Tuesday 11th May 2021 |

Hailing from South Korea, facial essences are the latest K-beauty innovation to have hit the mainstream.

Little known beyond the realm of skincare buffs ‘til late, the category is fast becoming one of beauty’s biggest buzz terms, with an array of offerings cropping up across the industry.


Typically more concentrated than your average serum, an essence is a water-based product that infuses skin with moisture, delivers targeted actives and acts as a primer for the remainder of your routine. The multi-functional category combines various elements of a skincare routine in a single step, leading some to doubt its necessity.

Straddling the space between toners and serums, you’d be forgiven for thinking the step superfluous. But there are indeed multiple benefits to incorporating an essence into your routine, namely the potential to elevate the results of your existing skincare.

skin essence

Applied in between toning and serum-slathering, an essence bolsters the benefits of your routine by enhancing the efficacy of subsequent products. Post cleanse and tone, they restore moisture to hydrate and re-balance the skin, leaving it primed to better absorb the products that follow. With a lower molecular weight than most daily creams, they enable a deeper penetration of actives into the skin barrier and heighten the performance of the products you apply next. 

Often housing high-powered actives of their own, the essences of today are formulated to address an array of targeted concerns, ranging from acne to pigmentation.

One such essence to fall into the latter category, Arbonne’s Targeting Essence with Retinol is designed to minimise the appearance of dark spots and discolouration by way of controlled Release, Ceramide Encapsulated Retinol, Stabilised Vitamin C, Phytinol and Punarnava Root Extract.

While an abundance of actives improves the appearance of pigmentation, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid and Brown Alage Extract boost skin luminosity, delivering an exhaustive list of skincare benefits in a less than 20 second step.

In clinical testing100% of users reported an improvement in skin radiance, clarity and texture in the space of just 4 weeks, with 96% noting a reduction in the appearance of dark spots!

In line with the brand’s 40-year long commitment to clean and ethical beauty, the essence carries the added bonus of being 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

The BrightenUp Targeting Essence with Retinol (£52) is part of the NEW BrightenUp range from Arbonne

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