I’m postponing Ask Belle until later in the week. I’m drowning in e-mails, and hoping to do 10-15 Ask Belles to help clear out the clutter. So this afternoon, I thought I would review a product that I’ve been using for a few months instead.
SK-II products were originally developed in Japan, and exploded onto the U.S. market a few years ago with a glossy ad campaign featuring the gorgeous and smooth-skinned Cate Blanchett. But given their wallet-bruising prices, I waited a long time before trying their much-hyped and much-loved Facial Treatment Essence ($195).
Made with pitera, a derivative of the yeast used to make sake, the company claims that the pricey serums and essences will plump, moisturize and smooth your skin. Some users compare the effects of pitera to the fountain of youth.
The Facial Treatment Essence is a slightly-smelly liquid that you’re instructed to apply with a cotton ball, similar to how you would use a toner. However, given that the stuff costs $50 per ounce, I decided to just sprinkle a bit into my palm and apply it with my hands. I’ve been faithfully using the product twice per day, for four months, and my reaction is a bit mixed.
Am I happy with the product? Yes. Did I experience the miraculous transformation that would make the price worth my while? No.
My skin, which usually swings violently between oily and dry, is more stable since I started using the essence. I also looks brighter and more radiant. As for the texture, which many reviews said would be smoother and softer after a few months of use, I haven’t noticed any change.
So do I recommend that you spend $100-$300 on SK-II products? No. But if you do want to give them a try, wait until next week when the Sephora friends and family sale hits, and save yourself 20-percent.