SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel

So dearest M asked for a review on SK-II a light year ago, but I never did it. Till NOW!!! 😀

The problem with me testing out SK-II was the fact that the skincare is typically aimed at women with mature skin (so 30s, 40s+) and I didn’t want to touch any of the moisturiser I bought for my mum to try out (she says it’s good though – FYI – it’s unfragranced and she hasn’t broke out and I can see her skin has improved). Having said that though, my belief is that if a skincare line has a great cleanser, most likely the rest of their products are pretty damn good.

There’s a skinline released by SK-II aimed for younger girls (teens, 20s) by the way – I’ll definitely check that out whenever I plonk in my next order – which will also be another light year away. I have a lot of products I need to finish first 🙂

I know most would be a little more than apprehensive to try something like SK-II because of its sheer price tag. Is it worth it? Well, I certainly think it is.

SK-II has copyrighted/trademarked a rice extract named Pitera they claim to find in rice which has been able to keep women’s hands soft and supple for those working with rice in a little rice thingy somewhere in a snowy landscape in Japan. I’m sure you’ve all seen the commercial.

Anywho, this product is 100g and comes in a sexy red box as pictured above. The jar itself is a bit cheap though because it’s made out of plastic rather than glass (something I’d expect from SK-II), but that’s alright because the product is so much anyway.

The product is made in Japan and has a shelf life of 3 years. Erm, yeah, I don’t really care about the shelf life all that much – just to let you all know. This is an unfragranced product so it’s good for those people with sensitive skin. I think this is for all skin types.

What the hell is a Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel? To be honest, I have no idea myself.

Upon using the product you only need a little bit of it – maybe the size 2 tic tacs or a small pea will do to cover your face.

For those who can’t read Japanese or Chinese the crucial step is that you cannot apply this product with a wet face or wet hands. Everything MUST be dry.

So therefore, wash your face (well you don’t have to, since the instructions don’t mention it, and it is a cleanser – the instructions recommend that you remove all your makeup before using this though) – pat dry with a towel, then apply this cleansing gel.

To call it a gel is probably the wrong term; it’s more oily than serumy – but it’s thick alright.

The gel has a chalky/ powdery smell (a bit like taking a sniff when you’ve got your head in a rice bag, actually), and when it goes on it goes on oily and slippery.


I know a lot of you guys might associate oiliness with breaking out and pimples – but there are a few benefits. The closest product I can think of that is similar to this cleansing gel is the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, though the difference between the two products is that (1) Shu does not contain Pitera (2) Shu comes in a pump dispenser (3) Shu can remove makeup and emulsifies completely off your face leaving no residue.

SK-II will leave residue on your face – but for good reason.


  • Remove all makeup prior to using
  • With a dry face and dry hands, apply a small amount of cleansing gel to the skin
  • Rub as required in areas you would like cleansing (ie. around the nose, pores/ T-zone and stuff)
  • Rinse off using warm water
  • Finish off with your favourite toner (on a cotton puff) and moisturise.

Note that I didn’t translate it off the jar. This is why what I remember from reading the back. It’s been working correctly for me though.

Sometimes the instructions tell you to wipe off the gel with a tissue before rinsing off. This works fine too.


Let me let you know on a secret –

Washing this stuff with warm water opens up your pores, yes? That means afterwards due to the slippery nature of this cleanser, did you know that it’s very easy to extract blackheads? 😀 Yes, it makes blackheads easy to remove! If you use a little more  force with the toner on the cotton puff, not only can you remove the residue of the gel off your face, you’ll find dead skin cells, sometimes blackheads and even the random hair that has slipped out of a pore! After that your face is very very soft, smooth and clean.

I discovered this secret after I realised so much dirt on my cotton puff. I’m not even sure if SK-II makers realised that it could do that! I’m sure they were trying to aim to soften the skin a lot and to make dirt easily slipped out – but blackheads too! That’s good stuff.

If you don’t wish to squeeze any blackheads or don’t use toner, you could always wash your face with cleanser afterwards. Alternatively, wipe with a soft towel or something to get rid of the residue.


  • Soft, smooth, glowing skin
  • Skin is visibly renewed and whiter (due to top layer gently removed)
  • Fewer blackheads
  • Leaves your skin moist, as it doesn’t dry out your skin.

Other Miscellaneous Info

  • Retail price is approximately $75USD. I was lucky and I snagged this for about $30USD. It’d probably cost more in Australia.
  • This will last you a very long time. Trust me – 2 tic tacs each time is not a lot.
  • Use ideally once a week – don’t use each night.
  • Make sure all residue is gone and do not use too many times each week – you might break out.
  • I did not break out once using this product.
  • You can leave this product on for as long or as short as you like – it doesn’t make a difference.
  • When you wash the product with water, the product will emulsify just very slightly, but it does not foam or bubble and it WILL leave a residue on your skin. You must use toner, wipe it off with a soft towel or tissue or use a cleanser afterwards!
  • You could probably use this for your body as well – but just to remind you, this is a pricey product – I wouldn’t use it on the body unless there are some serious clogged pore issues.
  • This goes on your skin transparent. It is not coloured.

Buy it for your mum – or treat yourself!

This is a great cleansing gel. I use it now to get rid of blackheads and for smoother skin (works a charm if you use it in conjunction with the Missha Super Aqua Detoxifying Peeling Gel 8D) – I woke up this morning feeling like a baby lol.

It is a bit pricey, but if you can overlook that by the fact that this will last you a very long time, I think it’s a worthwhile investment.

I dunno about you people, but my mum and I are fairly satisfied with this purchase and felt that we got a good bargain with this one.

Seriously, after my Shiseido stuff runs out, I’m contemplating on converting to an SK-II user. This is just so good for getting out dirt and blackheads it’s just a real surprise. I’m also interested now in the Shu Uemura cleansing oil because I’ve tried it before, but I’m not sure if that’s capable of getting out blackheads – if it is, I wouldn’t mind trying that out – but maybe when I get a little more money lol. I’m currently trying to save up – I might go on a trip overseas next year, yo! \o/

So I hope that this review has been helpful for those who have been curious about SK-II and whether or not it works – my conclusion is that it does, and it’s priced that way because it is worth that much.

Until next blog!


7 thoughts on “SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel

  1. Thank you lovie! <3<3<3 I think I'll stick to my el cheapo cleansers even though the goddess a.k.a. Cate Blanchett uses this stuff – actually, did you buy this online? Wait, I'll email you /pets

    • Hi,

      It depends what herbs it is that you’re using. Many people use pearl masks, green tea masks and stuff like that – so it’s not impossible. Missha has (or had) a herbal skincare line (from memory it was called Heiyun) so it is possible 🙂

  2. Hi,enjoyed reading your review! I am currently in the process of finishing my Face Shop products,as I do have my SK-II skincare in stock to use after that :)) looking forward to read more about SK-II from real consumers like you. Warm Regards

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