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Best Korean Essences

By Rachelle D. | April 24, 2016 11:05 AM EDT

A lot of people new to Korean skincare, or those who are skill skeptical that Koreans reign supreme in the industry, want the Korean "secret." They want the one ingredient or product that will take them from pimply grease bomb to cover girl.

That product doesn't exist. For one, everyone's skin is different, and an ingredient that makes one person glow might make another break out. Plus, the Korean skincare routine is just that  -- a routine, a process, sometimes one of trial and error - in which people become more in tune with the needs of their skin and take the time to care for it. Transformation happens, but not overnight, and not because of a single product.

All that being said, though, there is one product that most Westerners haven't incorporated into their routine that goes a long way in attaining that bright, dewy skin. It's the essence.

Essences are not designed to replace anything in your skincare routine. While refreshing, they don't have enough cleansing ingredients to get all the gunk out of your skin; and while moisturizing, they don't pack the same hydration that a cream or sleep mask does.

Instead, they're one of those "extra" steps in the Korean 10-Step Skin routine that can make all the difference. Adding an essence will help even skin tone, help create brightness and that "glowy" look that is at the heart of Korean skincare, and force skin to turn over more cells and create collagen in order to look more plump and healthy.

There's a very wide range of essences available from Korean brands, ones for all skin types and in all levels of price. We've put together a list of some of the best ones for all right here. Happy essence-ing!

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence

If you start looking into Korean essences, this is probably one of the first ones you'll come across, and the word you'll hear to describe it is: SOFT. It's a dupe of the popular but much more expensive SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, and is known for the super soft skin that it helps create. This is also great for people who are trying to incorporate anti-aging ingredients into their routine, because it's full of fermented yeast concentrate, which helps snap skin into looking young and elastic. 

Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence

This is a great option for people with perpetually dry skin, or those with normal skin who are really looking to add some extra hydration during the winter months. The formula not only packs a ton of moisture, it also contains ingredients that ensure that hydration stays locked into the skin and preps the skin to absorb more from the rest of your skincare routine. This is also a very calming and refreshing essence, so a good one to carry around in your purse and use a little splash every time you feel like a boost.

Primera Miracle Seed Essence

This essence starts to get into the higher end on price, but if you're looking to indulge, this is a great deal. It doesn't have a scent, and it's full of highly gentle ingredients that don't have any triggers for people with super dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin. If you've had trouble with breakouts or dry spells from essences before but want to try again with a product that's going to give you a more even and bright skin tone, this is your essence.

Neogen Code9 Lemon Green Caviar Essence & Tox Tightening Pack

Neogen is quickly becoming known for its innovative approach to exfoliation. Instead of using harsh ingredients or beads that can be damaging to both the skin and the environment, Neogen has been combining product with gentle exfoliating pads. The duo, which is in full force in this essence and tightening pack, gets rid of extra gunk without stripping skin or irritating it. This formula in particular also helps to tighten skin, keep it extra fresh, and brings on that dewy glow. It's a win-win situation for your pores.

IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning

This is one of the more popular Korean essences on the market because it's known to make skin brighter, fast. Beauty bloggers have reported seeing skin with a more natural glow in as little as three days. It's also a gentle product that certainly doesn't trigger acne and may help reduce some of the inflammation and redness that comes with acne or blemishes. It's better for normal and oily skin types, as it doesn't provide some of the extra hydration that essences designed for dry skin do.

Miss Flower & Mr. Honey Essence Oil

If you can't figure out exactly what you want out of an essence, and want something that feels ultra hydrating and indulgent, this is your essence. As the name implies, it's more oily than other essences, which makes it very rich and dewy. It's also a great one to put on with your favorite BB or CC cream to add a little glow to some makeup coverage. Because this is the essence that tries to do it all - and does, for a lot of users - it has a lot more ingredients than most essences do. If you're sensitive to certain oils or skincare ingredients, you might want to check out the cosdna analysis of this before you buy.

Tagged :  essence, Korean Beauty, beauty

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