If there’s one thing we can all agree on today, it’s that the combination of constant mask-wearing, incessant humidity, and sweltering heat wrecks complete havoc on the skin. Our Deputy Editor puts the SK-II PITERA Essence to the test to see if she has truly found the holy grail solution to manage her skin.

The quest for crystal clear skin can take months — if not years — for many to achieve. As someone who has struggled with breakouts, oily, and dehydrated skin, the journey is particularly tumultuous. Add to that the heat, humidity, and pandemic, and you have yourself the perfect storm for dull, congested skin that refuses to yield to even prescribed medication.

There was, however, one product that kept finding its way into conversations with fellow beauty enthusiasts: the SK-II PITERA™ Essence. And as if the timing couldn’t get any better, I was invited to review the PITERA™ Essence to see if its claims to youthful, crystal clear skin are, indeed true.

SK-II PITERA™ Facial Treatment Essence bottle
Will the storied SK-II PITERA™ live up to the hype?

To understand the beauty of SK-II’s PITERA™ Essence, is to understand what causes some of the most common skin issues today. Besides congested and irritated skin, many also suffer from a combination of oily and dehydrated skin. Air conditioning, lack of sleep, not drinking enough water, and harsh skincare products are some of the many ways people are drying their skin out from within, even for those with oily skin. All of these can also cause the skin to age faster.

Pores can also become clogged for several reasons: excess oil from hormonal changes, dry skin, a build-up of dead skin cells, or even pollution in the air that gets trapped beneath the surface. To find out how to minimize pores, check out SK-II’s in-depth guide.

Having oily skin in this humid weather has become a bane for many years, and I’m sure many of you can relate. I’ve tried many different skincare products to balance out the oil-water balance in my skin, but I haven’t been able to find the one that works for me. Which is also why I was really excited to review the PITERA™ Essence, as I’ve heard so many great things about this product.

What is PITERA™ Essence? 

Sake brewers led to the discovery of the SK-II PITERA™
The legendary formula was discovered by chance after aged sake brewers were spotted with wrinkled faces, but impossibly soft and youthful hands.

The PITERA™ Essence earned its “Miracle Water” moniker for its ability to impart an almost impossible list of skin benefits. The iconic Facial Treatment Essence contains more than 90 percent PITERA™, a proprietary natural bio-ingredient derived from yeast fermentation and made up of more than 50 micronutrients. The legendary formula was discovered after aged sake brewers were spotted with wrinkled faces, but impossibly soft and youthful hands, which led to the discovery of the single yeast strain that was responsible for such a miracle.

The combination of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids within this clear liquid is suitable for all skin types — even oily skin — and works to boost the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process. It’s especially effective because it bears close resemblance to the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF). In other words, the skin recognizes it as its own and drinks it all up. This means that you don’t have to worry about walking around with a glistening face after using this, because it all absorbs in a matter of seconds.

Does the SK-II PITERA™ Essence actually work?

Say goodbye to oily skin: Woman with brighter and more balanced skin
Expect brighter and more balanced skin that feels softer and plumper.

Today, a bottle of this iconic SK-II product is sold every two seconds, and I’m happy to say that after a week of using it twice daily, I finally get the hype. The essence sinks into the skin almost immediately with a few pats. Unlike other thicker serums or essences, it has a watery texture that’s incredibly lightweight, and doesn’t leave any uncomfortable stickiness on the face. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the product absorbed into my skin, especially when it’s known to be a hydrating product. 

For those who argue that they have no time for skincare, the Facial Treatment Essence simplifies the entire routine without compromising on results. Simply pour two to three shakes into your hand, press your palms together, and pat until fully absorbed. The process takes less than 30 seconds, and can be used as a replacement for your serums.

Despite not containing typical ingredients that have been touted to be amazing for oily skin, such as salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence has worked wonders for my skin. 

If anything, it has made putting makeup on every morning much easier. For one, my foundation and concealer blend in much easier now, and even then, I find myself using less of either.

 With results like these, it’s easy to be hooked on the essence. On days when I’m confined to an air-conditioned space all day, the SK-II PITERA™ Essence makes for a refreshing mid-day pick-me-up, especially when used as a spray. Simply decant it into a travel-sized bottle for use whenever you’re on the go. If you’ve got a date planned for the evening, soaking a few cotton pads with the essence and placing them on your face as a mask will also do plenty to revive your glow after a long day.

Should you try the SK-II PITERA™ Essence? 

SK-II PITERA™ product bottle
The SK-II PITERA™ Facial Treatment Essence lives up to its “Miracle Water” claims

The answer is a resounding yes. Using the SK-II PITERA™ Essence has solved a good number of skin issues that I’ve been struggling with for years. My skin feels more balanced and isn’t as oily anymore, and it feels softer and plumper thanks to the added hydration it brings. My skin also looks visibly brighter. In fact, I haven’t heard the dreaded words, “you look so tired today” since I’ve started using it, so that’s already a big win in my books. I can’t wait to try other SK-II products like the SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence, which contains concentrated PITERA™ Essence for brightening, and is of course suitable for oily skin as well because of its relatively lightweight texture.

Whatever your skin type or concerns are, the PITERA™ Essence works by balancing it all out and returning it to its healthiest possible state. The formula has, after all, been essentially untouched for over 40 years for good reason. The SK-II PITERA™  Essence review has finally ended the search for that one holy grail product for everyone, especially those with oily skin. 

 Find out more and purchase the SK-II PITERA™ Facial Treatment Essence here, or visit one of the brand’s counters islandwide.

In partnership with SK-II. Product reviews and opinions belong solely to the author.

Shatricia Nair
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.