Is essence the step your skincare routine is missing?

Just when you thought you had your skin-care layering down to an art (toner, serum, moisturiser, SPF...) BAM! Essence lands on the scene. Looks like a toner (but it doesn’t cleanse), has targeted benefits but isn’t a serum and audible “huhs!?” resound.

Like many amazing beauty inventions (hello, multitasking BB Creams and glorious sheet masks!), this skin-loving elixir originated in Asia, and in essence (yep, we had to), they’re highly concentrated formulas that hydrate and brighten your complexion, strengthen your skin’s barrier function and up the ante on anti-ageing. The water-like consistency of essence allows a super-dose of actives to be absorbed into the deep layers of your dermis; used after cleansing, it restores your skin’s pH and moisture levels, leaving your skin perfectly prepped for subsequent serums and treatments—it even boosts their effectiveness.

Slipping ever-so sweetly between toner and serum, it’s that one extra step that could take your skin from great to “gimme the number of your facialist immediately!”...and we LOVE that. Here are six of our favourite essences that will step-change your routine.


Drenching skin in an ultra-concentrated blend of Japanese superfoods, Tatcha's The Essence floods skin with plumping, wrinkle-smoothing hydration. It boosts cell turnover and resurfaces the skin for ultimate, light-catching luminosity. Woah, she glows.

Tatcha's The Essence


We know fermented foods are good for your gut, but did you know they’re also good for your skin? AmorePacific’s Essence contains handpicked green tea harvested from their very own sacred garden on Jeju Island in South Korea. The green tea then undergoes a meticulous 100-day fermentation process that helps boost antioxidants and prebiotics to support the good bacteria on the skin and give you a smooth, clear and more even-toned complexion.

READ MORE: Why Green Tea is The Secret To Glowing Skin

AmorePacific Vintage Single Extract Essence


With a team of hardworking ingredients (including NACY² —an ingredient tested by astronauts to prevent accelerated aging in harsh space conditions) this weightless composition sinks into the deepest layers of the skin to plump, hydrate, soothe and revitalise. The unique pollution-repelling formula is infused with antioxidants and helps fight free radicals that cause ageing. Mind blown.

111Skin Daily Orbit Energising Essence NAC Y²


Hungarian brand, Omorovicza, has also dived into the world of essences. This weightless hydrator contains a complex of amino acids to help your skin retain moisture, it also promotes the production of collagen and elastin for firmer, more youthful-looking skin.

Omorovicza Omoressence


Using all organic ingredients including botanical juices, the Green Apple Brightening Essence from Juice Beauty literally feeds your skin with powerful ingredients (alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10, if you like to get technical) to smooth, plump and brighten your face and prep for your all your other skincare goodies. It’s like having a salad before your main course and leaves your skin looking so healthy!

READ MORE: Why Organic Juice beauty Is Our New Skincare Crush

Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Essence


This super-nourishing essence is packed with nutrients and is an absolute miracle worker for smooth, bright, and firm skin. It’s made with goji berries (for antioxidant protection against pollution), lactic acid (which works like a gentle little Pac Man to exfoliate dull skin) and peptides to increase collagen and elastin production (a.k.a. bring back the bounce to your skin). It helps maintain a healthy renewal system for your skin so all those stage-five clingy dead skin cells can get a move on.

READ MORE: Kat Burki’s Cold-Processed Natural Wonders

Kat Burki Goji Essence

Words by Romy Erdos
August 2019


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