Korean skincare is hands down my favorite way to elevate my skincare game, which is why I’m continuing my Korean Beauty series with the best Korean essence. I really didn’t start incorporating essence into my skincare routine until a few years ago, but when I did, it made such a huge difference.
If you’re looking to achieve that very natural glow, you probably want to start including an essence into your daily routine. It’s important not to confuse essences with toners—I definitely did at first.
I learned that essences help prep and target the skin at a cellular level before you apply your serums and moisturizer so that these products absorb into your skin better.
So if you really want that glass skin, you should look into investing in essences since it has a lower molecular weight than your typical moisturizer to really absorb deep into your skin.
Incorporating an essence is not an essential step, but it can really help keep your skin hydrated to maintain a youthful and strong skin barrier.
Shop my picks for best Korean essence below:
10 Best Korean Essence
I had to start off with the viral Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. I saw this all over social and knew I had to try it out myself to see if it was worth the hype—can confirm it is. 😆
This essence is literally like a multivitamin for your skin and helps to hydrate, repair, and plump your face. It’s formulated with 96.3% snail secretion filtrate—I know it sounds gross, but trust its chef’s kiss—and works amazingly on all skin types, especially sensitive skin.
If you’re trying to target hydration, anti-aging, and an overall glow this serum is perfect for you to start incorporating every day. I also really love that after a few uses, I started to notice my fine lines become less prominent.
The Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence is another popular option for targeting dry skin and brightening. This essence has 93% of fermented ingredients to deliver instant moisture that leaves your skin feeling extra plump.
I love that this formula is made to be fragrance-free, so I don’t have to worry about breakouts. It also has 17% of birch juice and 9% rice extracts to bring that glow from within look.
After about 2 weeks, I noticed my skin looked a lot brighter and hydrated. I’ve also heard that this essence works amazing under makeup to create that clean girl aesthetic.
The Laneige Water Bank Hydro Essence is super moisturizing and brings you dewy clear skin from the star ingredient Green Mineral Water. (Psst, read my full Laneige review here!)
This essence is for all my oily skin girlies out there since it has a more watery consistency.
If you’re someone with more dry skin, you’re probably going to want to try the Water Bank Moisture Essence.
After a few weeks of using the Water Bank Hydro Essence, you should start to notice more hydration on the skin and fewer fine lines.
If you want the ultimate hydration, Laneige recommends soaking a cotton pad in the essence to make your own sheet mask.
This is the 5th generation of the cult-favorite Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence. Again, I love that it’s fragrance-free and very lightweight on the skin.
There are 8 key skincare benefits to this essence: moisture, clarity, skin tone, texture, soothing, smoothing, hyperpigmentation, and protection—it’s a cult fav for a reason.
It’s formulated with 97% Desert Cica Yeast Ferment that helps maintain your skin’s pH levels, strengthens your skin’s barrier, and provides a lot of hydration.
After using this essence for a few weeks, you’ll begin to notice your skin looks less dull and your pores will be looking a lot smaller.
Ok, I haven’t tried this essence yet but it’s next on my list. I’m obsessed with anything hyaluronic acid and this essence is formulated with an advanced form of hyaluronic acid that holds 1000 times more moisture than water.
This essence will absorb quickly into the skin and deeply infuse it with hydration. After a few uses, you’ll notice how insanely moisturized and plump your skin is.
If you hate the fragrance, you’re in luck because this formula is designed to be fragrance-free. Apparently, a little of this product goes a long way so all you need is a few drops.
The MadeCera Cream Double Essence Toner is a Soko Glam exclusive and is another viral product that has been on my wishlist for some time now!
This essence toner is also known as “strawberry milk” because of the super cute pink color and the milky consistency. I love that this essence also doubles as a toner to soothe, calm, and condition the skin.
The ingredients are insane with ceramides and madecassoside that help protect your skin’s barrier from any pollutants or UV rays. There are also natural AHAs in the milk protein to help turn over any dead skin cells.
Your skin will be thanking you after using this essence and you’ll look so glowy.
I’ve been obsessed with Peach & Lily for a while now and I’m surprised I haven’t tried this Wild Dew Treatment Essence yet. 🤩
It’s a hydrating essence that also targets breakouts and improves the overall radiance of your skin.
It’s made with lotus extract, niacinamide, yeast ferment, adenosine, bamboo extract, and radish leaf extract that all work together to make your skin look extra dewy.
I love that it has a very water-like consistency that can quickly absorb into the skin and it has a very subtle floral fresh scent. It also works on all skin types.
The Artemisia Treatment Essence is another popular pick from Missha. This essence helps heal and nourish redness in the skin.
It’s formulated with 100% artemisia extract (aka mugwort) that’s extremely anti-inflammatory and loaded with antioxidants.
This essence goes through a double fermentation process that helps extract the most active form of ingredients. If you have combo-type skin, you’re going to love this essence.
I had to include this Acewell Soko Glam exclusive pH Balancing Essence Mist. I love mist essences and this one is definitely one of my holy grails.
I love that it has a milky texture that helps balance and calms the skin down. This mist is nutrient-packed with ingredients that help brighten, calm, and moisturize the skin.
It has a very light scent that doesn’t linger on the skin, which is a huge plus. I’m obsessed with spraying this mist on my skin a few times a day for a quick refresher.
Last but not least, I had to include the Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence which has 63% propolis extract and 10% royal jelly.
I’m obsessed with the ingredients in this essence because it’s packed with antioxidants and helps strengthen your skin barrier.
It’s also anti-inflammatory to help calm any redness. You’ll also find fermented yeast to provide extra hydration and helps even out your complexion.
Those were all my favorite Korean essences that work amazing on all skin types. If you haven’t been using essences in your routine yet this is your sign to start. ✨
Be sure to shop around for all of these products since some of these go on sale on various different K Beauty sites. If you decide to invest in any of these amazing Korean essences, be sure to tag me on Insta (@wtfab) so I can see what your skin care lineup looks like.
Looking for more Beauty content? Get inspo here.
The best Korean essences are:
– Cosrx Advanced Snail Mucin Power Essence
– Missha Time Revolution The First Essence 5x
– Peach & Lily Wild Dew Treatment Essence
Essences help prep and target the skin at a cellular level before you apply your serums and moisturizer.
Yes, you can definitely use essence every single day.