By Eleanor Pendleton

I’m lucky to have good skin. I know that. But, I also work at it. Like, reaaaally work it. I clean it, nurture it, feed and water it daily. About eight years ago though, that wasn’t the case. Blame it on stress but my skin was a far departure from what it is now.

My skin used to be covered in blemishes. Big, sore and angry blemishes. My skin also used to be covered in tiny bumps, which while they weren’t visible to others, they felt gigantic to me. Since then, I’ve worked methodically to get rid of the scars albeit laser, because, well, I’m a scaredy cat.


At the time, my mum (a fair skin-worshiping Filipino who considers brightening products the Holy Grail) told me about SK-II and how popular it was in Asia. While telling me to drink more water and keep my vitamins up (bless!), mum passed on a half-filled bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence– knowing full well this meant she could run out and buy herself a new one – and so I started using it.

I didn’t really know what to expect. Yes, it looked like water, felt like water but unlike water, my skin absorbed it completely. Mum told me to apply 3 – 4 drops in the palm of my hand, press my palms together then pat it on my face and neck – this she told me to do after cleansing but before moisturising. You could also soak a cotton pad and apply the essence that way but I like my hands to reap the skin-nourishing benefits as well.

But, before you catch me out and call this luxury liquid a toner, just wait a second.


SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is much more than just a toner. It contains 90 per cent pitera – a clear liquid rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids, which was discovered during the fermentation process of sake over 30 years ago. In fact, SK-II cottoned on to the fact that Japanese sake brewers had youthful hands (despite their elderly age) and fortunately for our skin, went on a mission to find out why.

As an all-in-one product, the essence gently exfoliates the skin’s surface, fades pigmentation, reduces wrinkles, firms and improves the texture and clarity of the complexion. In just two weeks, your skin becomes beautifully clear. Personally, when I run out of the liquid gold or simply get lazy and fall off the bandwagon, I really notice the difference in my skin. Because of that, I no longer go a day without it.


Generally, my 150ml bottle lasts up to three months and while it does come with a $175 price tag, when used morning and night, you’re looking at almost 200 applications which is pretty bloody good. Many of you ask me what skincare I use and I’ll be the first to admit it changes every month because of my job as a beauty editor but the truth is SK-II is the one mainstay in my routine, which is why I’m so incredibly proud to be a local SK-II ambassador – alongside my mates (in my dreams) Kate Bosworth and Cate Blanchett. So, enough about me! Have you tried SK-II? What do you think?

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