Sk-II Facial Treatment Essence Before & After

If you’ve followed me for a while, you may have seen a continual familiar face on my social media over the years, Austin. Our parents have been best friends for 30+ years, they got pregnant with us together, and our families have always been inseparable. Our families are so close that I genuinely grew up believing I was part of the McLaurin family. It wasn’t until I was about 8 or 9 that he had to say, “Katey, that’s not your Aunt Sharon…

Austin and I have always had such a brother, sister bond that I avoided introducing him to Paul for as long as I could. Austin would meet my boyfriends in college and then tell me I had to break up with them when he didn’t like them. I didn’t even invite Paul to my mom’s 50th birthday party while we were dating out of fear Austin wouldn’t approve, and we’d have to split. We laugh about that now because once they met, Paul and Austin quickly became best friends and Austin is Maxi’s Godfather.

A few years ago, the best girl, Elizabeth, came in the picture. Austin knew she was the one, flew her to Paris, proposed and the rest is history. I got to play a very small role helping with the proposal, too! I told her that I had a blog collaboration in Paris and needed her to shoot it for me. She agreed to do the shoot for me, so while she’s shooting for what she thinks is a post on Chronicles of Frivolity, Austin popped the question.

They flew back from Paris, immediately came to our house and asked if Maxi would be the flower girl and if Paul would be a groomsman. We’ve spent the past few months preparing for such a special occasion, and as we’ve thrown wedding showers and helped them decorate their married home, I started to think about how I’d personally prepare.

I’m a skincare fanatic, and although this may seem sinful to say on a style blog- I think I spend way more on skincare than I do clothing. Your skin is your largest organ and will be around much longer than a sweater on the clearance rack ever well. I want to nurture it! I knew if I prepped my skin, I’d feel confident no matter what I wore.

I had some dark spots after frequent blemishes I got while breastfeeding Maxi and just a general uneven skin tone on the right side of my face. I’m not sure how I got it, because that isn’t my driver’s side- but regardless, it was there. I made an appointment for a consultation to see if I needed a treatment or facial.

I asked my sister to babysit, went to my appointment and an hour later I sat in sticker shock. They wrote me up this entire plan filled with facials and microdermabrasion and laser treatments. It was going to take three months, and the price was astounding. I’m all for investing in your skin, but being in my mid-twenties that time commitment and price point just didn’t seem feasible or wise.

I decided I’d instead try a luxury beauty product and went through my e-mails to read up on some press releases I’d received. With my job, my inbox is filled with pitches and articles sharing info on product education. After I familiarized myself with a few options, I went to Insta Stories and shared the concerns I had. One reader works in this industry, so she was incredibly kind and had me sent her close-up photos of the spots, dryness, and texture I was concerned about. She said before I could even decide if I needed a treatment from a spa, I needed to level out the playing field. To do this, she recommended SK-II and their Facial Treatment Essence (aka “Miracle Water”).

I decided to jump in on SK-II’s “One Bottle Away From” Journey and commit to using their essence every morning and night, working my way up to this wedding, and documenting the results. I was told I could be one bottle away from glowing skin at this wedding and figured I didn’t have much to lose as this was a skincare option that didn’t require a babysitter and the spa.

What Is Beauty Essence?

SK-II isn’t new, it’s been around for 35 years +, and their Facial Treatment Essence has become an iconic product in women’s skincare routines. It’s made of 90% Pitera which is a bio-ingredient containing more than 50 micronutrients. This miracle ingredient is known to even skin tone, minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines, as well as enhance radiance and soften skin.

Why Facial Treatment Essence?

One of my girlfriends works on product education for a major beauty retailer. She just went on a press trip to learn about Japanese Beauty treatments, and she came back telling me all about their methods and why they are so popular at every major beauty retailer (j-beauty is apparently the new k-beauty!). Think of it as art, subtle layers of quality paint will create a beautiful portrait. A fine layer of facial essence is nutrients for your skin in a pure, easily absorbable form AND will provide a better base for the rest of your products. This isn’t just an “anti-wrinkle” product or “dark spot treatment,” the essence is powerful enough [thanks to Pitera] to give you the smooth glowing skin you want while amplifying your current skincare routine. I didn’t want a product that competed with my skincare routine and caused my skin to peel off and flake. The purpose of this product is maximum hydration, which leads to maximum results.

How To Use

Japanese skincare is all about the layers, so this is going to be a thin layer after you use toner and before you use serums. Now if you’re oily, this is going to be a perfect product for you because it could technically count as your lighter moisturizer in the summer. However, I used it after toner and before my serums as this amplifies the products you already use. Many people soak a cotton pad and then wipe on their skin, but you don’t want to wipe, you want to press! I actually apply a drop directly into my palm and then pat and press all into my skin. This allows the product to get right to the source without being soaked into a cotton pad. I let it dry for about 10 seconds, and then I go onto my serums, moisturizers or makeup primer for the day. I used this product twice a day in the morning and at night.

*Both photos are taken with natural light next to a window so you can accurately see my skin tone. My photographer did not retouch spots. In both images, I have on mascara, brow pencil, and a lip product, but zero face product.*

*The photo on the left is the day I started using the product, the photo on the right is 3 weeks after. No other product was added to my current skincare routine other than SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essenc.*

My Results

I’m going to reiterate, Facial Treatment Essence is so effective many say it completely fixed issues from making spots less visible to reducing the appearance of wrinkles and enhancing radiance. But don’t just take my word for it – you can read the 3,000+ reviews online because I’m pretty sure I did. Ha! My dark spots are practically gone! Look at this before and after. My skin feels a lot softer as I don’t have as many dry patches on my chin as well. I think a product is pretty powerful when it isn’t made for one specific thing, but it fixes your specific concerns.

Even though I was using this product to get ready for a wedding, I ultimately feel like I got ready for the entire spring and summer with my daughter. I know we will have so many pool days with no makeup and I feel so much more confident just to use and go! I also appreciate that this only took 10 seconds a day, as opposed to hours on end at a spa.

Have you tried this “Miracle Water”? Many of you have told me I must try their sheet masks so I will do that next.

{Shop It Here}

In partnership with SK-II. I purchased this product and all opinions are my own. 

Leave a Note

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I’ve heard so much about this treatment essence – would love to try it myself, seems like it really does work! Sadly, it’s a little too expensive for me right now! 🙁

    I do love the photos though. The setting is gorgeous, and so are you! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Thank you, girl! xo

      Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Jill wrote:

      Does this help with sun spots and discoloration and can you use a different moisturizer with it or the same one from this skin line for the product to work?

      Published 31 Jan 19Reply
  2. I was hoping you would post about this soon- your results are amazing! I’m so intrigued to try it now

    Amanda |

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Thank you, girl! I know I was shocked! I think I am going to start taking selfies for each new product I try, haha! xo

      Published 19 Apr 18Reply
  3. CJ wrote:

    This is such a pretty post! I also appreciate that you said it can be worked into an existing routine; that is super helpful. Thanks!

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Of course! Always have to use what works for us! 🙂 Have a great day! xo

      Published 19 Apr 18Reply
  4. Sam wrote:

    What size bottle did you get and how long did it last you? Everyone is raving about this product so I feel pretty obligated to try it, lol!

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Samantha! I got the 75 ml size and it lasted about 3 months. I’m needed to repurchase now. I used morning and night each day. However, it wasn’t until midway through the test that a reader told me to put it on my fingertips and press. I had been soaking a cotton pad and that wasted SO much product! Had I always applied to my fingers I think it would have lasted 5 months. I hope that helps! xo

      Published 19 Apr 18Reply
  5. Kimberly Daya wrote:

    Thank you for this post!

    Can you shoot an insta-story showing how you use it? I usually use a cotton pad & I’ve also tried dabbing it on with my fingers but I’ve never quite felt feel like I’m doing this right.

    Also, I have a very specific night time skincare routine for acne so I’ve only been using it in the morning. How important do you think it is that it’s used twice a day? I’m almost finished with my fist bottle and have not seen any results so I’m wondering if that’s why?

    Thank you again!!

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Kimberly!

      Absolutely! I just ran out and am going to repurchase tomorrow with the Sephora sale, so I can show when my order comes in. 🙂

      I think if you only want to use it once a day, choose night! Your skin heals best at night and I always view morning skincare as protective, but evening skincare as healing. Try that and I wonder if that would help!



      Published 19 Apr 18Reply
  6. Sarah wrote:

    How long does the bottle last you?

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Sarah! If you soak a cotton pad about 3 months if you use morning and night. If you use your fingertips I would say 5 months! Xo

      Published 19 Apr 18Reply
  7. Ruth wrote:

    You’re results are so great! I actually just purchased the product based on your IG story, and received it two days ago. I have discoloration and acne scars, do you know if the product helps decrease the appearance of scars?

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Ruth! The Pitera isn’t necessarily a scar cream, *but* it really helped remove my marks! It also helps your other skincare work better, so that could help it! I hope it helps you!! xo, Katey

      Published 19 Apr 18Reply
  8. Jessica Campbell wrote:

    Such a small world!! I had snapped you several months ago stating that you and your sister knew my little from dance, your sister actually knows my best friend as they were both in alpha delta kappa at dbu, and now this is CRAZY…. I worked with Austin just recently before he moved away from The Woodlands!! How funny!!!

    I can’t tell you how long I’ve been a reader of Chronicles of Frivolity! You are such a genuine and sweet girl. Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks with us! I truly enjoy reading your blog and keeping up with you on insta!! May God continue to bless you!!

    Published 19 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Oh my goodness, totally remember you! Our lives are so intertwined how funny is that! Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your sweet words- means more than you’ll ever know! xo

      Published 20 Apr 18Reply
  9. Totally adding this to my cart for the Sephora VIB sale this weekend. Heard so many great thing about it and your results are amazing! <3

    Published 20 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Yes! I’m ordering some with Sephora sale, too! Can’t wait for you to try! xo

      Published 20 Apr 18Reply
  10. Brooke wrote:

    Do you know if this product is considered safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? I’m dying to try it!!

    Published 25 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi girl! So sorry on the delayed response! I tried to find out from them but haven’t heard. I would think it is since there isn’t retinol, etc. But I would ask your OB to be 100% sure! xo, Katey

      Published 01 Jun 18Reply
  11. Alyssa wrote:

    Did it lighten your skin at all? I’m so pale already that I can’t have my skin getting any lighter, but def want to try this!

    Published 30 Apr 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Alyssa! It didn’t lighten my skin, just the spots! 🙂 xo, Katey

      Published 01 May 18Reply
    • Katherine wrote:

      Hi Katey,

      I recently purchased this product. I currently use a topical antibiotic to help with acne. Do you know what order I should apply the products?

      Published 11 May 18Reply
      • Katey wrote:

        Hi Katherine! Of course! Apply SK-II after you wash your face and before any topical treatments, this will help your topical antibiotic absorb and work better. 🙂 xo, Katey

        Published 14 May 18Reply
  12. Rebecca wrote:

    Could you use a jade roller with this?

    Published 19 May 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Rebecca! This absorbs so quickly and isn’t like a lotion substance so I wouldn’t! xo, Katey

      Published 21 May 18Reply
  13. Chris wrote:

    Come upon you site, and really loved what you have shared here. In-depth and detailed review for this wonderful SK-II product. Really useful for us who wants to find out more about the treatment essence!
    Loved your photos too! Keep up with the good beauty content! 😀

    Published 19 Apr 21Reply