Estee Lauder vs SK-II: The Battle of Facial Treatment Lotions

Sharing is caring!

If you’re looking for a lowdown on Estee Lauder vs SK-II, you’re on the right page!

Estee Lauder and SK-II are two popular brands with a lot of relevance across the world. While SK-II represents Japanese beauty brands, Estee Lauder is proudly American.

Like many people, you probably are familiar with Estee Lauder and want to try out SK-II. If that’s the case, I’m going to be reviewing two facial treatment lotions from both brands.

I’ll be pairing the Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Lotion against the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

Estee Lauder vs SK-II: Which is Better?

The two products are very similar, most especially the price.

However, being a Japanese brand, there might be a little hiccup getting SK-II products, compared to Estee Lauder which has headquarters in the US and a big present on retailer sites like Amazon.

I also like that SK-II has a limited ingredient list, unlike Estee Lauder which has more than a dozen ingredients. This means that you have lesser chances of an allergic reaction when using SK-II than Estee Lauder.

In terms of size though, the Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Lotion is bigger, which means it has a higher value for money than the SK-II Lotion.

Micro Essence Skin Activating Lotion

This activating lotion is made from Bifida Ferment Lysate, which contains probiotics. The research on the benefit is still very limited.

The little that’s known about the ingredient is that it improves the skin protective barrier, alleviates dryness, and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.

The scent of the lotion isn’t too strong. And according to some customers, it smells a little mature, which might mean that it’s created for the elderly.

However, it’s suitable for all skin types and not age-restricted. The lotion is fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, and ophthalmologist-tested.

The texture of the is a thick one, with less liquid. This gives it a good consistency, which makes for easy absorption into the skin.

Some users stated that it doesn’t feel messy nor does it leave a messy residue.

That means your skin will look tidy and smooth even when it’s on. It’s also easy to use and apply like other premium products. Just apply with your palms or use a cotton pad for more convenience.

With the price of the product, I’d expect it to be a quality product. Even though it’s not as expensive as some brands out there, it still has to be efficient. From reviews I gathered, the Micro Essence seems to work and a good value for money.

Finally, the main benefit of the Micro Essence is to hydrate the skin, keep the skin physical barrier up, and provide anti-oxidant benefits.

Although expensive, it should take a while before you have to buy another one.


Although the product is expensive, the bigness of the bottle actually makes up for it (at least to some extent). It’s a 5 oz bottle compared to the 2.5 oz SK-II bottle.

If you’re to choose between the two, I’ll recommend you go for Estee Lauder.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Like any premium brand, the luxurious feel is what attracts most to the Japanese brand. And what makes them stick is the good results they get from using their product.

The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is enriched with 90% Pitera, which comes with nourishing ingredients like amino acids and vitamin for clarifying the skin surface and enabling a smooth texture.

Other ingredients like Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol serves as humectant/moisturizer for preserving the skin’s moisture and barring dryness.

The lotion can also lessen the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles on the face. I also like that the SK-II essence doesn’t have a lot of ingredients like Estee Lauder.

Even though less doesn’t always mean more, you can’t be too careful when verifying ingredients from products.

It also doesn’t have a foul smell. The price is extremely high for a serum, and may not fit a lot of people’s budget. It’s also small, so it’s not meant for the faint of heart.

At only 2.5 ounces, it wouldn’t be long before you use it up. If you have to think about it every time you use it, then I’ll advise you to go for the Estee Lauder.

Though a great brand, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who wants to get the most value for their investment. The price is too high for that and the smallness of the bottle doesn’t offer any consolation like Estee Lauder.


As I mentioned elsewhere, SK-II is a good brand. However, it’s important to also state that it’s a luxury brand too, which means their products are going to be expensive.

Therefore, if you’re looking for affordable facial treatment, this isn’t one.

Estee Lauder vs SK-II: Bottom Line

Every brand in the market uses almost different ingredients in making their products. Be sure to check the contained ingredients before buying a skincare product.

This will help you to get the skincare products that are suitable for your skin.

Both SK-II and Estee Lauder are great brands with good skincare products. However, the most important thing is your own preferences.

So, just let your needs guide you on whether to get your skincare products from SK-II or Estee Lauder.

Related Posts:

We earn commissions if you purchase thru our link. Majority of products aren’t tested by the site owner (except a few). Content is from the research and feedback of users.