Well-being | Health & Beauty

Korean Alternatives to Japan’s SK II Facial Treatment Essence


SK II Facial Treatment Essence (SK II FTE hereafter), the ‘miracle water’ is one of the many skincare items known to beauty enthusiasts everywhere. It is a high-end skin care product from Japan which contains ‘pitera’ as the primary ingredient. Pitera, the seemingly magical ingredient of SK II FTE helps to improve the appearance of five dimensions of beautiful, crystal clear skin: spots are less visible, appearance of wrinkles is reduced, skin texture is more refined, firmness is improved, and radiance is beautifully elevated. It claims that skin becomes breathtakingly crystal clear after usage. 


As a luxury brand, a 150 ml bottle of SK II FTE will cost you a whopping $165. In this blog post, I’d like to share to you some Korean FTEs that are as good as (and even better than) SK II FTE. There are a lot more in the market but I’ll just feature the products that I like. Since only SK II has the patent and exclusive rights to Pitera, Korean brands use other beer brewing byproduct from the Saccharomyces family, the same family Pitera belongs to.


  • Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence – It is one of the most popular treatment essences in Korea. Though Missha’s FTE has only 80% of the main ingredient, it has more effective ingredients than SK II’s.

Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate (80%), Propanediol,Glycyrrhiza Glabra ( Licorice Root Extract ), Niacinamide, Polyquaternium-51, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Raffinose, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis, Chamomile Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Tromethamine, Water, Adenosine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol

Price: 37, 800 won (150 ml)


  • Tony Moly Intensive Care Galactomyces First Essence 94.5% – It promises 6 kinds of skincare effects:
    • clear and bright skin
    • revitalized, even skin tone
    • smooth skin texture
    • moist skin
    • elastic skin
    • compact skin texture

Ingredients: Galcatomyces Ferment Filtrate PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Chorphenesin, Ethyexyglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol.

Price: 38,000 won (150 ml)


The 94.5% essence is a little oily at first but when the product is fully absorbed by the skin, it’s not oily or greasy at all. It is so moisturizing and great for dry skin like mine. If you have oily skin, use the other version, the 96.5 % lite essence. It has water consistency just like SK II and Missha.


  • The Wonlyo Store 100 % Galactomyces – It is the first galactomyces essence I tried after using SK II for the first time. It was a gift from my sister-in-law. It’s not a well-known brand but a great and effective product. It comes with a small clear bottle with dropper. Its consistency is comparable to Tony Moly’s 94.5% essence.

Price: 29,000 won (50ml)

I don’t want to sound like advertising the products (LOL) but all these essences have actually done good to my skin. Luckily, none of them has given me breakouts so far (fingers crossed). I noticed that my skin especially my cheeks have become clearer and lighter. My face looks more evened out. Among the Korean FTEs I’ve tried, I love the Wolyo Store 100% Galactomyces the most. It has great power in a small bottle. Though it’s a little cheaper than SK II, it is much more expensive than Tony Moly and Missha. 😦 Currently, I am using SK II again which was bought by Hubby while he was shopping alone. When I finish this bottle, I will use the 100% Galactomyces again. I have tried the bio essence from Iope (just a sample bottle though) but I wasn’t impressed. I just use any of these products depending on my budget. Hehe. What do you think about SK II Facial Treatment Essence? If you know any better alternative, please share to us. Have a great day! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Korean Alternatives to Japan’s SK II Facial Treatment Essence

  1. Hi! I love reading your blog because I’m a Korean wanna-be. Actually, I love everything about Korea and have always dreamed of living there but that is not going to happen I think because my family is solidly based here in the Philippines hehe 🙂 I can only be happy from afar, reading blogs of Pinoys who live in Korea, and whenever time permits, going back to Korea every now and then. I have always been thinking about what to replace my SK-II with and thankfully, you wrote about it! I can’t always find SK-II here in Manila when I run out and it’s great to know that there are Korean alternatives that I can buy from here 🙂


    1. Hi Jan! Thank you for dropping by. I’m so glad someone appreciates my humble blog hehe. Well when it comes to beauty, di talaga magpapahuli ang Korea and they make better alternatives. Hehe.Have a great day!♥♥♥


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