At $289 a bottle, the legendary SK-II Facial Treatment Essence doesn’t come cheap. However, it has developed a cult following, with a bottle sold every two seconds. Its key ingredient, PITERATM, is a byproduct of yeast fermentation. It contains more than 50 micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, organic acids, and amino acid. The famous story goes that SK-II researchers noticed that sake brewers had smooth and supple hands which did not match up to their age — all that is thanks to PITERATM! As they say, the rest is history.
While the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence has received rave reviews, perhaps you aren’t willing to splash out on it just yet. As a firm believer that cheaper alternatives can be just as good, these dupes will help you get that glow, without the stress to your wallet.
Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RX
Perhaps the closest dupe in both name and form, Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RX offers all the benefits of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence at a fraction of the price. In fact, the newly upgraded formula contains over 90% fermented yeast extract from Himalayan purple barley! The ingredients are also treated through a double-fermentation process, effectively plumping skin, refining skin texture, and reducing pigmentation.
Available online at Althea.
Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence
A deeply hydrating and brightening essence that contains more than 93% naturally fermented ingredients, including bifida ferment lysate and 28% saccharomyces ferment filtrate. The main ingredient is bifida ferment lysate (Sk-II’s is galactomyces ferment filtrate), which is also noticeably used in the world’s most popular serum, the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. It delivers instant moisture and skin-plumping benefits! A must-have for that coveted honey skin.
Available in-store and online at Watsons.
CORSX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
While SK-II has trademarked the galactomyces ferment filtrate as PITERATM, the CORSX version contains the exact ingredient. At 95%, it is actually higher than the concentration found in its SK-II counterpart. With a total of twelve ingredients on its list, CORSX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence comes as close as possible in formulation to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Yes, it’s basically the same thing. The only difference? It comes in at a fraction of the original’s price — it’s also the cheapest of the lot!
Available online at Shopee.
Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition
Like the CORSX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence, Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence’s main ingredient is galactomyces ferment filtrate. While it comes in at 94%, its ingredient list differs slightly. With rose water extracts, the essence not only soothes and calms skin, but moisturises it richly. It also contains niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, which is a great skincare ingredient as well.
Available online at Althea.
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