Many people ask me questions about essences. They want to know if they need one, what they do, and how to work them into their routine. Essences are often confused for a toner or serum but are different and deserve their own spotlight in your routine. When working them into your skin care routine they would go between the two. So cleanse, toner, essence, serum, and so on. An essence is going to be more lightweight than a serum, products going from thinnest to thickest consistency leading into your moisturizer last. Their watery consistency makes it easier for the skin to absorb. An essence can be used on any skin type and at any age as they are a preventive measure but also target certain skin care concerns. They will make your skin more supple and ready to receive all the other skin care goodies that follow. That supple part I just mentioned is very real and you will wonder how you ever lived without it! They are extremely hydrating and nourishing and have active ingredients that will prep your skin. I like to think of them as a cheerleader for my serum and moisturizer. Your essence should make your skin feel rebalanced and hydrated. Hydration is the key to keeping skin youthful looking. They will treat fine lines, wrinkles, dull and uneven skin leaving you with a more even, brighter, and radiant complexion. I’ve also seen some essences do an amazing job at treating acne. While essences can be on the pricer side you only need a few drops in your hands. Then apply it by gently pressing your hands into the skin. I like to think of it as feeding my skin. I saw one of the biggest changes in my skin was when I added an essence in my routine. Once I started using one there was no turning back. Adding an essence between your toner and serum will be one of the easiest and most rewarding steps you will do. You will see a vast improvement in your skin and it only takes a few moments of your time everyday.
While the title of this post may seem simple enough listening to your skin is something that takes a little practice. When I first started practicing yoga years ago I decided to take private lessons so I could get a more personal instruction. One of the things my instructor taught me was listening to my body. While this concept seemed easy it took me some time to get it. We would talk about food and how your body tells you what it needs and parts of the body that may need extra attention. This practice comes from being still and quiet, really listening. Meditating can help you tremendously with this. Just like my instructor had taught me through yoga we can apply this same technique to our skincare. While you may have a great skincare routine down or not know the first thing about skincare this will be beneficial to you. I will share in a later post about building a good skincare regimen. In the meantime let’s practice listening to what your skin needs because it can change. This is why sometimes products that once worked great for you are not so great now or it could be your skin is asking for something extra to be added into the routine. There are many things that can change how your skin is behaving such as climate, environment, sleep, hydration, diet, alcohol, sun, etc. Even if you are excellent at self care your skin can need some extra T.L.C. Maybe you’re experiencing a colder winter than usual where you live and your skin is feeling tight and dry this doesn’t always mean throw out your moisturizer that has always worked for you. Instead try to sleep with a humidifier or add a sleeping mask into your routine a few nights a week for extra moisture. As I’m writing this my skin feels tight because I spent a lot of time outside today and it’s ridiculously cold here already. I’m aware and I hear my skin so I will add an extra couple steps into my routine tonight so I wake up with plump, hydrated, and happy skin. If I ignore my skin I would probably wake up with red flakey dry skin. Every night after I wash my face I look at my skin to see what it needs and I really listen to it, does it look stressed, tired, dry, or in need of exfoliation. Some nights my skin says, “Im good!” so I just follow through with my regular regimen. This is why we listen so we don’t add things when they are not needed as well. This is some of the best skincare advice I could offer to someone to just stop and listen, be mindful, and kind to your skin. It honestly tells you everything it needs. If products don’t work for you be sure to look at what’s in them because you can learn something from that as well. While this may seem tedious I assure you with practice it is now something that takes just a few moments of my time every night and my skin thanks me for listening.
Feel free to message me with any questions or skincare concerns.
Lots of love,
In past years we have looked to Korean Beauty for our best skincare game. That is because they are one of the most innovative when it comes to skincare. You don’t have to be a K-Beauty fanatic to read this post though. I get asked a lot of skincare questions “Do I need a serum?, Should I be using an essence?, Why do I have to wash my face twice?”. If you have questions like these this post will help explain each of the steps and their purpose. I will go into greater detail on some of these steps and share my favorite products in later posts. I hope everyone can take away something useful from this and it helps answer any skincare questions you may have.
1. Cleansing Oil
All skin types can benefit from a cleansing oil. Yes, even oily skin benefits from this! The best way to remove oil is with oil. If you are not oily you still will reap the benefits from this cleanse. Oil cleansers are a gentle way to lift makeup and dirt from the skin and leave it hydrated.
2. Water Based Cleanser
This second cleanse is meant to remove anything that was left behind. This cleanser should be gentle as to not strip your skin. The first and second step are more popularly known as dual cleansing.
Typically done 1-2 times a week depending on your skin type. This step helps remove dead skin cells and improve the skin’s appearance. Exfoliating can be mechanical or chemical. Mechanical being a face scrub or a tool such as a brush and chemical being AHAs and BHAs.
These are very different from our western toners. Many western toners have alcohol in them that strip the skin down. Korean toners tend to not have alcohol in them and are meant to rebalance and hydrate the skin. They can be thicker and creamier in consistancy but vary. This is the skincare step that the “7 skin method” is made of.
Essences are meant to hydrate the skin and prime it for the rest of your skincare routine. They help renewal your skin and have anti-aging benefits. When your skin is hydrated it helps absorb product better. Hydration is the key to youthful skin.
Serums contain a high concentrate of active ingredients. They are able to be absorbed deeper into the skin due to their smaller molecular structure. Serums target specific skin concerns and nourish your skin.
These are similar to serums but think of them as a more concentrated form that help regenerate the skin. They are not to replace your serum but to help target skin care concerns with a higher dose. Some ampoules are mixed into moisturizers some are applied before serums, so make sure to read the directions.
8. Sheet Masks
Sheet masks are infused with beneficial ingredients to help nourish the skin. They are an easy and relaxing way to take care of your skin. You can use sheet masks quite often, I use them anytime my skin needs some extra love. With so many sheet masks on the market now it’s easy to find one that suits your skincare needs.
9. Rubber Masks
A rubber mask gives you the most amazing glow! This thick mask helps feed your skin all the beneficial ingredients so they don’t get evaporated before your skin can absorb them. These are one of my favorite products to use during a facial.
10. Eye Creams
The area around your eyes needs extra hydration and is one of the first areas on the face to show signs of aging. Apply eye creams by dabbing around the eye be careful not to pull and tug at the skin.
I think moisturizers are mostly self explanatory. They are meant to hydrate and protect the skin. Picking the right moisturizer is a personal preference but should be based off of your skin type and concerns.
Exposure to the sun causes hyper-pigmentation, free radical damage and skin cancer . SPF is one of the key steps to keep your skin from prematurely aging and is a staple in Korean beauty.
Facial oils can be used as extra hydration. They are great for winter months when your skin needs extra moisture. They help keep hydration locked in your skin and can have wonderful skincare benefits, even for those with oily skin. These are applied before, after, or mixed in with moisturizer.
14. Sleeping Masks
These masks are ideal because they work while you are sleeping as your skin is repairing and regenerating . They create a seal for all those other skincare steps you did plus offer their own great benefits. A bonus is they are easy to use and don’t make a mess.
15. Facial Mist
Facial Mists are great to use throughout the day anytime your face needs extra hydration. They are convenient and some have a cooling effect on the skin. These are perfect for instant hydration!