If your budget is tight or if you’re in the mood to spend a substantial amount of money, our best essences by budget guide has you covered!
One of the staples of any Korean skin care routine is an essence. These precious liquids contain highly-concentrated formulas that help to increase cell turnover while at the same time improving the absorption of all the products you apply after.
When it comes to K-beauty products, essences and serums tend to be the priciest, but thankfully Korean skin care is known for having affordable and effective products. Here, we’ve compiled the best essences by budget, so whether you can spend $15 or $50, there’s an essence for you.
If you’re looking to spend $15-$20 . . .
The Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence and Isntree Clear Skin 8% AHA Essence are only just a few of the affordable essences that K-beauty has to offer. These prove that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get effective, high quality products that will actually work for your skin.
First up is the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence, which is actually a unique, multi-tasker that combines the powerful brightening and wrinkle-improving ingredients like niacinamide and adenosine, in addition to healing snail secretion filtrate and collagen-boosting bee venom. The essence has a lightweight, watery texture and is especially great for treating acne-prone skin and uneven tone. If you have sensitive skin or if you’re just looking to save some time in your routine, this essence is for you.
The Isntree Clear Skin 8% AHA Essence is a highly effective essence packed with Glycolic acid (4%) and lactic acid (4%) that work together to sweep away dead skin cells, for a smoother and brighter complexion. The formula also contains soothing centella asiatica and hydrating hyaluronic acid creating the perfect canvas for the rest of your routine.
If $24-40 is more your style . . .
You’ve got a lot to choose from as the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence, Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist and the ENature Birch Juice Hydro Essence Skin all fall within this range to provide you with results that won’t break the bank.
If you’re craving “honey skin,” then the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence is for you as it deeply hydrates and brightens. It’s packed with more than 93% fermented ingredients, including bifida ferment lysate and 28% saccharomyces ferment filtrate, to moisturize and plump the skin. It works to deeply hydrate thanks to the 17% birch juice, which is packed with vitamins and minerals that work to nourish from the outside in. Along with the rest of the ingredients, the added rice extracts in the formula helps to illuminate and revitalize so you have perfectly balanced, glowing skin. Plus, it’s fragrance-free!
Acwell’s Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist unlike any other mist essence you’ve used before. Its milky texture delivers an ultra-fine, even spray and its balancing, nutrient-packed formula with ingredients like brightening saccharomyces ferment filtrate and licorice water alongside moisture-locking bamboo water and soothing centella asiatica leaf water is perfect any skin type. You can use it as a treatment product, as a hydrating midday pick-me-up or as a setting spray after makeup.
For intense moisture, the ENature Birch Juice Hydro Essence Skin is the one you’ll want to pick up. This is especially good for dry, rough skin since it contains 78% birch tree sap, chamomile, and plantain seed extracts that work in tandem to smooth and plump parched skin.
If you’re more interested in $45-50 . . .
If you’re looking to treat yourself or if your budget is more high-end then the Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence, Then I Met You Giving Essence or the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence might just be worth the splurge.
The Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence is all about hydrating and plumping the skin. It contains a different form of hyaluronic acid that is made up of smaller molecules to enhance absorption and further hydrate skin. If you have any fine lines or wrinkles, this formula will work to smooth and diminish their appearance while at the same time improving elasticity.
The Then I Met You Giving Essence will elevate your skin care routine! This vegan, cruelty free essence is formulated with over 80% naturally fermented ingredients such as Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate and Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate to help reduce the appearance of pores, blackheads and sebum. It also contains polyglutamic acid, an ingredient that holds 4x more moisture than hyaluronic acid for deep hydration. The Giving Essence also contains ellagic acid, a naturally-found compound that excels at brightening and protects against UV rays.
The Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence is the OG of all Korean beauty essences. It’s known for being a popular dupe to the trendy SK-II essence for half the price. The new Intensive Moist version contains more than 90% fermented yeast from Himalayan purple barely to help repair damage and even out skin tone. The addition of niacinamide and adenosine work to further brighten and firm the skin, leaving it looking more even and youthful.
Our essences by budget guide proves that despite what you may have been told, you don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money to invest in your skin. Korean beauty continuously proves that you can get affordable, high-quality products that actually work for almost everyone’s budget.