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Skincare 101, #Trending

Essence vs. Toner vs. Serum: What's The Difference?

As the skincare world continues to evolve and practiced trends from Asia migrate over to the Western world, it seems like there’s always a new step to add to your routine. It can be overwhelming, confusing or just elicit a general ‘WTF’ response. While you’ve probably got your cleansing routine down pat, it can start to get a little murky for newbies and experts alike after that.

Toners, essences and serums are often confused and interchanged and that’s because while they have major differences, there are some overlaps. For example, essences and toners are both used to prep your skin to better absorb the skincare steps that follow it (like serum and moisturizer). Don’t worry! We’re here to break it down for you.

Toner

Let’s tackle toners first since this is the first product you use amongst this often confuddled trio. Toners usually come in a larger bottle than essences or serums and have a water consistency. Typically, they are applied by using a cotton pad and sweeping it across your skin.

Toners are used after cleansing to restore skin’s PH levels to a normal level. Depending on what cleanser you use, your skin’s PH levels can be a little out-of-whack immediately after cleansing. It also replenishes the moisture of your skin if it feels dry, and serves as an unofficial last step (depending on how deep you cleanse - ahem, double cleanse!) to remove any leftover impurities.

You Should Try…

Light Controlling Lotion: This is our OG toner and a cult-favorite with light exfoliation and pore-tightening powers.

Hydraphel Skin Supplement: A silky, hydrating toner to revive dull, dry complexions and jumpstart skin renewal.

Essence

Following toner, you apply an essence. While essences have been a staple of skincare routines in Asia for a while, they are fairly new to the Western beauty world. Essences are basically the love child of your toner and serum. They are more lightweight and less concentrated than serums and serve as an additional layer of hydration.

Packed with nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, essences provide a more targeted treatment depending on your skin concern. Essences should be applied by patting and pressing it gently into your skin for quick-absorption.

You Should Try…

Firmarine Essence Lotion: Packed with Spirulina Maxima, Aloe and a unique energizing oxygen complex, this essence hydrates, revitalizes and instantly lifts and firms your skin.

White Marble Essence Lotion: This essence rehydrates, re-plumps and restores skin luminosity for a brighter, glowing complexion.

Serum

After you’ve cleansed, toned, and essenced (pause for applause because your commitment is commendable), it’s time to apply your favorite serum (or serums!). You’ll find that serums have the thickest consistency of the three, which is also why they’re last in order of layering. They’re often packaged in smaller bottles with a dropper or pump. Serums deliver a high concentration of a few active ingredients that target specific skin concerns. Serums should be gently massaged into skin for a deep delivery of ingredients.

You Should Try…

Timeless Skin Serum: A source for prevention for maturing skin, this serum stops aging in its tracks while hydrating and restoring tone, texture and elasticity of skin.

Transphuse Day Serum: Adds an instant plump to existing fine lines, wrinkles, and skin that has lost its bounce for smoother, younger-looking skin.

Does that clear it up a little? If you still are confused or have any questions, slide into our DMs on Instagram! We’re always here to chat!