Does your Skincare Routine Include an Essence?

Much to my boyfriend's dismay, I've gone and discovered more crap to put on my face. "Why do you need to use all that?? Just keep it simple," he chimes as he gives me his unnecessary opinion. What he fails to understand is that my skin doesn't want simple. It craves the complex, capitalistic modules of boojie skincare products, sold by sales assistants who intimidate me. 

In the world of skincare, I'm a complete amateur, but that doesn't stop me from trying all the latest fads and scams. Not too long ago, a friend introduced me to the 10-step Korean routine, and I've never looked back. Although tedious, it's proven to be effective. Just don't let the ingredients get the better of you. I once thought there'd be no way in hell I'd apply snail mucus all over my face, and yet, here we are. 

In the routine, there’s a step where you apply an essence after toner. An essence is essentially a runnier version of a serum, and at first, I thought it was pointless. If I’m going to be using serum, why would I need another concoction of the same thing?

I was mistaken.

Essence is perhaps the most integral part of the whole skincare process. Such a laborious routine can only render success if you use one.

According to popular K-beauty website, Soko Glam, you’ll see more results from essence than any other product because it treats the skin on a cellular level. Whatever the formula, they typically contain an active ingredient that catalyses the skin’s natural cell turnover. This ultimately leaves the skin smoother and brighter, helping you achieve a more youthful look. 

Here are two of the more talked about essences.

  1. SK-II

The SK-II essence has become a cult favourite that too many skincare enthusiasts swear by. It’s on the pricier side, however, which leads me to question whether it’s got any real value for money when there are adequate dupes.

2. Missha

One such dupe of the SK-II formula is Missha’s Time Revolution, which is a favourite among Soko Glam customers. It’s pretty much got all the same ingredients as the SK-II essence and is a fraction of the cost.