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What Is Essence Skincare? When And How You Should Use It


Backed by scientific advancement and growing in popularity all over the globe, the 10-step Korean skincare routine is renowned for its health-focused incentive. 

But, at the same time, it offers remarkable personalization to fit your specific skin care needs.

You’re probably familiar with the double cleanse and the importance of following up with a toner. But what about the 5th step, sandwiched right in the middle of this world-famous routine – essence? Or as many would call, korean essence?

No, essence is not like a serum, toner, moisturizer or an amalgamation of the above. So, what exactly is an essence and why should we use it in our routine?

We’re going to explain these pressing questions and more, so you can figure out the unique benefits of each essence type and find out which one will be ideal for your skin.




What Is Essence Skincare?

While the main purpose of an essence is to hydrate skin, essences are also made up of ingredients that help target concerns like wrinkles, fine lines or a dull skin tone.

It differs from a toner, the fourth step in the routine, even though it might feel quite similar to the touch.

Though they are both lightweight, a facial essence will often feel a little creamier than a toner and, above all, serves a different general purpose. Whilst a toner is used to remove the last traces of cleanser, facial essence penetrates the skin even further and adds extra hydration.

It’s a bit like using a beauty blender; we all know that your foundation will take to your face a whole lot easier if you’ve dampened your beauty blender beforehand, rather than applying your foundation to a bone-dry surface.

The same thing applies to your skin.

Korean Essence Tip #1: How Do I Apply It?

Whilst we’re on the subject of beauty tools, it’s worth noting that it’s best to put your facial essence on using your hands instead of using other familiar items like the trusted cotton pad. 

This is because a lot of product can be wasted on the pad so, instead, squeeze a drop or two into your palm and lightly press into your face until absorbed.

The theory goes that the heat your hands emit, coupled with the facial pressure, is the most effective way to help the essence seep into the skin.

More concentrated than essences are products like serums, ampoules, or boosters that make up the 6th step of the routine. Though these products might also seem quite similar to facial essences, they are designed to help treat specific skin concerns.




Korean Essence Tip #2: Which One Should I Use?

An essence can differ in its ingredients and usage depending on different skin types and the different outcomes each individual might anticipate from their skincare routine.

For acne-prone skin, the best facial essence will be one that includes AHAs and BHAs: Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids. These ingredients will exfoliate the skin, helping to remove dead skin cells, clear out pores and boost overall circulation.

BHAs such as salicylic acid (and its natural counterpart, willow bark) are common in treating breakouts and, combined with AHAs like glycolic and citric acids, can help control excess oil production.

Another problem some people experience with their skin is redness and irritation. This requires a slightly different treatment method than breakout-prone skin. Your safest bet is to use an essence that contains soothing ingredients which include green tea, aloe vera, centella asiatica extract or allantoin, to start.

For those who struggle with their skin’s texture, be it dull or uneven, you might want to look for fermented ingredients designed to smooth and plump, such as thermal water as a base, glycerine to hydrate, adenosine and niacinamide to brighten.

Final Thoughts On Essence Skincare

All in all, with so many fantastic and diverse products on the market, it’s no wonder the Korean skincare routines are experiencing a huge surge in popularity.

No matter your skin type or your desired outcome from your routine, facial essence is an important step in this renowned routine that would be a complete waste to skip out on! Treat your skin with the kindness it deserves and let us know how it goes! @kiseu

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