I often feel that the Asian beauty products that become popular in the West are somewhat arbitrary. Take first treatment essences, for example. Missha FTE is one of the first products people reach for when first adopting a Korean beauty routine, yet there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other first essences that remain virtually unknown even though they have very similar ingredients.
For example, there’s the From Nature Age Treatment Essence. It first fell on my radar after /u/GiveMeABreak25 repeatedly raved about it and again later, as luck would have it, when I received a sample from a Testerkorea order and fell in love. Whereas the Missha essence did not seem to do much for my skin other than make it wet, this essence feels like it penetrates through to the nether regions of my skin to deliver a much needed dose my hydration and glowiness. Used after cleansing, it makes my skin feel renewed and rebalanced. In other words, I think this essence is due some much deserved attention and so here we are.
AT A GLANCE
Wrinkle Repair & Whitening for the first step of skin care
Where does it fit in your routine?
This is a first essence. Use it after all cleansing steps.
Size and Price
This bottle contains 150ml of product. I purchased this from Yesstyle for ~$20, but it is no longer on their website. It is available on Ebay for $22.49 or if you are feeling savvy and want to try your hand at a forwarding service, Memebox Korea has it for 9900KRW ($8.13 USD).
This comes in a glass bottle. I’m in constant battle with the bottle because it likes to collect finger prints like nobody’s business and it drives me bananas!
There’s a hint of yeast, but it’s very mild. I don’t notice it at all anymore. No artificial fragrance, essential oils, or any added fragrance of any kind.
Color and texture
This essence is completely clear and has a thin, runny texture like water, but with more slip.
What’s in it?
- 95.7% GALACTOMYCES FERMENT FILTRATE
This is a fermented substrate of galactomyces yeast, and the same star ingredient that SK-II refers to as Pitera, used in their famed facial treatment essence. This stuff has antioxidant properties, may brighten skin, and improve the skin’s barrier function.
- 2% NIACINAMIDE
A version of Vitamin B3 that does, well, pretty much everything! It reduces water loss, lightens age spots, and increases collagen, which means it may reduce wrinkles. It also penetrates skin, which most skincare ingredients don’t.
This is another yeast derived ingredient with anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory effects and anti-wrinkle effects.
- SODIUM HYALURONATE
The salt form of hyaluronic acid, which is a humectant that can hold 1000X its weight in water.
The ingredient list is simple but keenly focused. Other than the ingredients discussed above, there are also a handful of extracts, some fermented some not, but very little else! For those of you that don’t like “fillers” in your products, you really can’t ask for much more!
Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies Butylene Glycol (1) as an acne trigger
Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, Water, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharomyces/Angelica Dahurica Root Ferment Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Flower Extract, Ipomoea Hederacea Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Chlorphenesin
I’ve been using this bottle for a little over two months and it is very nearly empty (which is why I’m finally getting my act together to write this review). In that time, it’s become an absolute staple in my routine.
First essences are supposed to deliver a concentrated but easily absorbable dose of skin-beneficial ingredients. This essence does that. With regular use of this essence, my skin looks and feels healthier, and on the days I’ve gone without, my skin looks lackluster, seems to be more easily irritated than usual, and is more prone to dryness. I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what this product is doing, but since I’ve started using it, my skin feels healthier and generally more resilient to thinks like cold, dry weather.
If that was all this essence did, it would still be a great product, but there’s more. Likely due to the significant niacinamide concentration (credit once again to /u/GiveMeABreak25 for obtaining the concentration), this essence is also surprisingly hydrating! When I use this, I don’t feel the need to use a hydrating toner at all. Also, on days when my skin needs a little extra help, I’ve been using this essence to make lotion masks, which expunges any hint of dehydration and also seems to have calming effects to my skin.
The essence also absorbs easily, does not leave any residue or stickiness, and does not irritate my face at all. It also layers extremely well under creams. Overall, you could say I’m quite happy with this essence!
This is probably the hardest working, dehydration fighting, skin plumping first essence you’ve never heard of. It is by far my favorite essence that I’ve tried to date!
Disclosure: This product was purchased by me. This post contains an affiliate link. See here for my full disclosure policy.