Table of Contents
- 1 First Impressions: Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (Rose Edition)
- 2 Review: Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (Rose Edition)
- 3 Alternative Galactomyces Essences
This post will be reviewing the Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition.
There’s nothing my dry dehydrated skin loves more than a good hydrating essence. While some people believe essences offer additional brightening and anti-aging benefits, in my experience, don’t believe that they offer more than hydration. Maybe some occasional brightening but none that has wowed me so far.
If you’re new to Korean Skincare and essences in general, they are simply products targeted towards deep hydration. Like someone said, toners-essences-hydrating serums all offer the same benefits. The only difference being their consistencies and percentage of active ingredients. You can find watery toners and viscous essences. So also will you find viscous toners and watery essences. It simply depends on what step in your routine you want to use it.
Personally, I believe any skincare routine should begin on a damp skin. Which is why I’m more inclined to use more toners and essences as opposed to hydrating serums. I prefer my serums to target a specific skin concern and not necessarily offer hydration.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the review.
First Impressions: Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (Rose Edition)
If you are not familiar with Secret Key, they are a Korean Skincare brand established in 2006 which combines nature, beauty and skin science for their comprehensive product lines. They offer a complete skin care routine for specific concerns such as pore care, brightening, skin repair and lifting, sensitive skin care and hydration.
According to YesStyle;
Containing 94% galactomyces ferment filtrate and rosewater, this essence improves wrinkles and clarifies skin, leaving it soft, supple, smooth and radiant.
Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (20,000 Ppm), 1, 2-Hexanediol, Water, Propanediol, Panthenol, Xylitylglucoside, Xylitol, Anhydroxylitol, Glucose, Adenosine, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA
The first ingredient is the Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate which makes a lot of sense because it claims to have 94%. Followed closely by 20,000ppm of Rosewater which is about 2% with Panthenol and Adenosine for soothing properties.
If you’re new to the world of Korean Skincare ingredients, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate is derived from yeast through fermentation. It is referred to as a magic liquid with skin-nourishing and anti-ageing properties. Studies have shown that Galactomyces helps with a healthy skin barrier. It also protects the skin against sun damage and increases Hyaluronic Acid in our skin cells.
Plus there’s no fragrance or essential oil that could irritate your skin. The Rose fragrance is barely even noticeable as it has been overshadowed by the Galactomyces.
If you ask me, it is defintely worth including in your skincare routine.
Texture & Consistency
This is one of my favourite watery essences. I love when I can replace the cap of the packaging with a spray nozzle. It’s super lightweight and leaves a cooling sensation on the application. I love it so much.
Availability, Price & Size
Secret Key is a popular Korean brand so you’ll find the product at most autorized retailers at great prices. Just make sure you compare prices to save some coins.
Review: Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (Rose Edition)
This is a first treatment essence that is typically watery so it doubles as both my toner and essence in one hydration step. During the winter, I go in with this and layer more viscous products over it. In the Spring, I just use it alone and finish up with a gel, moisturizer and SPF.
So, the first time I used this essence I broke out on my forehead which based on my research is normal. A lot of people with acne-prone skin breakout in fungal acne when using fermented skincare. Fungal Acne is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin and Galactomyces which is derived from yeast is one of the major triggers.
Then again, I realized that I was using three products with fermented ingredients at the same time; the Benton Fermentation Essence, Kikumasamune High Moist Lotion and the Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence. This was definitely an over-kill.
To treat my fungal acne, I stopped using all three products and used my Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant back to back for about four days until it disappeared. When it did, I introduced the Secret Key back into my routine and I didn’t break out again until I was done with it. I was pleased because I had used a couple of first treatment essences in the past and didn’t break out.
Asides from that, I love how hydrating the essence felt on my skin. It definitely gave me that glow which a lot of people believe is the brightening properties. It’s lightweight, watery and easy to layer under other products without it balling up.
What’s not to love? When I’m done rotating different essences, I’ll defintely be back to this.
Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence: Orginal vs Rose Edition
When I bought this product, I didn’t realize that it was the Rose Edition until I was ready to use it. Turns out there is an original version without Rose.
There’s a stark difference between both products. While the Rose version is simply formulated with 94% Galactomyces, Rosewater, Panthenol and Adenosine, the Original version goes further with Arbutin, Peptide and a host of plant extracts. These include Chamomile Flower Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Green Tea, Ginseng Root Extract, Mushroom Extract, Aloe Leaf Juice to mention a few.
As you can see, it is PACKED!
Alternative Galactomyces Essences
If you are seeking even more hydration and Galactomyces doesn’t break you out or you’re simply looking to explore other essences, here are different options you can try:
- Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
- Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RX
- SCINIC First Treatment Essence
- PURITO Galacto Niacin 97 Power Essence
- SK-II Facial Treatment
This is a great essence that works across all skin types. It is lightweight enough for oily to combination skin. It is also hydrating enough for dry dehydrated skin.