Sometime ago I was made aware of a Mega Beauty Sale in Hong Kong and my dear friend who was touring Asia at that time asked what I was interested to get. He threw out a couple of brands and my ears ringed when I heard SK-II. This luxury brand is not cheap; a bottle of lotion can cost you around 20 meals. Also numerous mixed reviews kept me at bay from making rash decisions.

Anyway, I opted to get the highly-raved Facial Treatment Essence - a 75ml bottle cost S$99 at local counters whereas the discount+conversion will come to around S$50. Sad to say there were limited stocks available, and my friend managed to snag 2 sample bottles, 30ml each. ヾ(^▽^)ノ FREE! He proceeded to get me whatever is available on my To-Buy list which is the PREVAGE Day moisturizer and also samples from SANSIM, a Korean brand using Wild Ginseng Extract which is supposedly has a superior efficacy to Ginseng and is known to have skin restoration and anti-aging properties. I shall elaborate in a later entry.

The Brand
The "SK" in SK-II stands for Secret Key, with Pitera being the secret key to clear skin. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, the Facial Treatment Essence(FTE for short) formula have never been changed, given the reason that customers seem to be happy with the crystal clear results. At the time of writing, more than 20 million bottles have been sold, and a bottle is said to be sold every 22 seconds.

Miracle Find
Unlike those used to make bread and beer, Pitera is a byproduct obtained from a refined, purified strain of yeast during the fermentation process. Patented by the Japanese brand, this key ingredient is a source of proteins, minerals, peptides, amino and organic acids etc that mimics the structure and function of healthy skin, and prevent surface irritation from penetrating deeper into the skin. This miracle find enhances the skin's natural cell renewal cycle, resulting in crystal clear skin.
Facial Treatment Essence
Touted as the Miracle Water, the FTE contains more than 90% Piteria, the highest concentration in SK-II's product range. Apart from allowing the skin's natural renewal cycle to function at its prime, FTE helps to achieve a good balance of sebum and pH levels, so oily and dry areas are properly moisturized. 

Many have the misconception that the FTE is a toner when in fact this product is a serum albeit in liquid form. The bottle does not come with a pump but the opening is small thus minimizes wastage. The fermented scent grow stronger upon gradual contact with surrounding air, so it is best to replace the cap promptly.

While sebum secretion remains the same *inserts major groan*, my skin has visibly brightened up. The illuminating effect is far from the same as compared with other whitening products; the sorbic acids clarify and remove dead skin cells but does not dry out the skin. It leaves my face soft and smooth with that gleaming glow, as if a subtle bulb has been lit and directs light onto my skin. This spells good news for those with slightly blemished skin - although you don't see immediate improvement, the brightening does help to create a veil, very much like using the "light" effect with Photoshop.

Besides using it twice daily, morning and night, the recommended application is to use a FTE-soaked cotton pad and gently pat on the face and neck. For a product that can buy you at least 20 meals, such a method is too extravagant. What I do is have my bottle at the ready and cap unscrewed but still in its place, rub my palms together to heat it up and pour in an amount that's of a quarter size and gently pat on my face. DO NOT RUB! Pat the product until it has been completely absorbed by the skin and then continue with my moisturizer.

Alternatively, you may pour some of the product into a spritz bottle, spray some on your face and pat it in after heating your palms. This method helps to delay the fermenting smell and further reducing wastage of this Miracle Water.

Christmas is around the corner -9 days to be exact- and there are many in-store promotions. I am able to finish my second bottle and deliberating the various promotions but can't pick one. You know, if the FTE can give me such an illuminous complexion, I can't begin to think of what my skin's hidden aura looks like should I use the Cellumination Essence (lol)

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