Essences have been a popular formulation base in the Eastern part of the world for some time. In more recent years, Essences have made their way into becoming a more globally recognised skincare product category.
Essences are close to toners or serums in their formulation, texture and consistency. They are leave-in, fluid-like and serve as efficient delivery methods for getting ingredients past the outer skin layer (epidermis). They are generally used post-cleansing, pre-moisturising. If you are going to use both a serum and an essence, you would usually apply it before a serum but this depends on their individual consistency. The lighter formulation should always go on first.
In our experience, Essences differ from serums in that they promote hydration as the primary user benefit. Like many serums, Essences can also contain ingredients that target specific concerns, but they are usually designed to first and foremost hydrate the skin (post-cleansing/toning) and secondly to address additional concerns with other ingredients.
Serums on the other hand, (barring pure Hyaluronic Acid serums) are usually positioned to target a specifically indicated concern as the primary user benefit, be it for acne, ageing or pigmentation.