The New Beauty Product You Have to Have

Beauty essences make the top of the list of the best Korean beauty trends—not only are they super lightweight, but they are also a go-to solution for ultimate skin hydration. We've gathered up the 10 must-have beauty essences that you need to know about.

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La Mer The Brightening Essence Intense ($320)

Good for: Major brightening and tackling signs of aging

What’s in it: The brand’s VibraWhite Ferment Blend

For skin that needs a boost in tone and clarity, this is the essence you want to use. Loaded with brighteners and fermented ingredients, the formulation helps soften and hydrate skin while creating a more luminous complexion with nearly invisible pores.

What the tester says: “It goes on easily with a milky consistency and my skin seems brighter and more even in tone.”


LJH TeaTree 90 Essence ($45)

Good for: Oily and acne-prone skin

What’s in it: Tea tree oil 

Tea tree is one of the oldest remedies used to soothe oily, acneic and red skin, so it’s no wonder that it’s the star ingredient in this product. Apply it right after washing your face (and toning, if you use a toner) to treat troubled skin while infusing it with moisture and taking down inflammation. 

What the tester says: “It absorbs right into my skin and leaves it feeling baby soft.” 


SK-II Mid-Day Essence ($80)

Good for: Moisturizing and hydrating skin 

What’s in it: Pitera, a vitamin-rich yeast

The sister product to the brand’s Facial Treatment Essence, this spray-on version keeps skin fresh and guarded from the effects of the environment. Use it alone, before or after applying your makeup, or throughout the day.

What the tester says: “I use this spray midday to wake up my tired-looking skin and give my makeup that perfect dewy effect.” 


Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence ($49)

Good for: Improving elasticity and getting a healthy glow

What’s in it: Fermented yeast and niacinamide

A favorite in Korea, this essence works to promote healthier, stronger skin by strengthening its protective barrier, shielding against sun damage and refreshing its overall look and feel.

What the tester says: “It feels like water on my skin, but is pretty powerful! When I apply it before my moisturizer, my skin instantly looks better than normal.” 


Su-Man Skincare Rehydrating Toning Essence ($62)

Good for: Getting a plumping effect

What’s in it: Hyaluronic acid, rose petal and green tea extract 

This gel essence, created by famed aesthetician Su-Man, blends Eastern traditions with Western technology. When used twice a day, it invigorates your skin to leave it feeling moisturized, plump and with a dewy glow.

What the tester says: “It provides just enough hydration so that I don’t need to apply any moisturizer on top.” 


Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Skin Renewing Essence Boost ($44)

Good for: Softening skin and improving tone 

What’s in it: Vitamin B3 and licorice root extract

An intense hydrator of sorts, this essence works wonders at transforming dull, rough, discolored skin into a visibly softer, smoother, more even complexion.

What the tester says: “With the consistency of a toner, it goes on smooth and without any smell or irritation. It leaves my skin feeling clean and soft, and also makes it seem a bit brighter, too.” 


MIYU Beauty Essence ($34)

Good for: An instant boost of moisture

What’s in it: Wild pansies, goji berries and sodium hyaluronate

Some skin types need a midday hit of hydration, which is exactly what this spray-on essence is best for. Spritz your skin with it whenever it feels tight or dehydrated, or if you want to get that much more out of your other beauty products.

What the tester says: “It hydrates my skin with a refreshing mist that gives me an allover dewy look.” 


Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion ($95)

Good for: Reviving a lackluster complexion 

What’s in it: A proprietary Micro-Nutrient Bio-Ferment

With a lotion-like consistency, this easy-to-absorb essence works to reset your skin by hydrating, strengthening and calming it. Think of it like waking up to new skin.

What the tester says: “Besides being fragrance- free, which is a bonus, this feels light on my skin and almost cools while it dries. Afterward, my skin feels soft and refreshed.” 


This Works No Wrinkles Wonder Essence ($55)

Good for: Lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores

What’s in it: Hyaluronic acid and exfoliating enzymes

Inspired by Asian beauty, this skin perfecter helps to lift away dead skin cells while infusing skin with a dose of hyaluronic acid for hydration. Expect a clearer complexion, fewer imperfections and less dullness with continued use.

What the tester says: “A little goes a long way with this watery essence. I love how it makes my skin look brighter and smoother.” 


Belif Hydra Sebum Control Essence ($42)

Good for: Getting excess oil and shine under control 

What’s in it: Green clay and tangerine peel

This essence is light in texture, yet powerful in the oil-absorbing department— apply it to clean skin to create a matte look that doesn’t feel dry, tight or itchy.

What the tester says: “With a nice citrusy smell, this essence feels so good on my skin. The more I use it, the softer my skin feels and the less greasy it looks by the end of the day.”