Cleanse, tone, moisturise – you might think your skincare routine is on lockdown, but there's another product to add to your beauty arsenal. It's called essence. Sounding like some sort of magical potion, essence has been around in the Asian skincare market for years and is a common skincare step. Skincare experts and beauty bloggers have been raving about this Far East find for years now and essence has finally made it to the UK and a store near you.
What is exactly is essence?
It's a lightweight, hydrating liquid, designed to help prepare skin for your moisturiser, after cleansing. Think of the skin like a sponge. Once cleansed and dried, a dry sponge cannot as easily absorb moisture compared to a slightly damp one. Essence is the hydrating layer that properly primes the skin to best absorb your fancy serums and creams.
If you're already a 3-step convert, you might be wondering how essence is different from your toner. They're both a lightweight liquid and although they can feel quite similar, but they have different purposes and contain different ingredients. Toner is used to remove last traces of cleanser and is essentially water, enhanced with essential oils and often alcohol for quick drying. Essence may feel a bit more creamy compared to toner and contains higher levels of ingredients, designed to penetrate deeper into the skin. Essence instantly balances the skin after cleansing and toning, adding hydration and priming the skin.
How do I use essence?
Whether you're ready for the full Korean 10-step routine or not, essence is an easy addition to your day that doesn't take up a lot of time. It's commonly used after toner, but not on a cotton pad – not only would that waste your precious potion, but Asian skincare experts have come up with a more effective method. Place a couple of drops into your palms and press the essence into your face until absorbed. The heat of your hands and gentle facial pressure can help the product to penetrate the skin, whilst boosting circulation.
Which essence is best for me?
Like the huge choice of moisturisers and cleansers available, there is an essence to address most skin concerns, but the most popular tend to be for brightening, hydrating or firming. Use a moisturising essence, packed full of hyaluronic acid, on dehydrated skin that's been doing overtime. If you've got dull skin in need of radiance, look for an essence that contains brightening pearl pigments and zingy botanicals to wake your morning skin up.
Asian skin is often considered to be amongst the most youthful looking in the world so if essence is our solution for super skin, we're more than happy to give it a go.