Does it work for you? SKII Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel

I first heard about SKII from my mom about 10 years ago. It was the miracle water that, in my opinion, smells a little off. Last year, I decided to give the range a try, from cleansers to toner to its miracle water and serum. This brand got a lot of raves by my circle of friends, so I decided to give it a go. It cost a bomb and for the first week, my skin looked fantastic. However, after a while, my skin started getting congested – more noticeably when I started using the range exclusively. I suspected my skin is allergic to its key ingredient, Pitera, a form of rice extract. It took chemical peeling and a month of skincare diet (Cetaphil cleanser and topical antibiotics only) to make my skin back to norm.

What I remembered, however, is that I quite liked the texture of its cleansing gel. I had to redeem something from the points I collected, so what the heck, let’s give it a try again. Just this cleanser. How bad can it be?



A makeup remover that quickly blends with your foundation and the dirt embedded in your pores. Removes impurities perfectly without damaging skin. Contains SKII Pitera which helps revitalise the skin’s natural renewal cycle and balances the skin’s natural pH after cleansing. Leaves your skin feelings refreshed and dewy moist after use. Benefits: Texture refinement, firmness power, wrinkle resilience, radiance enhancement, spots control


This gel must be applied onto dry face. I gently massage this all over my face, except the eye area, for about a minute. The face massage (even though I had to do it myself) is a relaxing ritual that marks an end to a stressful day at work. I then rinse it off before proceeding with my skincare routine, beginning with my foam cleanser. I like to double cleanse even if I didn’t apply makeup because the sunscreen I use has high SPF which can block my pores. Furthermore, this is actually a gel makeup remover, as described by SKII above.

The gel is very smooth, and it looks like liquefied pearls in the jar. When it’s on the skin, the warmth of our body heat melts the gel texture a little so it glides like oil. However, I think this cleansing gel also confirmed that I really am allergic to Pitera. Even by just using this for removing my makeup, I get bumps around my chin area. Eeks!



As a makeup remover, I don’t find it very effective because it doesn’t take off the makeup completely. There is still residue and I can’t use it to remove my eye makeup. When put to test against my recent fave, Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, this one pales in comparison. Furthermore, it’s too pricey for what it’s worth. Not to mention the breakouts. Sigh. Sometimes I do wonder if it’s so darn expensive because of research and ingredients, things that add value to the products’ quality or the celebrity endorsements of A-listers from all over the world! To be fair, I know of many people who can’t live without SKII. They claimed that it transformed their skin from bad to good, good to fabulous! Perhaps, if I had the same testimonial, I wouldn’t care about the monetary sacrifice. Would you?

Have you tried this cleanser before? Does SKII products break you out too? Are you one of those loyal followers who absolutely love SKII? Someone I know is a fanatic, a fierce believer that it works miracles, and she absolutely refused to believe that SKII breaks me out. LOL! Do share your experience if you’ve tried any of its products before. I’d love to know =)


  • Cath

    Interesting! I have often wondered about SKII as had also heard many rave…but yes, the price…I did give their eye gel a go for a while but didn't find it anything to rave about. Oh well, what suits some doesn't always suit everyone!

  • Chloe.Ash

    Hey Cath, I tried their Signs Eye Cream but it didn't do much for me either. Thanks goodness that didnt make my eyes break out. Lol! I'm still loving my Estee Lauder ADvanced Night Repair for eyes!

  • yukaeshi

    2-3 years ago when I was 22-23, I went through 2 bottles of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, and it did absolutely nothing for me. No change in skin tone, texture, clarity or whatsoever, so I kind of gave up (Plus it wasn't cheap). Then recently, at 25 (The so-called "target" age of SK-II), I got a new bottle and decided to try it again. Nope, didn't work either- but this time I had little whiteheads, my skin flaked and even my hands dried out. So much for a "miracle" 🙁
    My recent post Hello And Welcome!

  • yukaeshi

    Hehe yes, first time commenting here! Hello! 🙂
    Oh I love Kiehl's MRC and am actually on my 3rd bottle 🙂 But I'm currently using Melvita Calendula Oil, and am thinking of letting the 90% left bottle Kiehl's MRC go :\ I find that if you use it excessively, it might cause a whitehead or two, but use it sparingly, e.g. 2-4 drops, and you're fine! 🙂
    My recent post Hello And Welcome!

  • Chloe.Ash

    Hi Yukaeshi, nice of you to drop by! I guess I'm not the only one who can't take SKII 😉 From PB's reviews, I'm now tempted to try Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. However, it's oil. I wonder if I'll breakout….

  • Chloe.Ash

    Hello back! I'm still apprehensive about putting oil on my face, just like my initial reaction to oil cleansers. I might just give this a try after I'm done with my bottle of Estee Lauder's ANR!

  • yukaeshi

    You can go request for samples of the Kiehl's MRC too! The sample is pretty generous, can probably last about 5 days 😀 And it's not a sachet… you should go see for yourself hehe 🙂 That way you can see if your skin likes it or not. And oh, I find that 2-4 drops is usually sufficient… more than that and I'd break out!
    My recent post O.P.I. Avojuice Skin Quenchers In Vanilla Snowflake

  • Chloe.Ash

    OK. Thanks! The next time I'm at Kiehl's, I'll know what to do =)

  • Celine

    Hi Chloe

    Recently I used SK2 Facial Treatment and Stempower.
    I have tiny rashes all over my face. The rashes is like the rashes I have when I drink beer / alcohol

    Would you mind to share with me how was your allergic on the pitera?
    was it like rashes or big pimples?


    • Hi Celine, I suggest you stop using it immediately and consult a doctor. I had little breakouts, like lots of tiny pimples, but nothing like rashes. I had to stop using anything for a month for my skin to calm down, and also for the rest of those breakouts to really break through… so it was a painful period that I never want to repeat. That’s the reason I stay away from SKII no matter what people say. What works on others might not work on you, unfortunately.

  • Mariam

    Hi Chloe,

    I have clear combination skin and I’ve been using SKII products (the facial treatment essence, facial lift emulsion, brightening derm specialist, skin refining treatment cream, and the brightening masks) every day for the past 10 months and seeing little difference in my skin.

    I’m Asian, 24 years old, and my combination skin (a bit on the dry side) is generally clear. I never broke out or had pimples develop during this time, but my skin looks just like it did when I started using it.

    It’s not to say that SK-II hasn’t be great for my skin, it’s just that after trying the full line of products, I’m not convinced that every woman needs it! The brightening masks are great a day or two after a thorough peel/exfoliation, but the other products don’t seem to make a difference for 20 something-year-old skin in a city that has four seasons.

    In fact, I found Boscia’s tsubaki beauty oil more soothing for my skin, and it’s a fraction of the usual SK-II price tag. Glad to know I’m not the only person who hasn’t experienced SK-II’s miracle 🙂 Maybe it’s just that we’re lucky enough to not need it.

    • Lily

      Hi Mariam, if you have good skin to begin with, you might not be able to tell the effects. Wait another 10 years, and you might see it. HAHAHA! It’s good to know you’re taking such good care of you skin now. Many people I know don’t… and when they do, it’s kinda late. Better late than never though 🙂