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 Missha Near Skin Simple Therapy Essence Lotion, Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence and Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balance 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 Missha Near Skin Essence, which is actually a unique, multi-tasker that combines an essence and lotion all-in-one to soothe and balance your skin’s moisture levels. It contains glycerin, dill extract, and camellia japonica oil, which work to hydrate your skin without irritation. If you have sensitive skin or if you’re just looking to save some time in your routine, this essence is for you.
The Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Essence is a highly-concentrated essence that is packed with 96% snail secretion filtrate for intense repair and hydration. Snail mucin is known to help prevent and repair skin damage, including dryness and hyperpigmentation. If you’re suffering from an uneven skin tone and texture, then choosing products that feature this powerful ingredient is exactly what you should be doing.
Another affordable essence is the Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balance Essence. If you want to revitalize and brighten dull skin then this essence could work for you as it contains 95% galactomyces filtrate. This ingredient is well known to hydrate, brighten, and smooth skin, leaving you looking more refreshed and youthful. Along with its high concentration of galactomyces, this essence also features hyaluronic acid, panthenol, niacinamide and adenosine to further illuminate, hydrate and soothe skin, creating the perfect canvas for the rest of your routine.
If $25-40 is more your style . . .
You’ve got a lot to choose from as the Benton Fermentation Essence, TonyMoly Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence, Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence and the ENature Birch Juice Hydro Essence Skin all fall within this range to provide you with results that won’t break the bank.
The Benton Fermentation Essence is formulated with galactomyces ferment filtrate along with bifida ferment lysate, both of which are fermented yeasts that brighten and hydrate skin, leaving it feeling more dewy and supple. The addition of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, along with aloe barbadensis leaf extract, provide nutrition and moisture to the skin which improve elasticity and hydration levels. This essence is also fragrance-free, making it suitable for sensitive skin.
The TonyMoly Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence is made to bring “chok chok,” AKA dewiness, back to the skin. It does this thanks to the 80% fermented green tea extract, an antioxidant that works to plump skin with hydration and calm down any irritation. This is the perfect essence if you’re looking to regulate oil production since it will balance skin, leaving it soothed and refreshed without any greasy residue.
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!
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, Missha Time Revolution Intensive Moist or the Missha Geum Sul Essence Booster 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 Missha Time Revolution Intensive Moist 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.