What are first essences? 5 things you need to know

Written by Jenny Wu
Jenny Wu

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  1. natasha says:

    Thank you for the helpful information. As a foreigner living in Taiwan I want to buy the products sold here, but do not know what are good brands. I would love to know what makeup brands in Taiwan at Watsons or Poya are good for really sensitive skin.

  2. Cat L. says:

    Jenny, I love love this post and found it so educational. I have been intrigued by essences as they seem to be quite the thing in Kbeauty these days, but I have yet to try any. I like that you clearly explain what an essence is, what it does and you provide some great recommendations. I really am considering the Naruko Face Renewal and the Biotherm one. Thank you for such an informative post!

    ~ Cat L.

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much Cat, I’m so glad you found this helpful!! <3 Both the Naruko and Biotherm ones are fantastic, and the latter is going to be perfect for adding hydration in the fall/winter months. I still can't get over the fact that Biotherm isn't readily available in the US though, it's such a great brand!

  3. Tara says:

    Thanks for this post :) I found it super helpful and useful. I’m all for the Korean 10-step routine, but I find all those terminology to be crazy. I’m still wrapping my head around serum, ampoule, emulsion, and so forth so on. X_X So many terms. Can’t we just call it one thing?!

    I’m using the Missha Time Revolution long name essence, and I’m liking it a lot! But I’m willing to try different products in hopes that I find something that works better for my skin. The Naruko La Creme one interests me, and I’ll see if I can find them locally before I attempt to order them online XD

    • Jenny says:

      You’re welcome Tara! So glad you found it helpful! :) I totally understand what you mean, the difference between some of them are so subtle that it’s difficult to tell what makes one an ampoule and another a serum. Plus, what’s to stop companies from calling their product what they want? They could label a serum as an ampoule, and who would know the difference? It’s a bit insane when you think about it ?
      That’s awesome that the Missha essence works for you! It’s definitely one of their most raved about products for a good reason :) The Naruko essence works better for me, probably because my skin reacts better to rice-based ingredients, but it’s worth a try to if you want to switch things up :) I know Naruko is definitely on eBay, so you can try there if you can’t find them locally.

  4. Elisa says:

    lol this is SO korean skincare routine! they have like a gazillion steps for their face and it confuse me. i don’t know why but every time i see serum, essence, blablabla i’m always reminded by korean’s 10-step skincare regime :P
    sometimes, i think that i understand makeup better than actually understanding and remembering skincare regime. all this hype regarding essences and serums make me go wth hahaha… i’m glad that you actually say that not everyone needs essences – if what we have now works just fine, i also think it’s better to just stick to the current regime. plus, although i care about my skin, i’m still a lazy person so cleanser – lotion – SPF (if i’m going out) – night treatment is, luckily, enough for me. i’ve seen people who have dry skin use quite a lot; from cleansers and then toner then serum then this then that and i’m here like, “wow… not sure if i should be glad that i have combo skin???” i also can’t imagine using oil on my face! ugh :P

    for me personally, i’d rather use lotion / toner and boost the antioxidant in my body through food, preferably green tea ^^;; slathering so many products on my face doesn’t sound so nice but that’s just my personal preference.

    i enjoyed this post though! i like that you’re unfolding the current beauty hotshot and actually state the important thing about whether people actually need this crazy thing or not :))

    • Jenny says:

      Haha, I wouldn’t be surprised if a Korean or Japanese skincare brand first labeled this term, it’s definitely in line with the 10-step routine.

      Makeup is much more straightforward, I totally agree. I guess companies just need to keep coming out with new colors, formulas, and packaging and people will buy it, there’s no need to create a new product type to get more hype.

      I think the number of products used doesn’t have much to do with skin type, but rather skin condition. I have combo skin as well, but I use serums for anti-aging because you know, trying to fight off lines and wrinkles for as long as possible :P I agree that eating healthy is a great way of improving your skin, and probably affects your skin just as much (if not more) as what you put on.

      Glad you enjoyed the post! I think sometimes we’re so drawn in by the fad that we buy the product blindly without giving it much thought. I know I’ve definitely done this before, so this post is kind of like a reflection of my mistakes xP

      • Elisa says:

        oh, I actually forgot to say this when I commented before but i’d love to see future makeup-related posts too! maybe some dupes or reviews or the differences between asian and western makeup? I don’t know. but I like reading your blog so yea :P

        • Jenny says:

          Thanks for the suggestion! I don’t wear makeup as much, which means I rarely buy them, so I dunno if I’d be able to write any good dupe posts. I really like the idea of western vs Asian makeup though, so I’ll get that on my list of posts! And thank you so much for reading!! So glad you like the posts! ??

  5. caroline says:

    Sometimes the beauty industry just kills me. I’d rather use the most fabulous product than just look for a fancy term. I really love how you broke this all up!

    • TASYA says:

      Hello Jenny. Thanks for the great educational post! Anyway, Im a little bit confuse – what the difference between galactomyces, saccharomyces & fermented rice extract? Hope to get answer from you :)

      • Jenny says:

        Hi Tasya, thanks for reading! That’s a good question, from reading Paula’s Choice’s ingredient dictionary and INCIDecoder, it seems like galactomyces and saccharomyces are just different yeast derived fermentations, but the general idea is that these fermented ingredients are full of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals that improve our overall skin health. Galactomyces is the version used in SK-II’s products, but I don’t think there’s enough independent studies yet to show which version is better. Hope this helps!

    • Jenny says:

      I know right? I’m all for innovation, but innovating new product terms just confuses us more! I completely agree, as long as a product is fabulous, that’s all that matters :) So glad to hear you liked the post, thanks for reading!

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