Step Three: Essence

Last year when I made a post or two mentioning essence, I don't think I did it justice. Essences are finally becoming more readily available here in the States- Sephora has started stocking them and sites like Sokoglam and Peach and Lily have really introduced them to a wider Western audience. However, I don't know if many people have thought about adding an essence to their skincare regimen. 

There is a lot of chatter in the "webasphere" about what an essence is (or isn't), but keep reading if you want my two cents.

Essences are texturally like a toner (but not always), but have benefits like a serum. Essences are not as powerful as serums, but they can take on skin issues ranging from moisture, dullness, uneven tone, and cell turnover. Application is also key. By gently patting or pressing the product into your skin, you're basically driving those essence ingredients deeper into your skin. 

You may be thinking, Why? You just said they aren't as powerful as a serum, so why don't I just skip it?
That's a good question, but essences could potentially help your serum or other skincare products work better for you. By layering products, you can really target and treat your skin's needs in order to see long term improvements. 

Pictured above: 1. HanYul rice softner* 2. su:m 37 secret programming essence 3. SKII facial treatment essence

Here are others sold in the States: 4. May Coop raw sauce 5. Lancome energie de vie 6. Kiehl's iris extract activating essence 7. Belif Hungarian water essence

(*So the HanYul essential skin softner may not be an essence per se in some people's opinion. I just assumed it was based on the texture and benefits...but I didn't read the instructions saying that you should apply it after serum. Usually you apply an essence before serum. Also, the word essence isn't even in the product's name. However, whether before or after serum, you're supposed to apply it in the same way so I'm just going to keep using it the way I have been...)