Essences - What are they? & Why you should be using them?



Essences are another Korean skincare product that are slowly creeping into UK brands. But what exactly are these strange toner looking products and why do we need them? I've been doing some research, been testing a few and ready to share my findings...


What are Essences?


They can easily be confused with toner, but they are very different, despite having the same consistency. An Essence is designed to prepare the skin for serum and moisture. So you use it after cleansing and toning It's packed with regular hydrating ingredients to also give back the moisture that cleansing may have taken away.


Why use an Essence?


I have dry skin so I'm always looking for ways to add extra moisture and Essences do just that! Like I said earlier it's a great priming product ready for serums. The theory is serums will absorb better and work better with an Essence. There are a range of different essence available, aimed at targeting different skin problems.

To be honest my first dabble in Essences didn't go too well. I didn't really see the point in them and I didn't see the results. But since the market is becoming more saturated I've found some amazing ones...

Caudalie Brightening Essence | £30 (full size)

I got one of these in a LoveMeBeauty bag (see this post) and I've become obsessed! This one aims to brighten, hydrate and plump the skin. It contains Gylocic acid to gently exfoliate the skin. Alongside Grape water to sooth and hydrate. Sometimes after cleansing my skin can feel really dry and this instantly adds a hydrations. Since I've been using this my skin definitely looks brighter and clearer. The Gylocic acid is very gentle and this doesn't sting or feel uncomfortable. I like to pat a few drops into the skin and the rest of my skincare applies like a dream over the top.

DHC Lift Essence* | £38.50

This Essence has more of light serum texture than water, but it feels super hydrating on the skin! It's really smooth and plumps out the texture of my skin. Leaving it soft, smooth and hydrated.

Bio Essence 24K Bio Essence Water* | £16.99 | REVIEW

This essence has Gold flecks in it to dissolve into the skin giving a radiant glow. The consistency is slightly thicker than water, but I actually find this makes it easier to apply. This claims to do a whole host of things including hydrate and reduce pore size. I'm not sure on the pore claim but this is super hydrating and definitely gives my skin glow.

CosRX Blackhead Power Liquid* | £22 | REVIEW

I'm not to sure if this strictly counts as an Essence but it has the same consistency and I've been using it the same way. And I've had dramatic results. This is aimed at blemishes, poor skin and blackheads. I do have dehydrated skin but it is also prone to breakouts and blackheads so I reach for this when my skin is particularly bad. It contains AHA and BHA which gently exfoliate the skin helping to keep blemishes at bay. Since using this I've definitely noticed a reduction in my blackheads. I think this would be really good for oilier skins.

Wonjin Effect Vita Moist Ampoule* | $43

I believe Ampipoles are in the same family as Essence but work in a slightly different way. These tend to super charged products with a really high percentage of their active ingredient. I've only tried this one but I've fallen in love! It's like an oil in a water so you have to shake it to mix it before you apply. It feels so silky on the skin and absorbed instantly leaving my skin so hydrated! I've been using this everyday and my skin has never looked so hydrated. It sounds like I'm being dramatic but this really is amazing! I really can't recommend it enough!

So I'm well on the way to a 10-step Korean routine. Which sounds crazy but I really think Korean beauty products do their job and provide excellent results.

Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts on Essences?

Until next time...

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