K-Beauty: Essence – Truth or Myth?

A short story time: I became the biggest lover of Korean skincare two years ago when I almost fell in love with a girl from Korea that I have met. Actually, it was her skin that I was in love with – it was so smooth and beautiful and the best way to describe it is with two words only – glass skin. That was when I heard about the skin essence the first time and since I was stubborn with all attempts of transforming my skin to a porcelain-like – I immediately had to try it myself. If I remember properly, the first one I heard about was the classic SK II Facial Treatment Essence, back then I didn’t even have a slight clue on what skin essence is, but is sounded so essential – as the name sounds itself. Is it really that important in skincare? Keep on reading to find out…

Firstly, since I was the one that kept hearing that an essence and a serum are essentially the same thing let’s talk about what skin essence truly is.

Essence is a concentrated formula that specifically targets wrinkles, fine lines, and dull and uneven skin tones. It typically contains an active ingredient that increases hydration, optimizes your skin’s natural cell turnover rate and skin regeneration.

Since I had to try it out myself, the first one I bought was a really affordable one. And guess what? It blew my mind! I am talking about Korean brand COSRX and their amazing Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. Chock-full of snail mucin (96 percent, to be exact), this essence goes to tackles hyperpigmentation, dry spots, and dehydration. It also aids in repairing existing damage, like from acne scars to sun damage.

How to use skin essence? Easy – apply it with a tapping motion (tap-tap-tap for better absorption) after toning your skin and before applying serum, morning and evening. If your essence has a bit thicker consistency than your serum, then you should apply the serum first and follow with the essence.

The correct order of using skincare products is “the rule of thumb” – from thinnest to thickest in consistency. In a perfect world it would be: double cleansing, toning, essence, serum & moisturizer.

The tricky part is buying an essence when in Europe, especially in Croatia. Maybe you can get some of the amazing K-beauty brands like Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence, Jurlique Activating Water Essence or Boscia Sake Hydrating and Brightening Essence in the shops, but easiest way to get them is ordering them online. Since I made a lot of effort, I looked up for the essences you can get in shops and ask for a sample before buying the whole bottle. For example, there are really good reviews on Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. This unique facial essence is an essential “first step” anti-aging treatment to help smooth skin texture, reduce fine lines and boost radiance while hydrating, exfoliating and preparing the skin.

As well, the brand and the line I am obsessed with is Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence – a brightening essence that immediately sweeps away dead skin cells to reveal brighter, smoother, more even skin. It is consisted of glycolic acid, organic grape water to soothe and hydrate and infused with white peony extract as a radiance booster.

The one I am currently using is L’Occitane Aqua Réotier Essence and my skin loves it. It acts as a hydrating preparation for a next step in skincare. I already wrote detailed post about it, so if interested – click here to read more about it.

With regular use you will notice that your skin is more smoother and brighter. Essence can’t turn back time, but it will definitely revitalize your skin so that with continued use – you can look more youthful.

Sources: Soko GlamAllure, Sandra Rodriguez Pinto, Pinterest.

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