Hair and Makeup: Jukka/Design.Me/Charlotte Tilbury/Plutino Group Image by: Geneviève Caron
Make the most of your skin care by boosting your existing products with a dose of hydration, courtesy of an essence.
Moisturize with this extra step in your skin-care routine—the increasingly important essence—that sits between toner and serum.
Our picks for the most hydrating essences.
(From top) Caudalie Vinoperfect Essence, $50, caudalie.ca. L’Occitane en Provence Aqua Réotier Moisture Prep Essence, $29, ca.loccitane.com. Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Liquid Essence, $135, chanel.ca. Biotherm Life Plankton Essence, $76, biotherm.ca. La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion, $330, holtrenfrew.com.
What is an essence?
Like many stellar beauty innovations, essences originated in Korea, home of the 10-step skin-care routine. An essence is often mistaken for a toner or a serum, but it lies somewhere in between. Where a toner rebalances and a serum treats, an essence adds moisture, locking it in while also boosting the efficacy of your next skin-care step. It’s more viscous than a toner, but thinner than most serums, and is full of concentrated ingredients. “It can be likened to a supercharged toner,” says Kristina Tsiriotakis, senior manager of learning and organizational development at L’Occitane en Provence. “It can provide anti-aging and complexion-boosting benefits.” Its main function, though, is moisturization. “At the heart of Korean beauty philosophy is the idea that hydrated skin stays youthful in appearance.”
Your ultimate nighttime skin-care routine
“In traditional Korean beauty practices, products are applied in order of their texture, from light to dense,” says Tsiriotakis.
1. Cleanser helps remove makeup and buildup of dirt and oil.
2. Exfoliant helps slough off dead skin cells.
3. Toner helps rebalance skin and remove traces of cleanser.
4. Essence helps hydrate skin and prepare it for treatment.
5. Serum helps treat your skin by targeting specific concerns.
6. Eye cream helps moisturize the sensitive eye area.
7. Moisturizer helps hydrate skin and lock in active ingredients.
With essences, hydration is a given, but if you’re looking for something that offers a bit more, try one of these formulas.
Target: Dark Spots
Juice Beauty’s Green Apple collection is known for brightening, so it makes sense that the brand added a potent essence to its lineup to gently soothe and expertly target hypo- and hyperpigmentation.
Pollution is a major contributor to skin aging. This formula is chock-full of antioxidants in the form of fermented black tea (kombucha) to enhance luminosity and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Target: Uneven Texture
Focusing on improving skin texture, this formula contains fermented green tea leaves, which also improve clarity and elasticity, and promotes prebiotics to help prevent signs of aging.