The Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence with Galactomyces might work for you if you have visible signs of aging. But, it didn’t work for me.

My experience with Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence is that it’s one of the first treatment essences I tried when I got into Korean beauty products. I used it as a replacement to Missha’s First Treatment Essence Mist, mostly due to the lower price of Secret Key’s version which I got on Amazon for $13. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I use the revenue only to buy more products to review for you. Thanks for your support! 🙂

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Might Work for You – Review


Price: $30.30 at Secret Key | $13 on Amazon
Size: 155ml
Fragrance: Slightly unpleasant smell that goes away fast
Skin effect: Improves dark spots, wrinkle improvement
Pros: Absorbs quickly, good price, lasts a while
Cons: First ingredient is water. It doesn’t work for everyone; try if you have visible wrinkles or other signs of aging.

1. Cleanse and tone face.
2. Apply using a cotton pad or your hands.
3. Pat into skin until fully absorbed.

Ingredients (possible irritants or acne triggers bolded)
Purified water, glycerin, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, butylene glycol, arbutin, aloe vera gel, Human Oligopeptide-1, Dimethicone, Chamomile Flower Extract, Centella asiatica Urban extract, Green tea extract, Physalis Alkekengi Fruit extract, Acanthopanax senticosus, Ganoderma lucdum, ginseng, deer antler, cordyceps extracts, witch hazel extract, rice bran extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, adenosine, phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTAIrritants/possible irritants are bolded.

How it Works

I liked the gentleness of Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence but I didn’t see any improvement in my skin while I went through the whole bottle.

Looking at online reviews, it seems like some people did notice an improvement.

Why did Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence work for them, but not for me?

I have a theory on that. It could be that online reviewers saw an improvement because they already started experiencing signs of aging, like dark spots and visible wrinkles.

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence’s magic ingredient is Galactomyces ferment filtrate – a moisturizer and antioxidant. As we know, antioxidants stimulate skin cells. Mattek, an in vitro science innovation company has published an essay on Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, which they refer to as “GFF”:

… The stratum corneum of human epidermis is composed of terminally differentiated keratinocytes serving as an essential barrier to environmental stresses, such as UV induced photodamage, and water loss … In vitro GFF has several beneficial effects, such as antioxidant effects through activation of ARE-related genes in human skin cells 2) and induction of hyaluronan production in epidermal cells3). In the current work we focused on caspase-14 in order to elucidate further the effects of GFF …  The positive effect of GFF on late differentiation biomarkers supports previous in vivo observations that GFF-containing moisturizers help protect the skin against damage 6-7), such as due to dryness or environmental stress. These results provide a compelling reason to further understand the nature of GFF and its potential benefits for skin.

What does all that science talk mean? Basically, galactomyces help protect the skin against UV damage, dehydration and other environmental stress effects on the skin. It’s a proven skin moisturizer and protector in studies.



Secret Key says that its Starting Treatment Essence’s use of galactomyces brightens and clarifies skin, increases resiliance, balances the condition of skin and moisturizes.

Moisturization is the one basic important aspect that everyone needs, no matter their skin type. So, if these galactomyces penetrate skin to be able to hold on to moisture, that’s really good.

I’m in my 30s and I have very few lines on my face. I just have smile lines so far (and didn’t see it get better while using this), so maybe I’m not the right demographic. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the brighting effects either. I think it played a role in helping with moisturization, and improved the absorption of the other products I applied afterwards


Try it. If you have dark spots or see other signs of aging, Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence might work for you, plus it’s probably one of the cheapest treatment essences out.

Also think about trying different products in Secret Key’s essences line, the Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence in Rose is popular among beauty bloggers.


Where to Buy

Fortunately, Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence is available on Amazon for $12. You can also buy it direct from Secret Key for $30.30 USD if you can’t buy from Amazon.

More people have had better luck with the Rose treatment essence, buy it at Secret Key for $29.20.

What do you think?

Have you tried Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence? How did it work for you? Did you like this review? Share it or comment below!