I recently heard about this product from a few Asian beauty bloggers and vloggers, and it has been touted as an excellent dupe for the infamous[ly expensive] SKII Facial Treatment Essence. While SKII utilizes its own patented fermented yeast ingredient made from sake, Missha’s essence contains a similar yeast byproduct made from beer.
When I received it, I noticed that there was some extra text on the bottle — the trademarked “ZYOSYS” below the product name. A quick Google search will show the original bottle without this text.
I was worried that I may have received a counterfeit item (also considering how much cheaper I was able to find it), so I decided to contact Missha Customer Service via their website, just to be sure. The next day, I received the following response:
It can be easy to come across fake Asian beauty products online, but fear not if you receive a bottle of this essence with this strange new word on it — it is still genuine.
The packaging is very attractive, but not quite travel-friendly, as it is made of glass and somewhat heavy. The essence is very water-like in consistency (colorless, perhaps slightly more viscous), and has a very faint, hoppy/beer-like scent. It’s called “The First Treatment Essence” because it is supposed to be applied as the first step to your skin care regimen after cleansing. Directions say to gently pat onto clean skin using a cotton pad (like a toner), but I prefer to use my hands so as not to waste any product.
It’s a multi-care skin treatment that’s supposed to hydrate, restore, and brighten the complexion.
INGREDIENTS: 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.
It contains some great ingredients like niacinamide and adenosine (good for mature skin types), licorice root extract (naturally evens and brightens skin tone), lactic acid (a natural chemical exfoliant), as well as a slew of soothing plant-based extracts. Missha touts the main ingredient, saccharomyces ferment filtrate, as “a naturally fortified Vitamin B Group [which] supports and increases the rate of metabolism and maintains healthy skin.”
I like the idea of multi-purpose skin care, and if you can pare down your routine into but a couple of essentials that can work like multiple steps, then why not?
It offers lightweight hydration and absorbs quickly without leaving any residual smell behind. As it is now summer time and the weather is humid, I can forgo my regular moisturizer and toner with this. It seems to be enough for my oily complexion. I have been using it twice a day for over a month, and I really like it so far. My skin looks and feels calmer, less red, more hydrated and refined. I have not noticed any adverse effects, irritation, or breakouts. If you’re looking for something to specifically combat acne, this isn’t it. However, if you want a light hydrating layer that will help to gently refine skin tone and texture, you might like this.