SK-II Essence vs. Estee Lauder Micro Essence vs. MISSHA vs. Sulwhasoo First Care: Which is Best for You?

SK-II Essence vs. Estee Lauder Micro Essence vs. MISSHA vs. Sulwhasoo First Care: Which is Best for You?

    • Essences often contain active ingredients to target specific skin concerns, on top of providing additional hydration to the skin. It has been called “miracle water,” but an essence — the beauty product that's considered an integral step in Korean and Japanese skin-care routines — is no water. Four cult favorites of moisturizers in the market right now are SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, and Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum that focus on women's beauty needs. Which is best for you? Below, we will make a comparison to help you choose.

Cover Photo:Editor Lucia

  • The Claims

| SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

($235/230ml., up to 5% cashback at SK-II)



Facial Treatment Essence, SK-II's signature product and best-seller, has a formula that has remained unchanged for nearly 40 years. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence helps to improve the appearance of 5 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. Skin becomes breathtakingly crystal clear.

| Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion

($110/5.0 oz., up to 6% cashback at Estee Lauder)



Keep your visage looking radiant and cleansed with Estée Lauder's 'Mirco Essence' lotion. Lightweight and gentle, the formula drifts effortlessly across your skin, working to promote the appearance of a luminous, lit-from-within glow. The micro-targeting feature of the facial lotion allows it to absorb rapidly, avoiding the risk of any heavy, sticky residue being left behind.

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| Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Rx

($28.35/150ml, up to 4% cashback at iHerb)



Missha's best-selling essence has gotten an upgrade! The new and improved Time Revolution The First Treatment RX features a brand new fermentation method called double-fermentation which is done in both warm and cool temperatures to create a more powerful and active extract that is more efficiently delivered to the skin.

| Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

($89/60ml., up to 3% cashback at Sulwhasoo)



Sulwhasoo's iconic bestselling serum has gotten an upgrade! The fifth generation JAUM Activator™ is more powerful than ever as an essential anti-aging booster that stimulates the skin’s natural ability to rejuvenate itself every day.

  • The Ingredients & Benefits

| SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

This formula moisturizes skin while helping to soften and smooth texture, reduce dark spots and fine lines due to dryness, enhance radiance and even the look of skin tone. The lightweight liquid is quickly absorbed into skin, and contains 90% Pitera. Pitera is a natural bio-ingredient derived from yeast fermentation that resembles your skin's natural moisturizing factors. It contains over 50 micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids to condition skin. 

With powerful anti-aging and hydrating properties, Pitera™ is a miracle ingredient and exclusive to SK-II.

| Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion

The fragrance-free formula is infused with sodium hyaluronate to replenish moisture while caffeine encourages circulation to lessen a dull appearance. A micro-nutrient bio-ferment reinvigorates and nourishes supporting a youthful glow. Ingenious Micro-Active technology drenches your complexion in moisture, locking it in for long-lasting, touchable softness. 

Prepare to embrace a more youthful aesthetic, allowing the lotion to weave itself seamlessly into your skincare routine.

| Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence

Containing 95% cica enzyme ferment extract made with Missha's own Pro Ferment α™ technology, it helps effectively plump skin, refine texture, and reduce pigmentation -- even better than before! The double-fermentation process of the “RX” version more effectively provides rapid absorption of moisture, allowing skin to retain hydration longer and restores skin elasticity. Niacinamide brightens and clarifies, while adenosine energizes skin for more younger-looking skin. 

Now also formulated with pearl reef and rice extract to gently remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, smoother skin. Free of parabens, fragrances, alcohol, dyes and mineral oil, this is a perfect essence for all skin types, even sensitive skin.

| Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Backed by 23 years of research and new datamining technology, this formula delivers the perfect combination of ingredients for optimized anti-aging and hydrating benefits. 

The secret is in JAUM Activator, a masterfully blended complex of five precious herbs that improves the look of skin's hydration, brightness, radiance, translucency, visible wrinkles and moisture barrier.

  • Reviews

For years, beauty junkies have compared two products that they think is identical: SK-II's Facial Treatment Essence with Missha's First Treatment Essence. SK-II's essence is based off of its patented Pitera, a "strictly controlled natural fermentation process." It's essentially one that creates a clear liquid that's rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. This in turn improves the skin by providing it with an instant glow, working from the cellular level. 

On the other hand, Missha's First Treatment Essence is made of 80% saccharomyces ferment filtrate, the brand's own use of yeast and niacinimade. The latter is a vitamin B3 that is very effective in restoring the skin, improving enlarged pores, helping uneven skin tone, reducing acne, and more. 

Missha has a lot of more hydrating ingredients that will repair your skin compared to SK-II's formula and for over three times the price. Though both products are highly rated, for the price alone, that’s a huge difference, especially for price conscious consumers.

Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion is so watery, which can sink into your skin immediately without leaving a greasy residue on top. If you have dehydrated skin that needs all the help it can get in this department, this'll be a welcome addition to your routine. 

Sulwhasoo is like the Cindy Crawford of K-Beauty – an iconic brand (and loved by all) that's been around since 1966. It draws on the holistic powers of Korean herbal medicine, working to bridge the gap between body and mind through skincare. Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is called a serum because it's packed with actives that hydrate and brighten, but it also functions like an essence in that it helps the products you use afterwards absorb more thoroughly. Like essence, it's meant to be applied immediately after cleansing.

2021-04-13 02:421029