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We know what you’re thinking – is this yet another skincare product you have to add to your ever-growing skincare regimen? New skincare products are introduced almost every day, accompanied by claims such as “use this for youthful-looking skin”, “this can give you a poreless complexion”, or “brighter skin is achievable with this brand new serum”. At the end, they all drive home the point that we have to use products to get healthy and youthful-looking skin. We can, however, say that essences in skincare are one of the more effective products you can add to your beauty arsenal. They are not exactly new products but many are still unclear about their purpose. The SK-II’s iconic Facial Treatment Essence, which is what many consumers call miracle water, might ring a bell.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is one of the most iconic essences in the world.

So, what exactly are essences in skincare? Let’s get a few things out of the way. Neither is it a toner that many have mistaken it for due to a similar liquid texture, nor is it a serum or moisturiser. Its consistency is slightly thicker than a toner, but weighs lighter than a serum so that it can penetrate deeper into the skin as compared to the latter. Depending on your skin concern, we’re pretty sure there’s one for you. A hydrating essence usually contains hyaluronic acid to amplify your skin’s hydration levels while those that promise brighter and glowing skin (which are the more popular ones) usually contain glycolic acid.

In general, essences target fine lines, wrinkles, dull, and uneven skin tone – somewhat a lighter version of a serum. Don’t get us wrong – an essence isn’t less effective than a serum. But for those who have sensitive skin and constantly suffer from breakouts, the lighter formula of an essence is one step to getting your skin well prepped before applying additional skincare products. If you’re confused with the sequence, you start out by cleansing, apply toner, essence, and then moisturiser.

Here comes the big question: Is it really necessary to include an essence into your skincare regimen? Our answer, yes and no. It’s not a must-have, as a good serum would suffice. An essence, however, can be used as an alternative to serum (if you’ve not started the serum regime yet) since it has a lighter consistency and it’s great for those who have oily skin.

If you picked yes, here are best essences for you to try.

Where to buy:

L’Occitane Peony Perfecting Essence, Rs 4,150

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkleresist 24 Energizing Essence, Rs 4,000

Laneige Water Bank Hydro Essence, Rs 2,331

Innisfree Jeju Orchid Enriched Essence, Rs 2,100

belif Hungarian Water Essence, Rs 3,060

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, Rs 3,450

TonyMoly 2X First Essence, Rs 3,500

Pixi Skincare Rose Caviar Essence, Rs 2,400

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