What is an Essence?
Essence, serums and ampoules originated in Japan beauty and they are essential if you want to address specific skin issues you are troubled with, like uneven skin tone, fine lines or dehydrated skin.
Essence or serums with their high concentration of active ingredients, and their formulation target the specific thing, think of it as skin regeneration. With constant use, you will see your skin becoming brighter and smoother.
Essences are usually watery, and if soaked through cotton pads they will only be wasted, you should either transfer it to a spray bottle and spritz in your face or pour it on your hands and splash it in your face.
A piece fo disclaimer: if you have a chronic skin condition like eczema or rosacea, serum may cause aggravation because of the high concentration of active ingredients can lead to irritation.
What is the difference between essence serum and ampoules?
The only difference between them is the concentration of the active ingredients, think of it like the way perfumes describe the concentration in the bottles, (eau de toilette, eau de parfum, and eau de cologne, etc.).
In our case, essence is the most lightweight, it has few active ingredients and less concentrated than serum. It allows your other products to penetrate deep into your skin before applying your moisturizer.
Serums have few active ingredients with a higher concentration, the trick is to find the ones that address your concerns. If the radiator in your house this winter have completely dried you you can use a serum with hyaluronic acid to restore hydration.
Ampoules are even more concentrated you don’t need to apply them all over your face, they can be spot applied; ampoules usually are smaller bottles with a dropper. The treatment with ampoules shouldn’t last more than 2-4 weeks, this is the time your skin cells takes to fully regenerate. Layer it before essence to refresh your skin regimen.
If you are looking for an extra boost for your make-up, you can try to mix a couple of drops of your essence of choice into your foundation before applying it. Keep in mind that makes your foundation runnier, use it with caution.
You are never too young for essence, ampoules and serums, the earlier you address your issues in your skin the more regenerative the effect is and with long-lasting effects.
Which one should you choose?
Every essence, serum, and ampoules tackle different issues, the principal active ingredient is the one you should find higher in the label, ignore everything in the front, brands want to sell you a product but you should be careful enough to look for what you need.
- Hyaluronic Acid is for smoothing and plumping of the skin, perfect for dry and dehydrated skin concerns.
- Vitamin B5 is for hydration as well.
- Vitamin C and E protect you against environmental factors like UV and pollution.
- Niacinamide for pigmentation.
- Peptides for improving firmness and reducing fine lines.
How to use them
I would recommend tapping the essence on your face to get the skin to absorb it better, think of your face like a sponge: when you first wet the sponge it doesn’t hydrate fully, you need to squeeze it to make the water go deeper inside. That’s how you should approach the essence, dab it on your face multiple time to enhance absorption. Usually, it takes three application for the skin to fully absorb it; after that, you’re good to go with the rest of your routine.