The Top 10 K-Beauty Essences that Nourish Your Skin – Best of 2019

The 10-Step Skincare Routine is well known to the Korean Beauty Community. But if you’re new to K-Beauty, terms like ‘serum’, ‘exfoliator’ or ‘hyaluronic acid’ can be very overwhelming. That is why we have prepared a guide about the essentials of K-Beauty in our series about the TOP10 K-Beauty products of 2019. First, in the series are essences.

What are essences and why are there so many out there?

Essences are highly-concentrated treatments that use active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to help nourish the skin after cleansing.  Essences come after toners and before oils, ampoules, serums, and moisturizers. They also balance the pH levels of your skin after cleansing and prepare it to better absorb treatments. Their main benefit is to nourish and hydrate the skin. As there are many different essences out on the market, it can get a bit overwhelming to find the right one. Therefore, to get the full effect it is important to know your skin type. People with oily skin should look for essences that contain witch hazel or green tea. These ingredients help to regulate the oil and sebum production on your skin while keeping it hydrated at the same time. Essences that have hyaluronic acid gently moisturize your skin and are ideal for sensitive skin types. On the other hand, people with dry skin can look for essences that contain glycolic acid or lactic acid that mildly exfoliate your skin. Here is an overview of the top 10 K-Beauty Essences for 2019.

The Top 10 K-Beauty Essences for 2019

1. MISSHA– Time Revolution First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist

K-Beauty Essence MisshaThis is a water-based essence that uses 80% fermented yeast.  It does a great job of repairing damaged skin and evening out your skin tone. The yeast it uses comes from Himalayan purple barley and is great for plumping skin, refining texture, and reducing pigmentation. It also contains Niacinamide which brightens and clarifies your complexion. It is very light on your skin and does not leave your face sticky. For those that don’t want to pay a high price for SK II, this is the more affordable substitute.  

Price:  44,000 won ( $37)

2.  NEOGEN – Real Ferment Micro Essence

Korean Beauty Essence NEOGENIt is the best selling essence on Soko Glam and is recommended by Charlotte Cho for achieving “honey skin”. The essence itself has no fragrance and has over 93% fermented ingredients which are great for anti-aging and very moisturizing. The product also contains 17% birch juice for hydration and 9% rice extracts to help illuminate the skin. It soaks quickly into the skin and is very layer-able.  It does a great job brightening skin and lightening dark spots.  

Price:  45,000 won ($38)

3.  MIZON – Water Volume EX First Essence 

K-Beauty Essence MIZONThis essence contains snow algae extract which helps calm your skin and helps with inflammation. I would recommend you use this after you have used your toner and right before applying lotion. It contains ceramide which helps lock in the moisture.  In addition, it contains moringa extract which helps with acne and breakouts. A single bottle can last for up to 4 months when used twice a day.  

Price:  22,000 won ($19)

4.  Hanskin – Hyaluron Skin Essence 

Hanskin K-Beauty EssenceThis Essence is the best Essence for those with very dry skin. As it’s a very strong moisturizer it leaves your skin dewy and plump after applying. The product contains sodium hyaluronate which allows it to hold 1,000 times more moisture than water.  It is a little thicker than other essences which is why it is great for dry skin. For those with normal skin try using this during the winter months.  It can also be used as a toner and is easily layer-able. 

Price:  54,000 won ($49)

5.  COSRX – Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence

COSRXThis essence has 95% Galactomyces ferment filtrate which is great for hydrating, brightening, and smoothing the skin.  It also contains hyaluronic acid and panthenol for moisture and niacinamide and adenosine for younger-looking skin. When applied it might feel a bit sticky but after a few minutes, it will be fully absorbed into the skin.  For those that have dry skin, this will work best under a moisturizer.

Price:  25,000 won ($21)

6.  Primera – Essence Miracle Seed 

K-Beauty Essence primeraNumber 6 on our list of the top K-Beauty essences is primera’s miracle seed.  This product contains 93.1% lotus seed extract that is full of amino acids and linoleic acid. The light-weight moisturizer absorbs quickly into your skin and doesn’t leave any greasy feeling. It includes Niacinamide which is great for improving the texture and elasticity of your skin. It also does a great job of moisturizing and brightening your overall tone and makes your skin feel very soft.  Your foundation will apply much better after using this product.Price:  53,000 won ($45)

7.  Botanic Farm – Rice Ferment First Essence

Botanic FarmThere are many K-Beauty essences that use rice water but this product uses fermented rice water.  It is great for brightening and hydrating the skin. It uses lactic acid to exfoliate the skin and peony extract to help with circulation.  When applied it soaks into the skin very quickly. It also contains a bit of licorice root extract which also helps with brightening the skin.   It does a great job of leaving the skin feeling soft and looking glowy. The bonus is that is has a lovely flowery smell.  

Price:  41,000 won ($35)

8.  Benton – Snail Bee High Content Essence 

Korean Beauty Essence BentonThis is a multitasking essence that is not only sensitive skin-friendly but great for those with acne problems.  It contains niacinamide, adenosine, snail secretion filtrate, and collagen-boosting bee venom. That these work well to improve brightening and wrinkles.  The serum absorbs well into the skin and is clear with no scent. For those that have hormonal acne, this product will help fade it away in a matter of weeks.  

Price:  24,000 won ($20)

9.  YURIPIBU – Artichoke Power Essence 

YuripibuThis is one of the few K-Beauty essences that contains artichoke (60%) extract that will help you get rid of loose skin.  In addition, this essence is great for open pores by tightening the skin. It contains 10 different natural moisturizing factors that help smoothen rough/dry skin.  Apply this essence after using a toner and before applying a moisturizer. Those that want firmer skin and more elasticity, need to use this product. It gets absorbed completely and doesn’t leave a shine or makes your skin look greasy.  

Price:  54,000 won ($46)

10.  TONYMOLY – The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence 

Tony Moly EssenceTONYMOLY came out with one of the top hydrating K-Beauty essences out there.  The term “Chok Chok” means dewy in Korean and this essence will do a great job of moisturizing the skin.  It is made up of 80% fermented green tea extract which acts as an antioxidant. The product contains lemon seed oil which works as an antifungal agent.   It has a great clean scent with no added fragrance, this makes it great for sensitive skin. The product itself is not as sticky as the others. I recommend using this alongside a vitamin C serum or tea tree toner.  

Price:  33,000 won ($28)