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Post in K-Beauty

HELP with MISSHA The First Treatment Essence *NEW* Pro-Ferment

Okay, so, I recently picked up the newest version of the cult-favourite MISSHA The First Treatment Essence, the Pro-Ferment A. First off, everybody speaks very highly of this product, especially as a dupe to SK-II's Pitera First Treatment Essence. Supposedly it's great for improving overall complexion from texture to brightness at 1/5th the price of SK-II's formula.


For the love of me, I can't figure out why this thing is breaking me out. I've given it a solid two weeks and it's almost like the breakouts are doing a rotation on my face: it started out on the right side of my forehead, a few days later it moved to the left side of my forehead, and the latest is it's popped up on my left temple. I've since stopped using it. Question 1: Has anyone else experienced this? Maybe I'm using it wrong. I don't know. For the record, this is how I've been using it:


  • evening routine only
  • I use it after toning with the Kylie Skin Vanilla Milk Toner
  • I use it before applying my serums (DE's T.L.C. Glycolic Framboos Night Serum, Algenist's AA Barrier Serum, and TO's Hyaluronic Acid serum)


After reading some forums, I read that "First Treatment Essences" or FTEs are generally applied BEFORE toners, as the "first treatment" immediately after cleansing. So I've also tried applying it before the KS Vanilla Milk Toner. Still got breakouts.


Question 2: Does anyone have any idea what ingredients may be causing the sensitivity? I don't have sensitive skin whatsoever, or so I thought. Note: I tolerate Niacinamide very well, so I've ruled that out. Here is a list of the ingredients:


Yeast Ferment Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Pearl Powder, Water, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Propanediol, Sodium PCA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Polyquaternium-51, Butylene Glycol, Vinegar, Glycerin, Ceramide NP, Cholesterol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Xanthan Gum


Question 3: What are your favourite essences? I've only tried COSRX's 96 Snail Mucin Essence so far, and this one.

Re: HELP with MISSHA The First Treatment Essence *NEW* Pro-Ferment

@abrakadabadia  I was also going to suggest you might be sensitive to ferments, as well. They can exacerbate malassezia folliculitis (aka fungal acne) unfortunately. I don't know how much you want to play around with your skin, but they make essences with other types of ferments (Tata Harper comes to mind using a bacterial ferment instead of a fungus one), that may behave differently for you? I'm not sure about all the science behind what causes fungal acne, but maybe non-fungal ferments wouldn't trigger things on the same way? 


I'm using the CosRx Galactomyces essence right now, so I don't have a good recommendation that I've tried. You may want to look in to something with cica/centella asiatica as I've heard it's an antioxidant that can help with hydration and brightening.

Re: HELP with MISSHA The First Treatment Essence *NEW* Pro-Ferment

Thank you! I was afraid of that... My backup plan was to try the COSRX Galactomyces essence since so many people seem to love that, too. But I'm apprehensive about giving yeast ferments another go after my experience with the MISSHA FTE, especially now that I'm having to deal with the fungal acne it's caused (if that's what it is).


It's surprising that a majority of the essences out there seem to be yeast ferment based. I was using the COSRX Snail Mucin essence prior and it was good & hydrating, but not enough to warrant consistent use. The hunt continues!


Thanks so much for your help!

Re: HELP with MISSHA The First Treatment Essence *NEW* Pro-Ferment

Is this your first FTE, @abrakadabadia ? After trying several, including the Missha Intensive Moist, I found out that I'm sensitive to ferments and that's what was causing some breakouts. 

Re: HELP with MISSHA The First Treatment Essence *NEW* Pro-Ferment

It is! I didn't want that to be the case, but it's starting to look that way... I was going to try the COSRX Galactomyces essence next, but that too has yeast ferments. Do you have any essence recommendations?

Re: HELP with MISSHA The First Treatment Essence *NEW* Pro-Ferment

To be honest, @abrakadabadia my favorite essence (LJH Tea Tree Essence) re-formulated and I'll have to find a new one when I run out of my current stash of the old formula. That said, if you're open an an essence/toner hybrid, the Maycoop Raw Sauce is really nice. I like to use that in the mornings as a good all-in-one step between vitamin c and moisturizer. 

Re: HELP with MISSHA The First Treatment Essence *NEW* Pro-Ferment

Thanks for the recommendation! I've actually been looking at essence toners lately since I haven't entirely been able to rationalize an essence as a separate step, so I'll have a look at the Maycoop Raw Sauce – sounds interesting!

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