These Korean Essences Will Give You a Glossier-Model Glow

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"Glass skin," "honey skin," and "cloudless skin" are a few popular terms that come to mind when Korean beauty is the topic of discussion. These words all mean slightly different things but essentially describe #SkinGoals—because who doesn't want their skin to look like it was dropped directly from the heavens above? We're talking poreless, glowing, pearlescent, lit-from-within skin. One of the core components of extensive Korean beauty regimens, which can be anywhere from 10 to 12 steps, is layering essences.

Essences are hydrating formulas that reach your skin on its cellular level, offering soothing and hydrating benefits that give you a smooth and radiant complexion. Often described as lightweight versions of serum yet very distinct from cleansers and toners, they lock in and amp up hydration on your skin's moisture barrier. Most essences have consistencies that tread the line between water and serum, and they're full of active ingredients that prep your skin.

Ahead are the best Korean essences for that model-worthy glow you want for your face and body. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Botanic Farm Rice Ferment First Essence

Botanic Farm Rice Ferment First Essence

Courtesy of Soko Glam

An ancient ingredient Korean women have credited for centuries for their glowing skin is fermented rice water. It's a hydration booster. In this particular feature, it's paired with lactic acid for exfoliating properties along with peony for added circulation and licorice root extract for an overall brightening effect. 

Read more reviews of the best Korean skincare products available to purchase online.

Best Brightening: Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence

Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence

Courtesy of Soko Glam

According to Soko Glam, this stuff is the secret to "honey skin." Crafted with 93% naturally fermented ingredients like birch juice and rice extracts, this essence will give your skin a noticeably brighter effect. 

Runner-Up, Best Brightening: Benton Fermentation Essence

Benton Fermentation Essence

Courtesy of Soko Glam

Your skin will appear brighter and suppler after using this essence because it's made mostly of galactomyces ferment filtrate, which is a natural brightening property. Ceramides and hyaluronic acid are also swimming around in this stuff to ensure a radiant glow.

Best Hydrating: Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence

Your skin will enjoy drinking up this highly concentrated formula of sodium hyaluronate, which is a higher dose of hyaluronic acid. The brand claims it holds 1000 more moisture than water. Intrigued yet?

Check out our other reviews of the best essences available on the market today.

Best Plumping: Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Beauty Essence

Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Beauty Essence

 Courtesy of Sephora

This hydrating essence works by firming, plumping, and increasing collagen in the skin to boost your overall radiance. Formulated with natural ingredients and peptides, with this you'll achieve a youthful and supple radiance. 

Best for Uneven Tone: CosRx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence

CosRx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence

Courtesy of Amazon

When you need to revamp your tired skin, reach for this guy, which is packed with 95% of galactomyces ferment filtrate, an age-old ingredient Korean women have depended on for its glow. You can also find things like hyaluronic acid and panthenol in this formula for even more moisture.

Best Budget: Missha Near Skin Simple Therapy Essence Lotion

Missha Near Skin Simple Therapy Essence Lotion

 Courtesy of Soko Glam

This simple yet soothing formulation of dill extract and camellia japonica oil is both an essence and a lotion for added hydration and soothing benefits. 

Check out our guide to the best Korean beauty products you can buy today.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Leegeehaam Tea Tree Purifine 95 Essence

Leegeehaam Tea Tree Purifine 95 Essence

Courtesy of Joise

The soothing powers of tea tree are unmatched for those dealing with inflamed, sensitive, or irritable skin. This lightweight formula is made without water—it's 95% tea tree along with other nourishing ingredients to smooth and even out your skin's trouble areas.

Best Antioxidant-Rich Formula: Huxley Secret of Sahara Oil Essence

Huxley Secret of Sahara Oil Essence

Courtesy of Huxley

This oil-like texture of an essence uses hardworking antioxidants like Sahara cactus oil, quinoa, açai berry, and vitamin E to boost hydration and protect your skin from environmental stressors. 

Best for Dark Spots: Mizon Mela Defense White Capsule Essence

Mizon Mela Defense White Capsule Essence

 Courtesy of Peach & Lily

If you're working to diminish dark spots or discoloration, this essence is packed with sakura and white flower. These are two natural brightening agents that promise a healthy glow.

Best Kit: Neogen Code 9 Lemon Green Caviar Essence & Tox Tightening Pack

Neogen Code 9 Lemon Green Caviar Essence & Tox Tightening Pack

Courtesy of iHerb

This value pack comes with a hydrating essence full of vitamin C and exfoliating pads to improve your skin's texture. Simply pour the essence onto a pad until it fully absorbs, and slather it onto your skin. Pop these in the fridge for a refreshing cooling effect. 

Up next, take a look at the best Korean beauty face masks that will give you glass skin.

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