6 Editor-Approved Essences for Bright, Supple Skin

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Thanks to the popularity of the Korean multi-step beauty routine, essences have earned a spot on the shelves of skincare fanatics all over the world. If you’re still skeptical, here’s why they’re more than just over-hyped toners.

Think of an essence like a thicker, more hydrating toner that’s formulated to balance and prep the skin for the rest of your regimen. According to K-beauty devotees, essences help prime the skin to better absorb serums and other treatments, making them absolutely worth the extra step in your routine.

Is an essence right for you? We rounded up six of our editors’ favorites for every skin type.

Albion Flora Drip, $70-$130

Inspired by the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, this rich, creamy essence is infused with the exclusive MYURAT™ complex and enriched with flavonoids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals—all processed using a unique fermentation technology. Its rich, creamy texture transforms into a soothing milk to reduce the look of fine lines, enhance elasticity, and refine skin tone.

Augustinus Bader The Essence, $97

A 3-in-1 innovation, this multitasking formula is part gentle exfoliant, part toner, and part hydrating essence. Powered by TFC8®—an exclusive patented technology comprised of over 40 ingredients and inspired by over 30 years of research—it streamlines all your post-cleanse needs for a clear, revitalized complexion.

Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Essence, $14

Dealing with dry skin? Look no further. This nourishing essence is formulated with three types of hyaluronic acids that penetrate at different levels to help smooth, firm, and hydrate. The result? A plump, healthy-looking glow—instantly and over time.

SACHEU Beauty Lactic Tonic - AHA Resurfacing Essence, $26

If hyperpigmentation is your concern, here’s a no-fuss solution. This triple-action liquid exfoliant is expertly balanced with brightening and smoothing AHAs, soothing propanediol, and hydrating hyaluronic acid to combat dark spots and reveal smooth, glowing skin.

Omorovicza Queen Essence, $110

Perfect for urban dwellers and city slickers, here’s another multitasker formula that deserves a spot in your routine. This smooth formula delivers the deep hydration of snow mushroom, the biomimetic anti-pollution response of tomato stem cells, and the plumping power of hyaluronic acid. Your complexion is left smooth and supple, radiating a youthful glow.

Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence, $225

This long-awaited sequel to Vintner’s Daughter classic Active Botanical Serum is the answer to our prayers. Not only does it restore the perfect balance of hydration to skin, it also helps to brighten, firm, exfoliate, nourish, strengthen and smoothen with its blend of over thirty painstakingly-chosen botanicals. Thanks to fermented ingredients that boost absorption it smells a bit like vinegar upon application, but that fades away to give you supple, happy skin that we swear actually feels more nourished.