Essence is a word we hear being thrown around a lot in beauty circles, and it has caused confusion over the essence (pun intended) of its ultimate purpose in the beauty routine. I’m here to demystify your confusion!

Essence is a concentrate of ingredients for specific purposes. It is essentially the same as a serum, but is more lightweight and is less concentrated. Essence liquid is watery and very light, and each essence tends to have a specific texture. The formula can be more watery out of the bottle, or there is a ‘water break’ when applied to the skin, where you feel a release of hydration during application.

Essence is a staple part of the Korean beauty routine and was traditionally used after a toner to add another layer of hydration before applying serums. Because of its lighter consistency, essence is typically used in the day while a serum is used at night due to its heavier consistency.

At its core, essences are moisturizers; however they tend to have smaller compact particles and are lighter than traditional moisturizers. This allows them to get absorbed faster and more effectively into the skin. They also get absorbed deeper into the skin, allowing for more effective cell regeneration and reproduction. However, essence is far too light and water-based to be used as a substitute for traditional moisturizer.

Among the range of purposes an essence can have, whitening essence like the Acymer Niveus Brightening Esssence brightens the face, pore control essence controls and minimizes pores, and skin repairing essence serves to nourish, remove impurities from and treat damaged skin.

Essence is not to be confused with essence toner or treatment toner, a product that can substitute a traditional toner due to the body of its consistency and the hydration it packs. These toners are often thicker than typical toners due to their infusion of nutrients and anti-aging ingredients, but they should not take the place of your essence or serum, which has a higher concentration of specific active ingredients.

Before applying essence, cleanser and toner should be applied. The toner acts as a prep for the essence, helping the skin absorb the essence faster by forming a wet layer on the face. When applying essence, it is best to pat the liquid on the face gently with both palms, starting from the centre to the outer edges of the face. If the essence is concentrated for a specific purpose, focus more on massaging the essence into the specified area.

Overall, essence is a product used to target specific skin concerns. Although it might not be as essential to the beauty routine as cleanser or toner, it is a useful product for those who might be wanting to address problems like blackheads, uneven skin tone or large pores. If you’re in the market for one, be sure to be clear about the ingredients it contains and test it out to ensure it’s the right fit for you. Have fun and safe purchasing!


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