What are Elixirs and How Do You Use Them?

By April 7, 2017

There are tons of skin care products that have names that can confuse people: essences, sleeping packs, bio-peels, the list could go on. Today we answer: What are skin care elixirs?

For the longest time, beauty elixirs were one category of skin care products that eluded me, and therefore never made it into my own regimen. To be fair, they’re not super common, and even the Merriam-Webster definition will leave the most informed skin care expert confounded.

That all recently changed, though, and I’ve been a die-hard elixir proponent ever since. And not just I can tell the difference in my skin when using them—other people have noticed, too! Today I’m dishing on elixirs and sharing a couple of my personal favorites.

So, what’s a skin care elixir?

In short, elixirs are a concoction—or “potion,” if you will—of various oils. They also usually contain herbal infusions, plant extracts, and/or other ingredients that benefit the skin, such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or butters. In addition to hydrating, elixirs help heal and nourish the skin to promote a brighter, clearer, and more moisturized complexion. Like creams, toners and cleansers, the formulations vary widely.

How do I use an elixir?

Elixirs are typically thinner than serums and creams, but thicker than a toner or essence. For that reason, they should be applied between these two steps in your skin care routine. In the daytime, they provide an excellent base for your makeup, allowing it to blend more seamlessly and last longer throughout the day. Elixirs can also be applied before bed for an extra dose of moisture.

How do I choose an elixir?

Like any skin care product, you should choose a product that fits your skin care needs! For example, if you have dry or mature skin, a heavier elixir will better suit you. Contrarily, if you’re looking for something that quickly hydrates your skin throughout the day, perhaps a lighter elixir mist is your best bet. Also, consider the ingredients when buying an elixir. For instance, some elixirs specifically target aging issues, some focus on pore refinement, some treat acne, and some specifically brighten the skin and even out complexions.

Product recommendations:

I’m really excited to share two different Korean-brand elixirs with you today. The first is the Erborian’s Elixir Au Ginseng, which may feel spendy, but is a true luxury skin care product that’ll make your skin soft, happy, and vibrant. It utilizes unique technology that evenly disperses oils throughout, allowing the product to feel super light while adding major hydration. In addition to containing six-year-old fermented Panax ginseng to intensely smooth your skin, it boasts a blend of sweet almond oil, sesame oil, and various root extracts, including brightening licorice root. This product is applied with a dropper tool and has a medium-thick consistency. It’s recommend for all skin types, though those with dry or mature skin will especially love it!

Another must-have is the Dongwha Whal Myung Skin Elixir, a 120-year-old recipe that was originally formulated for the royal family of the Joseon dynasty. It combines a rich blend of various herbal extracts, including ginger root, nutmeg, clove flower, citrus unshiu peel, cinnamomum bark, and japonica leaf extracts. It also contains nutmeg oil and shea butter to fully hydrate and smooth the skin. This product should be shaken before it’s used, and can be applied with your fingertips, a cotton pad, or via a spray nozzle. It’s recommend it for all skin types, but especially sensitive or dry skin.

+ Any more questions about elixirs? Let’s talk! Share them below!

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