Years ago in a meeting room in faraway Asia, hardworking cosmetics marketers discovered that the story they’d spun, of peasant sake brewers with mind-blowingly soft and youthful hands, could sell bottle upon bottle of the novel new skincare product they were tasked with promoting. And thus, the first essence (or fermentation essence, or facial treatment essence or first treatment essence or FTE) became a thing.
These confusingly named products are credited with near-miraculous powers of beautification. In addition to hydrating and balancing skin and preparing it for optimal absorption of other skincare products, first essences supposedly brighten skin tone, lighten dark marks, firm and tighten skin texture overall, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and prevent future ones from appearing, and impart radiance, taking complexions from so-so to DAAAAAAMN DAT GLOW. In the last several months, I’ve used three different ones consistently, for several weeks each. Let’s talk (briefly) about the famous SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and more extensively about Secret Key’s Starting Treatment Essence (Rose Edition) and Naruko’s Face Renewal Miracle Essence! Continue reading