6 Best Beauty Essences and How They Take Your Skincare to a Whole New Level

The process of getting great skin has come a long way since the original mantra, “Cleanse, tone and moisturize”. Since then we’ve expanded our beauty routines to include double washing, exfoliators, serums, masks, jade rollers and a myriad of other products and gadgets. They all work well but we were missing an important step that’s the essence of great skin care, and that is “essence”.

Then I Met You Model

What is essence and how should it be used?
Essence is a thin watery but powerful liquid that’s used after toner and before serum. It’s always been a huge part of K-Beauty and J-Beauty skin care routines and it’s finally getting a where-have-you-been-all-my-life welcome here in the US. It’s easily splashed on with your hands and does wonders for your skin. Don’t confuse essence with toner – toner’s function is to wipe your skin clean of product residue and restore pH balance. Essence is a treatment that plumps and softens your skin and helps your complexion glow while it preps it for your other skin care products. Formulas are created to target dullness, aging or acne, and most all deliver hydration which is a key component for a more youthful plump, smooth and dewy complexion. It takes literally seconds to splash on and you can apply your serum immediately afterwards. Trust me; it’s worth the extra little step. Check out the essences below, and incorporate one of them into your skin care routine. You’ll see a beautiful difference in the look and feel of your skin in a few weeks, which is how long it takes for the cell turnover process to complete itself.

The hero ingredient of the Amore Pacific Vintage Single Extract Essence is green tea leaf extract. The green tea leaves are gently handpicked and naturally fermented for about two months to create an extract that hydrates and defends against free radicals, improves elasticity and texture, reduces redness and evens out skin tone. It’s perfect for super sensitive skin. While of course it’s not meant to be consumed, I have to admit that when I splash it on my face, the small amount that gets on my lips tastes like delicious sweet green tea. It’s an Allure Best of Beauty award winner. Created in Korea.

Available: Nordstrom

The La Prairie Caviar products are legendary amongst luxury skin care aficionados, and their Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion is a welcome step as it prepares the skin for serum and their other skin treatment products. It’s an Allure Best Beauty Splurges winner. The La Prairie Essence contains 100% active caviar water that along with softening and plumping, aids in lifting and firming your complexion. Enjoy the pleasure of using this luxury pre-serum ritual with all of your favorite skin care products. Created in Switzerland.

Available: Nordstrom

A newcomer to the scene is The Giving Essence from Then I Met You by Charlotte Cho, who’s the creator of SoKoGlam. The pretty pink liquid you see in the bottle is the natural color from the antioxidant rich berries in the formula which protects skin and makes it luminous. Other ingredients include dark fruits, PGA (polyglutamic acid, similar to hyaluronic acid) and galactomyes which are derived from fermented sake and help decrease acne breakouts. While I don’t have acne breakouts, this silky formula doesn’t make my skin feel dry at all; it makes it feel silky and plump. At a recent event I met with Cho who told me that her products are created with the Korean concept of jeong, which means a deep emotional connection. After feeling the pleasant silkiness of this essence, I can understand why. Created in Korea.

Available: Then I Met You

The Essence Plumping Skin Softener by Tatcha is comprised of almost 99% pure Japanese super foods. The powerful trio of Uji Green Tea, Okinawa Mozuku Algae and Akita Rice when fermented, creates lactic acid that helps increase cell turnover – a key to achieving dewy, soft and radiant skin. It’s great for all skin types. Tatcha’s Essence doubles skin’s natural moisture content making it beautifully plump, and helps your other skin care products do their jobs better. Created in Japan.

Available: Sephora

The Truth Treatments Biomimetic Mineral Mist is the only essence that doesn’t call itself an essence. Instead, the company refers to it as a hydrating mineral mist, but in essence, it’s an essence. It has a thin watery consistency and is used after cleansing and before other treatment products. It’s 100% active and is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant and penetrates deep into skin cells to protect your complexion from ultraviolet and environmental assaults while it aids in the efficacy and absorption of serums, creams and retinol used afterwards. Other active ingredients include hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and colloidal minerals which hydrate the skin and soften it. Created in the USA.

Available: Truth Treatments

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is the one that originally got me hooked on using essence 15 years ago. Back then, the concept was totally foreign (pun intended!) and only the most crazy, devoted skin care fanatics could understand splashing an expensive watery liquid on our faces before applying serum and moisturizer. SK-II Essence has won many awards due to its 90% Pitera ingredient, an exclusive fermented yeast strain first discovered in a sake brewery. The goal is crystal clear skin and SK-II helps you achieve it by creating an even skin tone, reducing the appearance of fine lines and dark spots and reducing dryness. Created in Japan.

Available: Bergdorf Goodman

The essence of great skin care is essence. Try one of these and enjoy the compliments!

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