11 Best Expert-Approved Korean Essences For Your Skin (2024)

Enhance your skin's health and glow with nourishing formulas from Korea.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anna H. Chacon, MD, FAAD Dr. Anna H. Chacon Dr. Anna H. ChaconMD, FAAD facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA, Certified Skin Care Coach Oyendrila Kanjilal MA, Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Last Updated on
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K-beauty has taken the beauty industry by storm and for all good reasons. They are full of revolutionary products that brighten and hydrate skin while smoothening them, like the Korean essence. A Korean essence product has now become a staple in the skincare world. The best Korean serums are used to transform you into a diva. They are water-based serums packed with antioxidants and fight against free radicals and environmental pollutants and always keep your skin soft and supple. No matter your skin type and texture, you can always count on them. Here are the 11 highest-rated face essence you can choose from.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Balanced Ph Formula:SeoulCeuticals Korean Essence
Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight:TOSOWOONG Green Tea Essence
Price on Amazon
Best Skin Brightening Formula:COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
Price on Amazon
Best Natural Ingredients:Numbuzin No.3 Super Glowing Essence Toner
Price on Amazon
Best For Healthy Glow:Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Essence
Price on Amazon
Best Non-Irritating Ingredients:Mistian Phyto-Moisturizer Essence Mist
Price on Amazon
Best Anti-Inflammatory:PYUNKANG YUL Facial Essence Toner
Price on Amazon
Best For All Skin:Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluronic Skin Essence
Price on Amazon
Best Skin Nourishment Formula:Nella Ginseng Essence
Price on Amazon
Best For Everyday Use:PURITO Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence
Price on Amazon

11 Best Korean Essences For All Skin Types – Reviews

1. Best Balanced Ph Formula:SeoulCeuticals Korean Essence

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4.3
SeoulCeuticals Korean Essence Image: Seoulceuticals

The SeoulCeuticals Korean Essence contains a unique blend of Japanese green tea, aloe vera, cucumber extract, tamarind extract, grapefruit seed extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc ferment, and marine minerals. This hydration prepping mist is 98% naturally derived, non-comedogenic, naturally pH balanced, and is suitable for all skin types. This results-driven product makes the skin visibly brighter and smoother and softer to touch. The spray nozzle dispenses microdroplets of the Korean essence evenly. Spray on a cotton pad or directly spray it on the face and gently wipe your face. The nozzle cap protects the product from dust and dirt. A huge number of positive reviews on Amazon indicate that people experience visible results with this Korean beauty product.

Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 4.96 Ounces

Pros

  • 98% natural ingredients
  • Protects from harmful free radicals
  • Non-comedogenic
  • pH balanced
  • Hydrates skin
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Contains phenoxyethanol
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 5,086 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

2.Best Lightweight: TOSOWOONG Green Tea Essence

The TOSOWOONG Green Tea Essence is formulated with green tea leaf extract, niacinamide, and Bifida ferment lysate. This antioxidant-rich lightweight face serum protects the skin, and hydrates, moisturizes, and brightens it. It is suitable for all skin types. The Korean skincare product is safe to use as it does not cause breakouts or leave dry patches. It spreads evenly and makes the skin glowing, soft, and smooth. It is a non-sticky and non-greasy formula that dries down easily. It can also help reduce acne scars. Watch this video to find an honest review of the Tosowoong Green Tea Essence.

Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 7.05 Ounces

Pros

  • Moisturizes
  • Protects environmental aggressors
  • May help reduce acne scars
  • Non-sticky
  • Non-greasy
  • Spray nozzle with a protective cap

Cons

  • Does not reduce red/brown spots

My Personal Experience

"I liked that the product is a gel, so it goes on smoothly and gets absorbed super quickly. It calmed my skin and paired well with my toner, serum, and sunscreen. It did not weigh down my skin or leave behind any greasiness."


3. Best Skin Brightening Formula:COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence

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4.4

The COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence is formulated with 95% galactomyces ferment filtrate, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, panthenol, betaine, glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, butylene glycol, allantoin, xanthan gum, ethyl hexanediol, and adenosine. This amazing Korean beauty essence helps brighten skin tone and makes the skin softer, smoother, and plumper. Hyaluronic acid and panthenol deeply hydrate the skin, improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This lightweight, non-greasy serum absorbs quickly into the skin, providing intense hydration and a plumping effect. With regular use, it helps to restore the skin’s natural radiance and promote a more youthful and revitalized complexion. This Youtube Video will give you a detailed review of the COSRX 95 Tone Balancing Essence.

Product Dimensions: 1.69 x 1.69 x 6.1 inches | Weight: 3.53 Ounces

Pros

  • Hydrates and plumps the skin
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Dries quickly
  • Spray nozzle with a protective cap

Cons

  • May not suit sensitive skin
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 1,573 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

4. Best Natural Ingredients:Numbuzin No.3 Super Glowing Essence Toner

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4.3
Numbuzin No.3 Super Glowing Essence Toner Image: Numbuzin

The Numbuzin No.3 Super Glowing Essence Toner helps to brighten, hydrate, and nourish the skin. The toner is enriched with a powerful blend of natural ingredients, including niacinamide, glutathione, and hyaluronic acid, which work together to help improve the skin’s overall texture and appearance, resulting in smoother and more radiant skin. The toner contains 50 fermented ingredients that fill the face with luxurious gloss and recover from skin dullness. It also helps to reduce signs of aging and wrinkles. The lightweight serum is unscented and suitable for all skin types. If you need a product that does not involve animal testing, this one’s for you.

Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.2 x 1.97 x 1.93 inches | Weight :9.17 Ounces

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduces pores
  • Cruelty-free
  • Silicone-free
  • PEG-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Hydrates and plumps

Cons

  • None

My Personal Experience

"This essence toner has won my heart mainly with its hydrating properties and the glowing skin it gives me. I have noticed improved radiance, while the convenience of a combination product is a plus. It has also plumped up my skin a bit."


protip_icon Pro Tip

Use your face essence to refresh your makeup. Just pray on top of your makeup when you need a fresh and dewy look.

5.Best For Healthy Glow: Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Essence

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4.4

The Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Essence is a lightweight, anti-aging product suitable for all skin types. It contains 88% snail slime that seals in moisture and firms sagging skin. It makes rough skin smoother and softer. It repairs dull skin and adds a natural, healthy glow. The mucin helps moisturize the skin. This formula also reduces pores, fine lines, and wrinkles and is great for those with combination skin. To apply, wash your face and pump out a little bit of the serum and pat it on the skin.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 2.36 x 6.69 inches | Weight: 3.53 Ounces

Pros

  • Seals moisture
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduces pores
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Paraben-free
  • Artificial fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-irritating
  • Dispenser pump with a protective cap

Cons

  • None

My Personal Experience

"This snail mucin skin care product hydrates my skin and feel comfortable. It absorbs well and does not settle on lines or creases. It makes the skin plump and helps achieve a youthful glow."


protip_icon Pro Tip

When applying essence on your face, do not rub the product in. Instead, gently pat it on the skin to push the product deeper into your skin.

6. Best Non-Irritating Ingredients:Mistian Phyto-Moisturizer Essence Mist

The Mistian Phyto-Moisturizer Essence Mist is formulated with natural, non-irritating ingredients that provide moisturization 24/7. The Korean facial beauty essence does not contain alcohol, and the hydrating formula gets absorbed deep into the skin in seconds. The formula contains adenosine, which reduces the signs of aging, and allantoin, which soothes and calms the skin. It does not clog the pores. The lightweight texture does not feel heavy on the skin. With a natural rose scent, it refreshes and soothes the skin. It is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and suitable for most skin types, including acne-prone skin and mature skin. This mist can also be used as a setting spray to lock your makeup. Add it to your skincare routine now!

Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.3 x 1.9 x 1.8 inches | Weight : 5.61 Ounces

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • 24/7 moisturization
  • No alcohol
  • Hydrating
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Anti-aging
  • Lightweight
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Suitable for most skin types
  • Doubles as makeup setting spray

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

7.Best Anti-Inflammatory: PYUNKANG YUL Facial Essence Toner

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4.5
PYUNKANG YUL Facial Essence Toner Image: Pyunkang Yul

The PYUNKANG YUL Facial Essence Toner is a lightweight toner that helps to hydrate and balance the skin’s natural pH level. The toner is enriched with a blend of natural ingredients, including milk vetch root extract, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and licorice root extract, which helps to brighten and improve uneven skin tone. It helps to soothe and calm dry and irritated skin, while also providing a protective barrier to help prevent further moisture loss. It is dermatologically tested and is safe for sensitive skin.

Number of Items: 1 | Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 2.36 x 4.72 inches | Weight: 7.05 Ounces

Pros

  • Instant hydration
  • Seals skin moisture
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Lightweight
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Restores skin firmness
  • Balances skin pH
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Value for money

Cons

  • None

My Personal Experience

"This toner one has a unique serum-like consistency that's both hydrating and easy to apply with hands. It's gentle on the skin and helps in reducing flakiness while enhancing absorption of other products. Its efficiency makes one bottle last a long time. It also pairs well with actives and exfoliators."


protip_icon Pro Tip

Apply the essence after cleansing and toning for better absorption into the skin and get better results.

8.Best For All Skin: Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluronic Skin Essence

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4.5
Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluronic Skin Essence Image: Hanskin

The Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluronic Skin Essence is a multi-use Korean face essence that works to boosts hydration levels for all skin types. This product is a toner, essence, and moisturizing lotion – all in one. The hyaluronic acid provides moisture to dry, tired, and stressed skin. Elastin, collagen, and Zostera marina extract make the skin soft and reduce wrinkles and fine lines, which leads to smoother skin. This multifunctional Korean essence absorbs immediately and leaves the skin feeling soft, dewy, and elastic. It is fragrance-free, balances skin pH, is gentle, and is suitable for all skin types. You can easily achieve Korean glass-like skin with this hyaluronic acid skin essence. To learn how to use the Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence and a detailed reviewer’s experience, watch this video.

Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.57 x 2.44 x 2.36 inches | Weight : 13.12 Ounces

Pros

  • Boosts hydration
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Fragrance-free
  • Balances skin pH
  • Gentle
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Contains phenoxyethanol

My Personal Experience

"This essence gives me hydration without a greasy aftermath. I particularly like its non-greasy texture and its lasting power. It refines my skin's texture with diligent use."


9.Best Skin Nourishment Formula: Nella Ginseng Essence

The Nella Ginseng Essence is formulated with trehalose and allantoin that keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. It revitalizes skin with 68% of BIFIDA Ferment Filtrate and 5% of Ginseng root extract. Niacinamide, tranexamic acid, and BIFIDA Ferment Filtrate add a translucent, Korean glass skin finish. The soothing essence helps reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. It leaves the skin feeling nourished, soft, and smooth.

Number of Items: 1

Pros

  • Reduces pores, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Rejuvenating
  • Spray nozzle with a protective cap

Cons

  • Contains alcohol
  • Contains fragrances
  • Contains PEG

My Personal Experience

"This ginseng-infused serum moisturizes my skin well. It absorbs well, leaving the skin soft without a trace of greasiness, and I've noticed a certain firmness with regular use. It's quite the hydrator, indeed!"


10. Best For Everyday Use:PURITO Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence

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4.5

The PURITO Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence is enriched with rice proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals that improve skin texture and tone. The lightweight results-driven formula contains Morus Alba root extract to soothe dry skin and niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier and reduces dullness. The micro-particles provide long-lasting hydration for youthful, soft skin. This is a must-have for skin with hydration concerns.

Product Dimensions: 1.77 x 1.77 x 5.51 inches | Weight: 7.05 Ounces.

Pros

  • pH-balanced formula
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Brightens the skin
  • Ethanol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • PEG-free
  • No artificial fragrance
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • None

My Personal Experience

"This essence hydrates my skin and improves softness. It even tackles under-eye concerns without feeling heavy or clogging pores. I like how it makes my skin appear rejuvenated."


11. Best For Intense Hydration:MISSHA Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence

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4.5
MISSHA Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence Image: Missha

The MISSHA Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence contains 100% double-fermented artemisia extract that provides intense hydration and soothing benefits to the skin. This lightweight essence also contains niacinamide, which helps to brighten and even out the complexion, and adenosine, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This essence is formulated to balance and calm the skin, reduce redness and irritation, and improve overall skin texture and tone. It is lightweight and fast-absorbing, making it ideal for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Product Dimensions: 1.65 x 1.65 x 6.61 inches | Weight: 5.07 Ounces.

Pros

  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Hydrates and nourishes
  • Lightweight formula
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Evens out skin tone

Cons

  • None

My Personal Experience

"I feel the Artemisia essence is calm and soothing to my skin. It does not trigger or irritate the sensitive parts of my skin. I like using it because it pairs well with my other skin care products. It does not feel tacky or heavy and gets absorbed quite well."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

These are the 11 best Korean essences for your face that you can buy online. But why use a Korean essence and not a serum or toner? Let us find out below.

Why Use A Korean Essence At All?

Korean essence is a skin care product that has the goodness of a toner and a serum. It is not greasy and suits all skin types. It increases skin cell turnover, meaning your skin will look younger, healthier, and glowing all the time. It also reduces pores, fine lines, and all other signs of aging. The active ingredients like vitamins, emollients, and humectants infuse the skin with moisture and make the skin brighter, softer, and smoother.

In the following section, we have discussed what you need to look for in a good Korean essence. Take a look.

How To Choose The Best Korean Essence – A Buying Guide

  • Ingredients: Choose a Korean essence that contains ingredients that protect, soothe, soften, smoothen, and reduce the appearance of aging signs. Green tea extract, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, collagen, etc., are a few good ingredients that have shown proven efficacy in making the skin supple and appear youthful. If you have dry skin, opt for products that provide deep hydration. However, stay away from ingredients like PEG, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and alcohol. If you have sensitive skin, avoid Korean essences with fragrance. Opt for dermatologist-recommended products that have a proven track record in clinical settings in addressing specific skin concerns.
  • Texture: Korean essence is lightweight. However, some essences may contain snail mucin, which may result in a more dense texture. Choose appropriately.

Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist, says, “By your twenties, your skin will have begun to produce less vital sebum, elastin, and collagen, resulting in skin that appears dull or feels rough. Begin using a serum to brighten your skin, combat dullness, and restore young shine.”

Infographic: Korean Essence: Why & How To Use It

Essence is a water-based product that hydrates your skin and combat aging signs. The infographic below will help you learn more about essence, its benefits, and how to use it in your skin care routine. Check it out!

Korean Essence: Why & How To Use It

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

K-beauty products have been ruling the Korean skin care world and beauty industry for a good while now. These products hydrate and brighten the skin to give you gorgeous-looking skin that glows from within. The Korean essences are water-based products that offer the best of toners and serums in one product. They contain hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to maintain a natural pH balance that keeps your skin safe against the effects of pollution and fights against free radical damage. The products are formulated to reduce the early signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. These essences are lightweight, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic. Even sensitized skin benefits greatly from these products. The SeoulCeuticals Korean Essence has a natural formula infused with marine minerals that hydrate the skin. For a product that targets skin tone and texture, try the COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence, but if you have sensitive skin, go for the PYUNKANG YUL Facial Essence Toner as it’s gentler on the skin. However, some affordable essences are not suitable for extremely sensitive skin, hence conduct a patch test. Always look for lightweight, skin-friendly products that work well for all skin types. It’s time to buy your favorite essence!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better – essence or serum?

Korean essence does the job of a toner, serum, and a moisturizer. Hence, getting your hands on a face essence should do.

How should you use a Korean essence?

You can either spray it on a cotton pad and dab it on your face or spray it directly on your face and rub with a cotton pad. You may use a gentle wiping motion.

What goes before and after an essence?

Wash your face with a suitable cleanser before applying the essence. If you have dry skin, you may add a layer of moisturizer after applying the essence.

Can I use essence everyday?

Yes, you can use a Korean essence twice daily in your morning and evening routine.

Can I skip toner and use essence?

Yes, you can skip a toner and use an essence on the skin.

Which is the better essence or moisturizer?

It completely depends on your skin type and needs. For example, an essence alone is enough if you have oily skin. However, if you have dry skin, you may need to use a moisturizer after an essence.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Author Oyendrila Kanjilal is a certified skin care coach. She reviewed an extensive range of Korean products to curate this list of the best Korean face essences suitable for all skin types. Her selection is based on in-depth research into the beneficial ingredients of the products that can make Korean glass skin a reality for you. These products will help you keep the skin soft and supple easily.

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Dr. Anna H. Chacon
Dr. Anna Chacon is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology with over 9 years of experience. She enjoys practicing all aspects of dermatology and is licensed to practice in 49 states.

Read full bio of Dr. Anna H. Chacon