What’s the best Korean essence for your skin concern? Here, we break down three essences that have claimed “holy grail” status so you know which one is perfect for your skin and your concerns.
With the major amount of beauty products coming out of Korea, it can be confusing trying to figure out which beauty product is best for your skin type and skin concerns. Especially if things get lost in translation. So today, we’re breaking down some of K-beauty’s most well-loved essences to figure out which one is best for you.
Essences are the must-have beauty step that Korean women swear by. On top of prepping your skin and providing a boost of moisture, these products can also be packed with anti-aging, brightening, and concentrated hydrating ingredients to give your skin the extra TLC that it needs.
Ideal for: Brightening and gentle exfoliation
The Botanic Farm Rice Ferment First Essence is a game-changer when it comes to brightening. It’s packed with fermented rice water, a centuries-old east Asian skin care secret for deeply hydrating and brightening. Fermented products are known for being great because they help the skin to absorb the products more easily and reduce the chances for irritation.
And fermented rice water is no different. It’s packed with minerals and antioxidants, vitamins B and E, and pitera to leave your skin looking softer and smoother. Pitera is a natural byproduct of the fermentation process that helps to increase cell turnover.
This product also boasts lactic acid as a gentle chemical exfoliant, as well as peony extract to help improve skin circulation. It also features licorice root extract to add more brightening power and lift those dark spots in as little as ten days.
That said, this product isn’t for everyone. The Botanic Farm essence has a bergamot fragrance, so if your skin is sensitive or more prone to irritation when products have fragrance, it may be better to stay away from this one, or at least patch test (which you should do either way) before applying it all over your face. The fragrance in this product is created by blending essential oils and some skin types (but not all) can be irritated by these.
Ideal for: Anti-aging and reducing pigmentation
There’s a reason why the Missha Essence is a cult favorite in Korea. It’s a dupe for probably the most popular essence in North America, the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence at a third of the price. Fermented yeast is its star ingredient, and comprises 90% of the formula.
The Missha essence uses fermented yeast extracted from Himalayan purple barley. This ingredient is well known to plump up skin, help smooth out skin texture, and reduce excess pigmentation. The process of ion fermentation is used to make sure that your skin drinks up moisture easily and retain moisture longer, helping to restore some of your skin’s elasticity. It also contains niacinamide and adenosine, skin care powerhouse ingredients that brighten, even out skin tone, and energize the skin.
This essence is perfect if you’re in the market for something to give you younger-looking, glowier, and healthier skin in general.
Ideal for: Boosting hydration
The Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence is an innovative masterpiece in the world of essences. Its formulation is packed with 93% fermented ingredients! These fermented ingredients include bifida ferment lysate and saccharomyces ferment filtrate, both of which will deliver your skin an instant boost of moisture, and leave it looking more plump and glowy.
This essence also contains birch juice for added hydration and rice extracts for some extra brightening power, to ensure your skin is glowing inside and out. It’s packed with antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients and has a pH level of 5, meaning that it balances your skin. This is perfect for amping up the hydration. Plus, it’s light and fragrance-free, allowing for a superior hydration boost even for sensitive skin.
The Bottom Line
Essences can get confusing, especially since they’re still somewhat of a new introduction in Western beauty. Picking the right essence may not make or break your routine but it can definitely contribute to getting that beautiful, glowy, healthy skin we all strive toward.