What is Korean Essence? 7 Things to Know in 2022
If you’re at the beginning of your skin-care journey and discovered the word Essence, then you’re not the only one! We all have to start from somewhere! I know I did. Read on to find out more about the importance of essence and how to use it.
The history of essence
Many years before the rise of Korean beauty and skincare regimens, Korea was an agricultural society. However, as many were exposed to the harsh sun rays, they started finding ways to protect and repair their skin from sun damage. As the Korean economy began to grow, so did the K-beauty movement which was started by renowned companies from Korea such as Amore Pacific and is still very popular to this day. As technology enhanced, new formulas were created and essence further developed.
What is Essence?
In the past, essence has been mistaken as a toner because of its water-like texture. You’ll find that essence comes in different textures and consistencies, there are also different formulations that have different benefits for different skin types. So whether you have oily, ageing, dry, combination, sensitive or acne prone skin, there is one for every skin type. Essence has its own category and many have applied it to their routine for years, this is especially popular in the Korean/ Asian market and is now expanding to the western countries. Vanessa Lee, RN, a distinguished aesthetic nurse and injection educator in Los Angeles said that they
“are considered the powerhouse step in the skincare routine".
It originated from Korea and is referred to as the heart of the skin-care routine of Koreans. Essence can contain active ingredients such as Glycerin to Hyaluronic acid and or natural extracts from plants and fruits to help prep your skin with serums and moisturisers.
"An essence includes a lot of great benefits for your skin and acts as a primer for your skincare routine. It is formulated to make the active ingredients in your existing skincare steps more effective. It provides a ton of moisture deep within the skin, restoring the natural moisture balance."
says board-certified dermatologist and founder of Epione Beverly Hills, Simon Ourian, MD, who boasts celeb clients like Kim Kardashian. Depending on your preference and skin type, it is not imperative to your routine, however if you truly crave that glass skin look, then an essence is a perfect place to start with your journey.
What ingredients make up essence?
There are important ingredients we need to remember when looking for a good essence. These are either chemical ingredients or Natural ingredients. The most popular chemical ingredients found in essence are Hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Both components are found in our skin and are essential moisturisers that prevent skin damages and repair them at the same time. Natural ingredients such as Snail mucin, Honey propolis, Ginseng etc are now widely used. Although essences are great for priming and prepping your face for the next steps, they mostly possess anti-ageing effects which will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles resulting in a more youthful glow and ultimately, enhancing the intended results of the 10 step beauty routine.
When to use essence?
As mentioned above, Essence is NOT a toner, but it is applied earlier in the process, usually after cleansing and toning and before serums and special moisturisers. Depending on your K-beauty routine, essence will come as a 3rd or 4th step of your routine, once your face has had that extra bit of hydration from the toner. This step is vital for when you want to include serums and any other special moisturisers such as an eye cream.
How to use essence...
Step 1: Remove any makeup or dirt residue with an oil based cleanser
Step 2: Further cleanse with a water based cleanser
Step 3: Exfoliate - Scrub away dead skin cells to allow the following products to fully absorb into your skin.
Step 4: Tone your face to restore your skin’s pH balance using a cotton pad or your fingertips
Step 5: Time for ESSENCE! - Depending on the product, apply 2 to 3 pumps (or more) of essence and gently pat it evenly on to your face.
The next few steps can be the treatment to your skin. These will be serums, ampoule or spot treatment followed by any special creams and moisturisers. Finish off with an SPF for during the day or a night cream for your night time routine. The essence will give these products extra absorption to fully utilise their benefits.
So that's it guys! To summarise, here are 7 things you need to remember about essence:
1. More than a toner!
2. Works as a primer for heavier creams and special moisturisers
3. Catered to all skin types
4. Can have both active and natural ingredients
5. Increases collagen and skin elasticity
6. Improves and protect skin barrier
7. Fights signs of aging
Before we get in to our favourite essences, here some links to help you with your 10 Step K-Beauty Routine:
Finally here are our Best selling essences: