missha time revolution first treatment essence dupe for SK-II Facial Treatment essence

What the heck are essences?

They seem to have popped up out of nowhere, but apparently, the Koreans have been using them for decades. Essences are similar to serums, but they are more lightweight and hydrating.

Hydration is the key word here. The main job of an essence is to add an extra layer of hydration. The Koreans are obsessed with hydration, because they know it’s what makes their skin glow, keeps it soft and supple, and even helps the other skincare products they apply next better penetrate their skin.

I wouldn’t say they are a must, but, if you wanted to add one to your skincare routine, which one should you choose? I narrowed it down to two…

Word on the street is that Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence is a dupe for the outrageously expensive SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. How do they compare?

What Ingredients Do These Essences Have In Common?


Let’s clear up some confusion first. If you have a bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, the first ingredient may be named Saccharomicopsis Ferment Filtrate. That’s what SK-II thought Pitera was. As it turns out, Pitera actually belongs to the Galactomyces family, hence the new name on the newer bottles.

So, what does Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (Pitera) do in skincare? Good question. There is some research that claims this yeast can improve skin’s barrier function (essential to keep moisture in) and help skin stay hydrated. One study also claims it has antioxidant and brightening properties that can prevent wrinkles and reduce dark spots.

The problem? Research on galactomyces is really scant, so we really need more proof before hailing it as a big skincare breakthrough. It looks promising, though, so using it wouldn’t certainly do any harm.

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence uses two different types of yeast: Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate (The extract used to brew beer) and Bifida Ferment Lysate (it helps regulate the bacterial flora in your GI tract).

Bifida Ferment Lysate is my fave of the two. Research shows it’s a multitasker that soothes inflammation, reduces redness, and increases “skin resistance against physical and chemical aggression“.

That makes it a good option for sensitive skin that needs the extra TLC.

Related: What’s The Deal With Probiotics In Skincare – Do They Really Work?

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What Else Is In These Essences?

In SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, not much. They’re literally charging you $99.00 for some yeast…

Misha Time Revolution First Time Essence is way cheaper and has one more ingredient that goes the extra mile. Here’s what I’m talking about:


If I had my own skincare line, I’d put niacinamide in almost any product (no point adding it to a cleanser) because it does so much for the skin:

Awesome, right? Missha lists it in fourth place on the ingredient list, while SK-II doesn’t use it at all. This alone makes Missha the clear winner of the two.

Related: How Niacianamide Can Treat Any Skincare Woe

What’s The Texture Like?

They’re both very lightweight and sink in instantly. This one is a tie.

What’s The Packaging Like?

They both come in see-through bottles with a grey cap. Sleek and practical.

How To Use Them

Morning and night, after cleansing/exfoliation but before serums.

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence all the way! SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is way overpriced for what it does…


SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($99.00-$299.00, depending on size): Available at Dermstore and Sephora

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence ($52.00): Available at Sokoglam and Yes Style

Is Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence A Dupe For SK-II Facial Treatment Essence?

Nope. They contain different ingredients, so you couldn’t call them real dupes. But if you’re looking for an essence with probiotics, Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence is the right winner.

What are your thoughts on Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence being a dupe for SK-II Facial Treatment Essence? Share them in the comments below.

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence Ingredients

Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Water, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Niacinamide, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-51, 1,2-Hexanediol, Adenosine, Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Lactic Acid, Acetic Acid

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Ingredients

Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate*, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Water, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid. *PITERA™