Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Review

Hello, lovelies~ A few weeks ago, I was browsing Gmarket when I saw a promotion on a brand that is new to me called Secret Key. The promotion was a buy 1 get 1 30 ml miniature of their Starting Treatment Essence. Rumored to be a dupe of the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, I bought it and tried it out. 

I have tried the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence about a year ago, but I broke out from it. I tried using it twice for two weeks, but ended with acne, so I gave up. Now, after (nearly) finishing a bottle of the miniature, here is what I have to say about the Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (STE). 

Since I ordered a miniature of the STE, I can't say much for the packaging. However, I think that the miniature is quite safe to travel with provided that it is kept in a ziplock bag to prevent any spills. If you wanna be on the safe side, you can always tape the edges of the bottle.

What's in it?

The yeast extract (Galactomyces ferment filtrate) is placed as the third ingredient, right after water and glycerin, in the essence which is not that bad. the fourth ingredient is Albutin (?), I think they meant Arbutin, so it'll be the one that brightens my skin, hopefully. It is then followed by  Butylene Glycol which is categorized as a humectant. It uses Phenoxyethanol as a preservative and contains a lot of plant extracts that are supposedly good for the skin. Just make sure you're not allergic to them, 'kay?

The absence fragrances and colorants in this essence is one of the reasons why I bought this. I love it when a product is fragrance free!


The essence has a watery consistency that is transparent just like water. I wouldn't be able to tell the difference if it's only via pictures.

It is lightweight when I pat it on my face. It feels like applying water on my face! The essence get absorbed into my skin rapidly without leaving any stickiness nor greasiness on my face. Another plus point for me is the absence of an offensive scent while I was using it. I use this right after I washed my face and pat it dry with a towel.

Does it work?

To answer that question, let's look at the claims this product promises to give my skin. This way, I won't miss anything in what it does to my skin.

To make it easier to see the claims, I've summarized it into points:

  • Restore rhythm of the skin
  • Make moist skin
  • Make clear skin
  • Calming the skin
  • Whitening
  • Elasticity

At least, that's what I think it means. Hopefully. I'll discuss it one by one, per section.

Restore rhythm of the skin

I'm not really sure what they mean by this. Probably to get the skin to 'behave' by using cell-communicating ingredients. There is one of those ingredients I found (adenosine), but it was the third last ingredient in the list, so I doubt it makes an impact. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

Make moist skin

Well, since I have very oily skin (according to Baumann's system), I don't need extra moisture from thick creams. I often opt for lotions, serums or even toners that are water based. Every time I use a water-based cream, I always end up in break-outs, so not every oily skin type is the same, mind you.

Anyway, I feel that this is probably made for my oily skin type since it doesn't feel heavy or sticky or greasy afterwards. It gives adequate moisture to my skin that it doesn't result in acne and sinks in rapidly in a minute with a patting motion.

Make clear skin

If by this they mean no acne, then I agree. I'm not sure which ingredient is helping me achieve this acne-free skin, but thank the Gods for it! I notice fewer, even zero, acne appearing on my face ever since I used this religiously day and night.

Calming the skin

Well, this is probably the same thing as the previous 'clear skin' claim.


Now, this term is often used interchangeably with brightening, which I'm sure they mean the latter. I find that my skin tone is more even and the redness on my cheeks are slightly reduced. My overall complexion looked brighter even without my AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) cream from Wardah, which I stopped intentionally. Usually my face will look dull without that cream. Cool!

Although nothing has happened to my sun spot, I find that it is physically impossible for creams/lotions/serums/essences/emulsions and whatnot to reduce, let alone eliminate, my sun spot. That is the job for cosmetic procedures, such as lasers, IPL, etc.


I assume that this means mochi-like face and anti wrinkle. Well, after applying it with a patting motion, I do feel my skin is bouncy, almost similar to a mochi, hahaha. However, after using it for about a month, I didn't really feel the mochi-like-skin-texture lingered after a face wash. My face didn't feel firmer as well.


Is it a dupe for the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, you ask? Well, I can't really answer that question since I can never get past the acne to experience the FTE for a sufficient amount of time before I give a proper review. So, I don't know whether this is comparable to SK-II.

All I know is the ingredients looks similar with an addition of arbutin in the Secret Key version enough to keep my face looking brighter. Also, I find this essence is less stickier compared to SK-II's version based on my short experience.

I am going to repurchase a full size bottle when I run out of mine because I love the lightweight feeling on my face when I use it. I'll just have to wait for a good promotion from Gmarket to buy it.

Hehehe, well, have you tried this essence or the SK-II FTE? How does it work for your skin type? Let me know in the comments below and until then, I'll see you later~

 © 2010 - 2013 Diary Of A Product Junkie (Stephanie Nangoi) All Rights Reserved.


  1. lagi nunggu PO ku dtg nih..
    dari review2 lain, setelah kurleb 1-2 bulan berasa efeknya.. makanya aku penasaran banget pengen cobain.. berharap bisa cocok sama ini..
    harganya affordable banget untuk yg fullsize ^^
    nice review darl! :D

    1. Untuk efek mencerahkannya sih di aku kelihatan dalam seminggu karena ada kandungan arbutinnya. Tapi, kalo untuk efek kenyalnya sih, aku kurang ngerasa, hahaha.. ^_^

      Yang penting cerah aja deh! ^_^

  2. kayaknya oke nih, thanks reviewnya :D

  3. Wahhh menggoda haha
    Thanks ya reviewnya

  4. Ci cara beli di gmarket gimana ya? :)

    1. - Pilih barangnya
      - Add to cart
      - Checkout
      - Pilih cara pembayaran
      - Trus bayar deh~ ^_^

      Kmrn aku pake Virtual account ato apalah, tinggal transfer dari BCA ke rekening dia. ^_^

  5. Thanks for posting especially because I have been eyeing the SKII essence for SUCH a long time but is so pricey! It beggars the imagination as to how well it must work...

    1. I first tried out the SK-II FTE in a small sample size, thankfully. It would've enraged me if I were to buy the full size and knowing later that it wouldn't suit my skin. Let me know if you give this a try! ^_^

  6. wow, I guess this would be nice dupe of SK-II ^_~

    1. I can't really attest to that, but I guess based on the ingredients they're kinda the same. ^_^

  7. bener2 racun ya ni produk
    aq juga lagi nunggu barang nya datang
    soalnya mesti PO dulu

    btw thanks ya review nya ^_^

    1. di gmarket indonesia kemaren lagi ada promo cuman Rp 100,000 satunya ^_^

  8. Beli di g market aman ga sih? Aku penasaran. Harganya murah,tp takut nanti barang ga sampe di tangan. Kalo beli di onlineshop biasanya lebih mahal. Pengen coba. Dan barangnya sampe brp lama ya?

    1. Hi, Marina~ Selama ini pengalamanku beli di Gmarket aman dan barangnya sampai ke rumah, mungkin karena valuenya selama ini di bawah USD $50.00. Mungkin kalo over itu, baru diminta untuk ngurus bea cukai. Barangnya sampai tergantung pengiriman yang dipilih dan lamanya diperiksa sama pihak bea cukai.

      Tapi, kalo pesen dengan pengiriman yang ada trackingnya, bisa ditrack via website sudah sampe dimana barangnya. Jadi bisa lebih tau dan merasa aman. ^_^

  9. Oooh Im so tempted to try this product it was not my imagination when I first tried SKII skin broke out so i never tried it ..i heard about this product from comments on IG ..I am a big fan of Asian skincare as it understands and caters to our skin so much better .. I hope i can find this where Im currently at :)

    1. Yeah, I broke out from SK-II as well. I think it's the Pentylene Glycol that did that. :)

  10. wah penasaran juga sama produk ini soalnya sering dibilang dupe nya SK II. will be my next wishlist ^^ would you mind check my blog? Liona xx

  11. Wah cocok buat oily ya..
    Berarti ga salah pesen, temen abis racunin ini, bilangnya sama kaya S*II tapi harganya jauh lebih hemat (kalo beli yg satunya lagi, katanya bisa2 ga bisa makan sebulan *nasib anak perantauan* LOL )
    Cuma skarang sih lagi pake hada labo yg light lotion (bukan buat mutihin tapi buat lembabin kulit). Kalo tambah pake ini, bisa bikin tambah glowing alias berminyak ga ya? Soalnya pas pake hada labo, bagian T-Zone ku yg berminyak jadi kliatan glowing gitu. Bikin penasaran, sbenarnya itu kulitnya lembab ato mala terlalu lembab jadi berminyak ya =="

    1. Benernya kalo diliat dari bahannya, lebih lembap yang gokujyun (yang warna putih). Kalo untuk SecretKey sama Hada Labo Shirojyun (yang biru), sama aja aku ngerasanya. Kalo yang light lotion, untuk kulit berminyak entah kenapa jadi banyak yang jerawatan. Bisa jadi karena terlalu lembap.

  12. This sounds so great! I have been wanting to use fermented skin care but could never decided which one to start with.
    This will definitely go on my to buy list now!