LET'S DEFINE IT Born out of Japanese and Korean beauty routines, it is easiest to define an essence by what it is not. It is not a toner, nor it is a serum and it certainly is not a moisturiser. Rather, it is an amalgamation of all three with the texture of water. Wild, we know. Packed full of skin-nourishing ingredients, an essence enters the routine at the first step (after cleansing) and is there to keep the skin damp for optimal product absorption. Of course, an added layer of skin-loving ingredients also doesn’t hurt.
THE BENEFITS Just like how a dry sponge absorbs close to nothing, a dry face is doing you a disservice when applying your favourite skincare products as the formulas are unable to deeply penetrate the bilayers of the complexion. Using an essence will ensure the skin is adequately primed to soak in any actives or moisturisers you apply next and will mean you’re getting all the benefits and more bang for your buck.
WHICH SKIN TYPES NEED AN ESSENCE? We have different serums for different skin types and needs and the same can be said for essences. In essence (lol), every skin type would benefit from introducing an essence into their routine. If your skin is on the dryer side, it would be worth looking at a formula that contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. If you’re on the oilier side, it might be worth investing in an exfoliating essence that is rich in AHAs and BHAs. The rule of thumb? Do your research and make sure you don’t double down on actives later in your routine if introducing them with an essence.