroxide, but I'm a little bit confuse where I should put it along my SKII routine. Thank you.^^

  2. Jyang
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 08, 2014
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Broke out
    • It broke me out Everytime I use it... I have sensitive, acne prone skin.

  3. Elzee
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    Interesting...I kinda like it
    • I received a few samples of this Pitera liquid "Essence" directly from SKII. It is not a toner. It is a watery liquid that you put on your palms, then apply all over your face (which is a bit tricky). This stuff smells weird (a bit sour) but it does seem to make my face very soft and feel hydrated. Not as hydrated as a lotion, but not bad either. I use it after I cleanse. Would I actually BUY it? Probably not. It's very expensive and I'm very unclear about its benefit or its result.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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