20 December 2017

What is Essence in Skin Care and Should You Be Using One?

When you do your daily skin care ritual, you probably cleanse, tone, and moisturize.  But there's a new product that you should be using: essence.  

Essence as part of your skin care routine isn't a new concept, but it's gaining popularity.  Essence is a skin care product that is now famous thanks to Korean skin care getting popular in America.  

So what s essence and should you be using one?  Keep reading to find out.

What Is Essence?

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Essence is similar to a toner, and it may feel like a toner.  But it's a product in its own category.  An essence isn't meant to cleanse your skin; it's meant to hydrate your skin and deliver the active ingredients deeper into your skin.  

It may contain glycerin for moisture, natural extracts for anti-aging, or hyaluronic acid for anti-aging.   It also helps restore your skin's pH balance, which helps makes skin smoother and feel better.  

Essences are used to hydrate, brighten, and increase cellular turnover.  

So it's a serum?

Not exactly.  Serums are usually creamy and more concentrated, where an essence is usually more watery.  

Some brands combine a serum and essence, and they will be thicker like a cream.  

Some brands are combining essences and toners so minimize a step in your skin care routine, but Korean skin care experts advise that you use two separate products for better results.  

An essence isn't applied like a toner or serum either.  Toners are usually misted on or put on a cotton ball to sweep across your skin.  Serums are usually massaged all over your skin like a moisturizer or cream.  

An essence, by contrast, is patted or pressed into your skin with your fingers.  

Since an essence is used early in your skin care routine (more on that below), it absorbs deeper into your skin for more benefits.  

Why Use an Essence?

So now that you know what an essence is, why should you use it?

The thought is that by using is early in your life, you can keep your skin better hydrated.  As I said, it has it's roots in Korean skin care.  Generally, Asian women tend to have a thinner moisture barrier than other races, notably Caucasian women.  This can lead to signs of aging.  

If you have oily skin or acne prone skin, you may not need an essence.  I didn't add one until I was in my mid 30s because my skin was oily.  It's getting drier now, so I added it to my regimen.  

Using an essence also helps your skin in one important way.  Wet skin absorbs more product.  So that expensive serum that you're using will absorb better after you use an essence.  Just be sure to apply it while your skin is still damp from the essence.  

How and When to Use Essence?

If you do add an essence, use it after you cleanse and tone.  Follow with a serum and finally a moisturizer.  Using it at that stage helps the active ingredients penetrate deeper into your skin and absorb better.  

Just remember to pat it into your skin; don't rub it in.

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