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Essence 101: How to Add This Treatment Step to Your Routine

by Haruka Jifuku 14 Jun 2023 0 Comments
Essence 101: How to Add This Treatment Step to Your Routine

Essence 101: How to Add This Treatment Step to Your Routine

At the heart of Korean skincare philosophy lies the concept of achieving healthy, glowing skin through a multi-step regimen that prioritises hydration, nourishment, and long-term skin health. And the star player in this skincare ritual? The mighty essence! In this guide, we will take you on a journey into the realm of essences, and unveil a curated selection of top-rated Korean essences for various skin types. Enjoy the rejuvenating benefits of essence as you embark on your skincare journey!

What is an essence?

Essence is a crucial step in the Korean skincare routine and is often considered one of the key secrets to achieving hydrated, radiant skin. It is a lightweight, watery product designed to deeply hydrate, nourish, and prepare the skin for subsequent skincare steps. Think of essence as a concentrated treatment that delivers essential nutrients and hydration to the skin. With consistent use, you may notice improvements in your skin's texture, moisture levels, and overall appearance. 

What is the difference between essence, toner, and serum?

Essence is often confused with toner and serum, which look similar.
In Korean skincare, those have different roles and functions for each.

  • Consistency

Toners are quickly absorbed into the skin due to their lightweight consistency and smaller molecular size. Essences also absorb relatively easily, while serums may take a bit longer to fully absorb due to their thicker consistency and higher concentration of active ingredients.

  • Concentration of Active Ingredients

Toners generally have a lower concentration of active ingredients, focusing more on hydrating and soothing the skin. Essences have a higher concentration of active ingredients compared to toners but lower than serums. Serums contain the highest concentration of active ingredients to deliver targeted and intensive treatment.

  • Targeted Benefits

While toners mainly focus on balancing and hydrating the skin, essences and serums offer more treatment and targeted benefits to the skin. Essences often provide additional hydration and nourishment while addressing specific concerns like brightening, firming, or soothing. Serums are specifically formulated to target and treat specific skin issues such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or acne.

  • Application Order

Toners are typically used immediately after cleansing, followed by essence and then serum. However, the order may vary depending on the specific products and individual preferences.

How to use essence

Get ready to unlock the secrets of radiant and hydrated skin as we guide you through the ins and outs of using essence like a pro.

  • Apply after cleansing & toning

After cleansing/toning, dispense an appropriate amount of essence onto your fingertips or palms. It's important to note that essence is typically applied by gently pressing it into the skin rather than rubbing or massaging it. This helps the essence to be absorbed effectively.

  • Patting technique

With clean hands, gently pat the essence onto your face, starting from the centre and working your way outward. The patting motion enhances absorption and stimulates blood circulation, revitalising your skin.

  • Allow absorption

Give the essence a few moments to absorb into your skin. You can follow this step with gentle massaging or continue with your skincare routine.

  • Follow with additional skincare steps

Once the essence is absorbed, you can continue with the rest of your skincare routine, such as serums, moisturisers, or sheet masks. The essence helps to create a well-hydrated base, allowing subsequent products to penetrate the skin more effectively.

Recommended essence based on skin types

Let's dive in and find your ideal essence for a skincare routine that caters to your skin's specific requirements.

Dry skin

Try: LANEIGE Cream Skin Cerapeptide Refiner (50ml) - £11.00

LANEIGE Cream Skin Cerapeptide Refiner (50ml)

Discover the enhanced Skin Refiner, a skincare powerhouse that hydrates, fortifies, and improves elasticity with its CERAPEPTIDE formula. This multipurpose product adapts as a toner, essence, or moisturizer, offering profound hydration. Experience Laneige's Cream Blending Technology for 12-hour moisture. Enriched with White Tea Leaf Water and Green Tea Leaf Extract, it strengthens the barrier and provides antioxidant protection. Elevate your routine with this hydration hero for a radiant, resilient complexion.

Combination skin

Try: DR CEURACLE Vegan Kombucha Tea Essence (150ml) - £29.00

DR CEURACLE Vegan Kombucha Tea Essence (150ml)

The extraordinary with this multitasking wonder—a toner and cream-essence hybrid in one. Dr Ceuracle's Vegan Tea Complex takes the spotlight, boasting a concentrated dose (780,000ppm) of purifying, nourishing, and age-defying properties. It harmonises the skin's oil-water balance, delivers intense hydration, and targets pores, toxins, and dullness. This fragrance-free gem is suitable for all skin types and embraces natural ingredients' power.

Oily skin

Try: IM FROM Mugwort Essence (160ml) - £38.00

IM FROM Mugwort Essence (160ml)

Harness the purity of nature with this essence featuring a sole ingredient: 100% Mugwort extract. Derived from a revered weed utilized in Asian herbal medicine, Mugwort possesses exceptional detoxifying and healing qualities. Its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties prevent acne and shield the skin from external aggressors. Packed with potent antioxidants and collagen-stimulating abilities, this essence nurtures a healthy complexion that defies the challenges of the environment.

Sensitive skin 

Try: BEAUTY OF JOSEON Ginseng Essence Water (150ml) - £16.00

BEAUTY OF JOSEON Ginseng Essence Water (150ml)

This essential water's refreshing and hydrating benefits are enriched with the goodness of traditional Hanbang ingredients. Formulated with ginseng root water, it combats collagen loss, preserving the skin's elasticity and promoting a youthful appearance. Revitalise and nourish your skin as this essence diminishes dullness, fine lines, and premature ageing while soothing and unveiling a radiant, natural glow. 


Try: PYUNKANG YUL Essence Toner (100ml Or 200ml) - £11.00 or £17.00

 PYUNKANG YUL Essence Toner (100ml Or 200ml)

The perfect essence toner for all skin types, effortlessly delivering lightweight, fast-absorbing, and deeply hydrating properties. Layering this gentle product offers additional hydration without any sticky residue. Formulated with an impressive 93% astragalus root extract, this formula combines skin-loving minerals and antioxidants, promoting a healthy and vibrant complexion. Experience the transformative benefits of this nourishing essence toner for a revitalised and radiant appearance.

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