toners and essences

Toners and essences – Are they different ?

Toners versus essences

Toners and essences are key elements of Asian beauty. I have discovered essences during my first trip to Korea. Essences are meant to be used in between toners and serums. This category does not exist in western beauty. Most toners and essences are infused with humectants to increase water retention in your stratum corner. 

Toners and essences in kbeauty:

If you are following a Kbeauty routine right after cleansing, you apply a toner followed by an essence. Toners are often described as pH balancing and help with removing the residual impurities. Often, toners are watery while essences are thicker in consistency. The texture of a “classic” essence is in between toner and serum. In general, Korean essences are more abundant in active ingredients and are more moisturizing.

Quite frankly, the differences between toners and essences are small, confusing and irrelevant. In my opinion, what makes them interesting are how they are formulated. Adding a toner and/or essence to your daily routine is an opportunity to add more beneficial ingredients to skincare regiment. 

Essences tone as well as toners 

You often read that toner tone the skin pH after cleansing it. In general, it is a correct assumption but what brands forget to tell you is that most essences also tone your skin. A good example is the pH of the Klairs supple preparation unscented toner, and the Neogen Real ferment Micro essence both have a pH of 6. The differences are what they deliver to your skincare routine, the Klairs supple preparation has many soothing ingredients, and the Neogen provide fermented ingredients. By using both of them, you combine they benefice. 

Toner and essences increase hydration

To have healthy skin, your stratum corneum (the dead skin layer) needs to be gorged with water. Humectants are molecules that attract water in the stratum corneum, and many toner and essences contained humectants. My favorite one is the Hada Labo Gokujyun. This one includes 3 forms of hyaluronic acid. To my knowledge, Hada Labo has the best hyaluronic acid products.  

Hada labo Gokujyun

Toner and essences are amazing to apply as a first layer, immediately after cleansing, they will lock water into your stratum corneum and will help the application of your next step. I use them as a first layer and a way to build up the moisture in my skin. 

If you wish to know more watch my last video. 

Where to buy them 


Thank you for reading me.

A bientôt, 


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