Essence is one of the quintessential steps in the Korean Beauty Routine, but if you’re still wondering exactly what it does and whether you should be using one, you’re not alone!



An essence is a concentrated skincare product that is applied to clean skin after toning. Essences have formulas that specifically target wrinkles, fine lines, dull and uneven skin tone. Koreans consider these to be essential products in a skincare routine, rather than a option or a luxury.

Although they are watery in texture, essences aren’t designed to replace your toner or to offer an additional cleansing step. Instead, they target and treat the skin on a cellular level.



Korean essences perform several functions.

First, they contain active ingredients that optimise the skin’s natural turnover rate to renew skin cells and regenerate the skin.

Second, they prep your skin to absorb the next layers of skincare you apply.

Third, they lightly hydrate your skin to assist your serum and moisturiser to sink in. If you’ve ever felt like your moisturiser is just sitting on top of your skin and not dissolving into it, essence will be a great addition to your skincare routine.

In a nutshell – essences are a quick and easy way to up your skincare game.



In addition to lightly hydrating your skin and preparing your skin to absorb your next layer of skincare, using an essence every day will make your skin smoother, brighter, softer and assist you to apply makeup more evenly. Basically #skingoals!



Most essences are designed to be applied to clean skin, or after toning. They can be used both morning and night.

To use an essence, simply tap or pat it into your face (rather than wiping it).



For Dry Skin: we adore gentle Soroci EGF Essence. Star ingredients oligopeptide, renowned for its healing and skin restoring properties and organic rice bran oil work to gently hydrate and nourish.

For Dull Skin: we can’t go past Tosowoong’s Brightening Propolis Essence. This clarifying and soothing Korean Beauty essence is jam-packed full of K-Beauty favourite propolis. It works to gently nourish, soothe, calm and brighten.

For Sensitive Skin: we recommend Soroci Calming Essence. This calming, soothing essence contains luxe caviar, rice extract, hyaluronic acid and more to nourish and brighten sensitive skin without burdening it.

For Mature Skin: we love Benton Fermentation Essence. This lightweight, quick absorbing essence packs a punch with 80% galactomyces ferment filtrate, a fermented yeast that can brighten and bring suppleness back to the skin. A high concentration of fermented ingredients, ceramides and hyaluronic acid ensures a visible boost to skin’s elasticity and moisture levels.

For Oily Skin, Redness and Inflammation: try the beauty bloggers’ favourite LJH Tea Tree 90 EssenceFormulated with 90% natural tea tree extract, this cult Korean beauty product alleviates uneven skin tone, minimises redness and irritation and improves your overall complexion.

For Acne Prone Skin: it’s got to be Benton’s Snail Bee High Content Essence. Doubling as a toner, this cult-favourite Korean essence works wonders on acne-prone skin and acne scars by brightening skin, lightening scars and increasing collagen production to repair skin.

For All Skin Types: the original “Holy Grail” of Korean Beauty essences is Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. This essence provides 8 benefits – soothing, smoothing, balancing sebum levels, moisturising, improving skin tone, firming, wrinkle repair and boosting.

For the ultimate splurge:  go all-out with Missha’s divine Misa Cho Gong Jin Essence. Not only is it packaged like the cosmetics used in the Korean royal courts, it contains a highly concentrated facial treatment essence that incorporates traditional Korean herbal medicine ingredients to restore skin’s vitality, firmness and glow.


STYLE STORY – Australia’s Korean Beauty Store