What’s the difference between Essences and Serums?

March 19, 2021

What’s the difference between Essences and Serums?

What’s the difference between Essences and Serums?


Picture this.


You’re a bit of a K-Beauty aficionado and you know your way around aKorean Beauty routineWhat’s a cleanser, toner or moisturiser is obvious enough for you.


But hang on…serums? Essences? Aren’t they the same thing?


Let’s look at what makes these similar skincare products different.


If They’re Similar, Do I Need Both?


Although serums and essences might contain similar ingredients and work towards the same goals, the difference between them is in their formulation, concentration of key ingredients, textures and when they’re applied.


Serums and essences complement each other and using both will boost your desired skincare results.


Let’s take a closer look at both products.


Essences

After cleansing and toning, essences are the first layer of skincare you can apply.  With a lightweight texture, essences are designed to add extra hydration to your skin.


While serums aren’t exclusive to K-Beauty, essences are one of K-Beauty’s signature features (remember, K-Beauty is all about hydration).  


Essences will often contain plant extracts and antioxidants like niacinamide or green tea to help with brightening or soothing.  You’ll also see hero ingredients like hyaluronic acid in some of the newer essences, likeAPLB Glutathione Hyaluronic Acid Essence.

What’s the difference between Essences and Serums?


Serums

The first thing you’ll notice that is different between essences and serums is texture.  Serums will feel thicker (due to higher viscosity) and contain higher potency ingredients than essences.


Because serums are more focused on helping you achieve your desired skincare goals, they often contain more active ingredients (think Vitamin C, acids like AHA, BHA etc).


Whether you’re looking to reduce pigmentation, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles or boosting your hydration, serums likePurito Pure Vitamin C Serum will make it a lot easier for you to get the most out of your skincare routine.

 

What’s the difference between Essences and Serums?


Ok, I get the difference.  But do I still need both?

This is a great question that’s not as easy to answer.  


While it’s easy to say serums are the way to go as they’re more potent, the line between essences and serums is getting less defined.


While essences are usually lighter and serums often have a higher concentration of ingredients, the rise of multi-step products blurs the distinction between these two product categories. 


Which one, or which combination of the two works for you is dependent on what you’re looking to achieve from your skincare routine.


The truth is that both play really well together. We like to apply essences before serums.  Not only does this help get the most out of our skincare, it makes it possible to hit more than one skincare goal (eg. boosting hydration and reducing pigmentation).

 

Did you know what's the difference between essences and serums? Let us know in the comments! 

 

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"While essences are usually lighter and serums often have a higher concentration of ingredients, the rise of multi-step products blurs the distinction between these two product categories."

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