Intelligent Beauty

What Exactly Is An ‘Essence’?

What Is An Essence?

It’s probable you’ve heard of ‘essence’ even if you’re yet to jump on this particular skin care bandwagon (it’s only a matter of time). As Derek Zoolander once said; “Water is the ESSENCE of wetness” and well, he was right… sort of.

Hailing from the Far East, essences are a pivotal part of many Asian women’s skin care rituals. Sitting halfway between toner and serum, these slippery elixirs are brimming with hydrating, soothing and anti-inflammatory extracts to help maintain moisture levels and support your skin’s barrier function – keeping ‘good stuff’ in and ‘bad stuff’ (pollutants etc.), out.

Unlike toners – which are used to eliminate residue and re-establish skin’s pH – essences have a marginally thicker, plasma-esque consistency (they’re typically less water-y) and behave like a daily prescription; think of them a little like a multi-vitamin for your complexion, delivering a concentrated dose of antioxidants, moisture and minerals.

Application is unusual as well. These aren’t swept over skin with a cotton pad – instead, you pat them into your complexion, tapping ’til absorbed. Because they’re so lightweight, they’re able to penetrate quickly, providing skin cells with an energising ‘boost’, before following up with a serum to address specific concerns.

Omorovicza’s stunning {Omoressence} contains a cocktail of amino acids, polysaccharides and silicium to support water-retention, quell blemish-causing bacteria and promote collagen synthesis for increased resilience. It’s a truly stunning formula and will dramatically enhance the efficacy of your subsequent skin care ritual.

If your skin is chronically thirsty, try Su-Man’s delicately-scented {Rehydrating Toning Essence} – a potent source of hyaluronic acid, which attracts up to 1000 times its own molecular weight in water, to ‘swell’ skin cells and exhibit an instant line-lessening effect.

And if your skin’s deficient and looking lacklustre, Blithe’s {Vital Treatment Pulp Essence – 8 Nourishing Beans} is enriched with ‘beads’ of vitamin E, which burst on application to intensify the free radical-fighting, skin-conditioning effects. Just as juice with ‘bits’ is better for you, this ‘Pulp Essence’ is more nourishing – enhancing your skin’s ‘bounce’ and restoring an enviable, supple dewiness.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...