Subjectively this would be a 5-star product for me right now, but objectively, it's a 4 and here's why:
* It's stupid expensive. There are other first essences that can deliver similar (though not as noticeable) results in the long run
* I used this 4 years ago and it didn't do much for my skin then
* It has an unpleasant sour scent to it
So why is this a 5 for me now? Because I noticed almost immediate improvement in my skin tone and texture after using this. My skin looks more refined, feels smoother, and my pores are less visible, which is incredible because no other "pore reducing" products I've used have ever given me such great results so quickly. This is now a must-have in my routine, and for me it's worth every pretty penny.
Maybe it's because I really don't have problems with brightness in my skin, or with uneven tone, but this did absolutely nothing on my skin.
The "official" ingredient list is very short, being the first one Pitera, which is exclusive to SK-II and a secret, made from fermented sake. These are galactomyces, and for what I have read, there really isn't a definite study saying if they are truly beneficial for the skin.
I think that this Facial Treatment Essence really isn't worth it because of the price. For how much this bottle costs, one would think that this was going to do something and you would notice a change on the first on the first week or so. But I noticed absolutely nothing, even after using it for several months, every single day.
If you don't have the money to buy it and not notice it on your bank account, I would say to try first other similar products with galactomyces, like the Missha First Treatment Essence. If you notice a change with those cheaper products, then maybe you will like this SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.
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