K-beauty expert tips: How to make the most out of your facial essence

PHOTO: Pola, Estée Lauder, fresh&co, Hera and Caudalie

K-beauty expert tips: How to make the most out of your facial essence

Facial essence is no doubt one of K-beauty‘s essential products. It’s not a toner, neither is it a serum. Some might call it a lotion. Regardless of the name, it forms the first step of your skincare routine.

These highly-concentrated treatments can often come with an extensive price. So we spoke to Shandy Seah, HERA Field Trainer, about some of the best-kept Korean skincare secrets and how you can make the most out of your facial essence.

Korean-skincare hacks you should try with your favourite facial essence:

Soothing treatment: While you can apply your essence with your hands or cotton pad, you can also take it one step further. A day before you want to use it, soak a cotton pad in the essence.

Then place it in a ziplock in the freezer. The next day, or after a couple of hours, you can use it while it’s chilled to soothe and calm irritated skin.

Leave-on mask: Pair your essence and favourite moisturiser together to use as a leave-on mask. Simply apply more than what you would usually use in the palm of your hands.

About five generous drops of facial essence will do. Mix it together, then apply an even layer on the skin for five minutes before massaging it in. 

Facial mist: You can also take any mist bottle you have at home and refill it with your favourite essence. With Singapore’s constant humidity and heat, your skin might be feeling more irritated than usual. Mist it over your skin for a quick refreshing finish.

As Shandy shares, “Wearing a mask is now a norm and this tends to cause makeup to appear crusty or patchy after long hours. By misting your makeup sponge or cushion puff before touching up your makeup, you can help to soothe the skin.”

Lip mask: Soak a thin piece of cotton pad in your favourite essence and leave it on your lips for five minutes. Then move it around in gentle circular motions to remove any dead skin cells.

This will help boost the moisture level of your lips while improving circulation and radiance. Shandy recommends trying this one to two times a week.

As a bonus tip, Shandy suggests adding a few drops of essence into skincare products like a serum or a cream. This can help lighten the texture and make it easier for absorption.

HERA Cell Essence Biome Plus, $80 (150 ml)


This deeply hydrating essence uses their Biome Plus technology to deliver moisture into the skin to give you that glow-from-within complexion.

This first step to your skincare routine helps provide essential nutrients, moisture, probiotics, and prebiotics to help maintain the skin’s healthy microbiome and strengthen the barrier.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence, $60 (150 ml)

PHOTO: Caudalie

This brightening essence helps to reveal the skin’s original radiance while sweeping away dead skin cells. Suited for all skin types, from oily to dry, reap the full benefits of your serum by prepping your skin with the Brightening Essence first to maximise their effectiveness.

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence, $108 (150 ml)

PHOTO: fresh&co

The Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence is a silky leave-on essence that’s powered by kombucha. Packing eight benefits into one product, this pollution-defence essence helps to strengthen the skin and prevent premature signs of skin ageing.

Using Kombucha to increase moisture and luminosity within the skin, this weightless essence helps to refine the look of pores and smooth the skin’s texture.

POLA B.A Lotion, $251 (120 ml)


Infused with arnica extract, pumpkin extract, and natural herbal extracts, this anti-ageing facial lotion helps to protect the skin from free radicles, normalise excessive sebum secretions, and deeply cleanse the pores to prevent acne.

SK-II Treatment Essence, $289 (230 ml)


It’s a cult-favourite for a reason. The SK-II Treatment Essence contains more than 90 per cent Pitera to encourage cells to regenerate and reverse the signs of ageing while rejuvenating the texture of your skin.

It also helps to balance the skin’s pH and sebum levels to keep the skin balanced and moisturised.

Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion Fresh with Sakura Ferment, $172 (200 ml)

PHOTO: Estée Lauder

Infused with Sakura Ferment, this essence uses double-flowered cherry blossoms and sake lees that has been fermented with cherry yeast to soothe and smoothen the skin’s complexion.

Using their signature Micro-Nutrient Bio-Ferment, the essence also helps deliver concentrated actives deep within the skin to keep it plump and hydrated.

Bio-Essence Bio-Bird’s Nest Collagen 1000 Essence, $29.90 (30 g)

PHOTO: Bio-Essence

For an essence that’s more budget-friendly, try Bio-Essence’s Bio-Bird’s Nest Collagen 1000 Essence. This ultra-nourishing collagen booster helps keep the skin supple and moisturised.

Formulated with 1,000 mg of hydrolysed collagen, this essence helps to prevent signs of early ageing on the skin while replenishing the skin with nutrients to maintain skin elasticity.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.