Ever since SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence grew in popularity, several Asian companies came out with their own – and much cheaper – versions.
Mizon Skin Power Original First Essence is Mizon’s interpretation of SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, and I got it on a whim because I found it on sale and I’ve always been curious about trying a fermentation essence.
SK-II charges a premium for its secret ingredient: Pitera™ (aka Saccharomycopsis/Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate). Their Facial Treatment Essence alone will run you $165 for a measly 150 ml (5.1 oz), which is utterly ridiculous. So in response, many skincare companies have created their own versions at a fraction of the cost.
Possibly the most popular of these is Missha’s Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, which I have recently bought on sale, but have not received it yet. (But when I do, a review will come!)
But, I did notice that Mizon made their own version, and since I love everything Mizon, I thought I would give this a try. Normally it costs around $30+, plus shipping, but I got this on sale for around $20. Which is a steal for 210 ml (7 oz) of product that boasts an amazing 94.5% of the star ingredient.
Ingredients: Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, 1.2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Niacinamide, Water, Glycerin, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Tropolone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Trehalose, Biosaccaride Gum 1, Sodium PCA, Betain, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Rosmarinus Officinalis, Abies Sibirica Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.
As you can see, this essence is full of great ingredients for the skin. And again, I want to point out that the quality and quantity of great ingredients is the reason why I *heart* Mizon so much!
Closer look into some of the star ingredients:
Galactomyces Ferment filtrate: AKA Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate, is basically the “secret ingredient” used in SK-II’s products. It’s a type of yeast that is used in the production of sake. According to SK-II’s website, this extract is an enzyme that is full of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids that help the rejuvenation process of the skin.
Niacinamide: AKA Vitamin B3, this vitamin is a potent cell-communicating ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin, including improving skin’s elasticity, enhancing the function of the moisture barrier, and revive skin’s tone and texture. And it also helps other ingredients absorb into the skin cells better. Basically, an amazing vitamin for your skin!
Sodium Hyaluronate: aka hyaluronic acid, is a very effective humectant moisturizer. It does a great job attracting and maintaining water in the skin, holding 1,000 times its weight in water. It also promotes blood circulation and nutrient absorption.
Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract: Rich in antioxidants, and it also helps to increase blood flow to promote healing.
This essence is basically like a hydrating toner, and it promises to boost the absorption of subsequent products into the skin. It’s completely liquid, slightly yellow, and has a faint scent of yeast to it. It’s not unpleasant. But you can definitely smell that this is a fermented product. As you can see in the photo, this toner is at a really decent pH level for the skin. It’s right around 4.5-5.0 pH, which is right where it should be for healthy skin (around 4.7).
I use this after my exfoliating acid toners for three reasons: 1)To raise my pH back to around 4.5-5 (up from around 3.5 of the acid toners), 2)Add moisture to my skin, and 3)Add a bunch of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals back to my skin.
I’ve used this product now for about a month, and I’ve seen a little bit of improvement in my skin’s clarity. It’s not very moisturizing, but it’s a good first step before I use the rest of my skincare. I’m sure the addition of niacinamide in this essence helps my other products to absorb better into my skin cells. And from what I can tell, it’s doing exactly what it promises to.
I’m sure this is the type of product that won’t dramatically improve the current condition of your skin, but more as a way to reduce the speed of which your skin ages. I’m really happy with the ingredients in this, and I’ll be switching to Missha Time Revolution First Essence Treatment soon, so I’ll be able to see how my skin does with the switch. Sometimes I don’t see how well my skin does with a product until I stop using it.
Great ingredient list and amazing quality and quantity of star ingredients. My skin seems a little clearer, and overall I’m sure this essence is helping the rest of my products absorb better into my skin cells.
Pros: Great ingredient list, works as it’s supposed to.
Cons: Not as moisturizing as I would hope.
Total score: 9/10
Ingredients: 10/10 (Fantastic amount of star ingredients, and barely any acne-triggering ingredients.)
Quality: 9/10 (Works as it should from what I can tell. I’m sure most of the results can only be seen long-term.)
Wear: 9/10 (Absorbs easily into the skin and feels great, but I wish it was a little bit more moisturizing.)
Price: 8/10 (Great value at $20 because it’s lasting me a while, but I’m not sure if I would pay $30+ for it.)