Our Favorite Essences for Your Budget

June 14, 2019
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | skincare.com by L'Oréal
Our Favorite Essences for Your Budget

If you want soft, supple, plump looking skin, consider adding an essence to your routine. While commonly misunderstood stateside, essences are a Korean beauty skin-care staple. Not to be confused with toners, emulsions or serums, essences are designed to hydrate and prep your skin for the rest of your skin-care routine. They typically have a water-like texture (although some can feel similar to a serum) and are packed with a high concentration of active ingredients. If you’re looking to dabble in the world of essences, we rounded up five at varying price points.


Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, MSRP $45

Intended as a first step (after cleansing) of your usual skin-care regimen, this essence helps smooth skin’s texture and boosts radiance with regular use over time. It primes and prepares skin to receive the rest of the skin-care regimen that follows while also providing instant hydration.

Laneige Water Bank Essence, MSRP $36

Formulated with hydro ionized mineral water, this essence provides your skin with six essential minerals, including zinc, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium and sodium for a toned, smoother appearance. To use, apply the luxe-feeling water essence both morning and night.

Peach & Lily Wild Dew Treatment Essence, MSRP $39

If you want to achieve “glass skin,” you might want to try this K-beauty product from Peach & Lily. It helps fight breakouts while improving skin’s radiance for a glowing look. It’s formulated with a combination of different ingredients commonly used in skin-care products, like antioxidant-rich lotus extract, brightening niacinamide, protective bamboo extract and nourishing radish leaf extract to restore and protect your complexion.

Lancôme Hydra Zen Beauty Facial Essence, MSRP $42

Designed to provide intense hydration to the skin, the Hydra Zen Beauty Essence leaves skin feeling soothed and comfortable. To use, press it onto a cleansed, toned face and neck for a suppler, more refreshed complexion.

Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence, MSRP $25

For an extra boost of hydration, this essence contains a form of hyaluronic acid called sodium hyaluronate, which holds 1,000 times more moisture than water. With regular use, the skin will start to look more plump, supple and smooth.

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