I have been using SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and Clear Lotion for over a year now. They are sufficient as a day time moisturizer for my combination skin all year around. The combination made a significant difference in my skin. I started seeing a difference after 3-4 months. My skin is silky, more radiant and almost translucent. I started getting compliments on my skin, which never happened before, even when I did not have breakouts. I honestly think they are worth the price. I bought the largest size bottles when I was in South Korea during my layover. SKII Duty Free boutiques in Asia have cheaper prices and offer promotions. So I highly recommend you stock up on them if you travel to Asia often.
SK-II Clear Lotion is significantly more affordable compared to the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. It is a good one to start with if you have reservations about the cost. I don't know which one of the two contributed more to the results, but I am assuming it is the combination rather than one of them. Each of them have different ingredients and purposes.
According to the website, Facial Treatment Essence is mainly for moisturization, while Facial Treatment Lotion is for exfoliation. So together, they make skin more radiant and silky. The main ingredients in Facial Treatment Essence are Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Pentylene Glycol, Water and Pitera. On the other hand, the main ingredients in Facial Treatment Lotion are Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, AHA. They both have yeast ferment products. However, Facial Treatment Essence has more surfactants for moisturization, while Facial Treatment Lotion has more alpha hydroxy acids for exfoliations.
I have to say the ingredients make total sense with the results I have got. Consistent chemical exfoliation increases absorbability of moisturizers, which in turn enhances the effectiveness. Overall, I honestly believe these products are worth their prices if you can afford them. Of course everyone's skin is different, so start with samples or smaller sizes before investing in more. I am probably a lifetime user at this point unless I find alternatives that are just as good.