Finding out more about Essences and the vital role they can play in my skincare was a total revelation for me, as they are such brilliant products that just add a touch more of whatever you need to your routine. Essences are usually designed to add an extra layer of light hydration, but you can certainly find ones that offer other functions, such as oil-reducing or even pore-minimising, but where I think Essences really come into their own are for tricky skin types that struggle to find a balance, as Essences can nudge you onto the right side of hydration without flooding your skin.
A good Essence should slot into any routine, layering beautiful with all products. It should apply easily, soak in quickly and make a noticeable difference with minimal residue. It can also be used as a moisture press whenever skin is struggling, so after acids, masks or showers, when you need a quick hit of hydration without starting your full skincare routine. I have quite a long relationship with Essences and have tried lots over the last couple of years, so I’ve put together a list of great ones for all skin needs.
Starting with the lighter end of the spectrum, these are the Essences that I think are best for oilier skin types, or those who just want the tiniest smidgen of hydration in their routine. These are also the ones I’d suggest if you’re breakout-prone too, or if you’re very new to the idea of Essences and what to start gently:
Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment Complex (£22 here – link) is the one that I think is most suited to tricky skins that breakout easily or are very oily, as this one provides a multitude of benefits that’ll leave skin looking lightly hydrated without any shine.
Skin79 AragoSpa Aqua Essence (£19.92 here – link) is actually one of the thickest in this line-up, but it’s a gel more than anything else, so it sinks into skin and layers fantastically well with other products. I melted through my first bottle of this!
SVR Hydraliane Essence (£18 here – link) is another essence that’s very light and watery, so great for routines that benefit from lighter textures. I love this one as I think it provides a huge hit of hydration without any greasiness or residue – I managed to forget to include it in the pictures as it’s in my everyday kit!
Next up are the slightly richer Essences that I think are best suited to those who have normal or combination skin and can handle a little more hydration. These are also great for anyone prone to dehydration as these’ll boost the moisture levels brilliantly:
Jurlique Activating Water Essence (£31.95 here – link) is every bit as lovely as it sounds; fragrant, light yet juicy and leaves skin looking plump and hydrated.
Aveda Botanicals Kinetics Hydrating Treatment (£22.50 here – link) Lotion is like a moisture splash for skin, that’s particularly lovely after a shower or when skin is feeling especially sensitive or reactive.
Filorga NCTF Essence (£50 here – link) is at the end spectrum of those I think are best suited to normal skin types as this is pretty rich and a little thicker than the standard Essence texture, but it absorbs really quickly and still feels relatively light on the skin.
The final two Essences are the ones I feel are best suited to anyone who needs a big hit of moisture, so technically anybody at some stage could benefit from these, but people who breakout easily or react to richer formulas might want to tread carefully. These are both great products for flooding skin with a hit of moisture without going overboard, as they are still Essences after all!
The Marula Facial Renewal Essence (£45 here – link) is another Essence that works really well as a splash for the face, as it’s so hydrating, just the right side of rich and leaves skin feeling and looking plump and hydrated.
Decorte Vitality Tincture Soft-Oil Infusion Essence (£140 here – link) is the perfect product for anyone who needs oils in their routine (like me!) but wants to keep it light; this Tincture (I love the name so much!) is a hybrid of essence and oil, so the result is an intensely nourishing yet surprisingly light Essence that gives skin a lit-from-within glow whilst still slotting in well with other products.
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