9 May 2017

Review: IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning

After I published my comparison review of 16 treatment essences I have tried in the past 2 years, many people PM me asking about the closest dupe to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and my favourite dupe of the SK-II FTE, so today I am gonna bring you guys to a closer look of this IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning, which in my opinion, is the best dupe for SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning is essentially a treatment essence, but not really a first essence. You are advised to use a toner to prep and hydrate your skin before applying this. However, many people including me love using this as the first step of our skincare routine. I find that my skin feels happier and fresher with this as the first step of my routine. However, if you have duller and rougher skin, then using a toner especially an exfoliating toner would help the essence to permeate better.


There are indicators on the bottle to show you how much you need to use every day. You are advised to use 3ml each time, days and nights, so a bottle of this will last you for about 28 days. However, even with deliberate usage, my own one lasts me for about 3 months, so I think it really depends on the person.

IOPE claims that this is formulated with its patented bio-redox technology. Bio-redox is developed to recreate thioredoxin, which is an essential compound to the skin's bio activities. Every 3ml contains approximately 60 billion bio-enzymes (woah) which is said to boost and optimize your skin's functionality. The product endorses brightening, wrinkles-repairing and smoothing benefits.

I love love love the texture of this product. It feels like plain water and gets absorbed even better than water on your skin. Your skin is immediately hydrated, plumper and fresher after applying (which is why I love using this as a toner). There isn't any scent to it, maybe just very mild fermented beer scent.

It has an optimal pH of 5.5 so you can use this as the first step of your skincare routine

(translated from the Korean ingredients list)

Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Glycerin, Saccharomyces Ferment, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Geranium Robertianum Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Beta-Glucan, Eriobotrya Japonica Leaf Extract, Glycereth-26, Adenosine, Propanediol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Water


Main ingredients are fermented yeast extract, niacinamide, satsuma mandarin peel extract, glycerin, yarrow extract, and so on botanical extracts. I guess the fermented yeast extract here is insufficient to provide all these amazing benefits so these additional botanical extracts are added to compliment the "bio-redox" inside. We have talked about bio-redox previously, so now I will look at some other ingredients in here.

Yeast, niacinamide, satsuma mandarin, thermus thermophillus ferment, yarrow extract are all products in the "treatment" category, as they can repair and rejuvenate the skin, making it firmer and more radiance-looking. Among which, niacinamide is a staple ingredient in almost every skincare product. Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is particularly known for its abilities to restore skin damage, improve the appearance of wrinkles and pores, reduce hyperpigmentation and unevenness of the skin tone. It is an all-in-one potent anti-aging ingredient with numerous scientific evidence. Satsuma mandarin is present in larger quantity here than in many skincare products. It is an antioxidant with skin brightening and revitalizing benefits and can protect the skin against sun damage. Thermus thermophillus ferment is also extremely effective against sun damage and signs of aging. As for yarrow extract, an ingredient found in many Belif products, are also known for its pores-minimizing and skin tightening astringent properties. Basically, all these skin treating ingredients can improve the appearance of pores and wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmentation and sun damage as well as improve the elasticity of the skin.

And of course, there are soothing and moisturizing ingredients such as loquat extract, glycerin, herb robert, beta glucan, adenosine, and propanediol added as well. Among these ingredients, herb robert extract is kinda interesting and new to me. It is an astringent with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to enhance wound healing, reduce acne-causing bacteria, and supply oxygen-transporting mineral "germanium" to the skin. 


IOPE Bio Essence is undoubtedly the best dupe I have ever used for the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Having used it for about 3.5 months (3 months to be precise since I stopped for 2 weeks during the Chinese New Year), I must say that I have seen visible improvements to my skin tone and texture as a whole. My complexion is much clearer, one dark spot on my cheeks bone area fading (I did not pay much attention to my other freckles since that dark spot was the first thing that comes to my eyes when I looked into the mirror every time), and there is a visible reduction in my pores size. 

I don't have oily skin so I am not sure does this improves the sebum production of my skin but I do feel that my skin is more balanced after using this. This product also helps to stabilize my skin a lot. I normally will suffer from hormonal breakouts if I don't get enough sleep but this product has helped to calm my skin making it lesser prone to breakouts. I only got this major breakouts (2-3 big ones, 3-4 small red dots, and a few zits) when I sleep past 1AM for 3 days consecutively.

I wouldn't say that it is very moisturizing, but the texture is definitely the closest to what I want in an essence or toner. It is a joy using it every time.


I have found the best dupe for SK-II essence! I heard that IOPE has reformulated the formula making the texture more slimy like Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence, which kinda upsets me, but I guess I might still give it a try in the future if I finished all the essences I have. I like this more than all other treatment essences I have tried. I seriously think that this is the best for normal skin like mine. Of course, if you have sensitive, dull and dehydrated skin, Primera probably will work better for you. Or if you want a hydrating essence toner than it will be Lirikos. Innisfree will work for those with sagging and drier skin whereas SK-II delivers the best cellular renewal and rejuvenating effects. But when it comes to a reasonably-priced essence with skin tone and skin texture improving benefits, then it will definitely be IOPE.

packaging: ★★★★
scent: ★★★★
texture: ★★★★

ingredients: ★★★★☆
performance - prepping/hydrating/boosting: ★★★★

performance - smoothing/toning/texture-refining: ★★★

performance - hyperpigmentation-reducing/brightening: ★★★★☆
general impression: ★★★★
★ (holy grail treatment essence, will definitely repurchase!)

You can get this from: Hermo | Althea | Koreadepart
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Product is purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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