Alright guys, I've been working on collecting as much knowledge as possible for different categories and steps in your skincare that I can. My goal for this blog has always been to have as much information as I can get hold of and as many options for products that I can find that I have tried. So this post is going to be dedicated to "essence", "tonics", or "liquid hydrating toners". Many of us are used to the word toner being a slightly more harsh step and an essence is more of a soothing and gentle step. So I'm going to give you my favorites and break down to the best of my ability, the difference in the terminology.
So lets get the terms out of the way. I feel like essence didn't enter the vocabulary until Korean skincare made such a huge impact. I feel like we were used to the term "toner" or a liquid "lotion" (which I have never understood) and to me especially, it meant a liquid put on a cotton pad and it was more of a clarifying and also a harsher step in the routine. I feel that way because of Clinique which actually calls their's a "lotion" but it was always referred to as a toner by the associates and counter girls when they talked to you about it. I don't know if you've ever had an encounter with their toners but they were harsh. There's no other word I can give them. Through the years I found other "toners" but they always had the "acid exfoliation" benefit and I use one every night which is P50 1970 from Biologique Recherche the original formula. It also makes me think of tonics like the Pixi Glow Tonic which is applied the same way. So that was my idea of toner...then I was seeing and being emailed more and more about liquid toners that were called an "essence" and their benefit was hydration and soothing. At first I didn't care for it, but I think that's because I tried the a cult favorite essence and I didn't understand the hype and definitely didn't understand the price. Then I started reading more about how people were using them as an extra step for their dehydrated skin, using it after a liquid acid toner to soothe but hydrate and restore the ph level of the skin, and using it to prepare the skin for the rest of the skincare you were going to do. Basically, just making the skin as conditioned as possible for cellular turnover and health and for all the products to work at the best of their ability. These hydrating liquid toners/essence is what I'm discussing today, not an acid toning or clarifying product. If I had to pick I would call them an essence even if some of them say "toner" or "tonic". So with that being said, lets discuss....
Fresh Beauty does the best job in this area, I feel. They have a lot to offer with focus on hydrating and feeding the skin. So you have the Rose Deep Hydration Toner then you have my personal favorite the Black Tea Kambucha Essence, but you also have the Vitamin Nectar Antioxidant Glow Mist. I prefer a liquid and cotton pad as opposed to a mist most of the time, but I like using a mist in the mornings or through the day for a little refresher.
Next is the Luzern Essential Hydrating Tonic. I don't often get to talk about Luzern all that much but this is lovely. I wish I'd tried it sooner. It's made its way to my night stand which is basically my personal "favorites" station.
Indie Lee Co-Q10 toner (which is now available as a mist). This gets overlooked a lot and I don't know why, it's more than just hydrating and soothing it's, again, feeding the skin and adding in a little bit more than your average hydrating step.
Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion. Again another term for this category "lotion". This is the most soothing product I own, I dare say. If you have angry skin or you've done something that was too harsh, this is going to be your best friend. It's a form of relief that isn't the standard "cooling" feel to it, it's actual relief from certain symptoms.
There's a few mists that I love which are REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist, OSEA Sea Vitamin Boost Mist, and OSEA Sea Minerals Mist. These are doing the most in regards to protecting your skin and also feeding the skin it's nutrients.
I really enjoy some of the liquid Exuviance "toning lotions" like the Soothing Toning Lotion and Probiotic Lysate Anti Pollution Essence but both of those have PHAs in them which is a gentle exfoliant that we're just now getting used to. I do feel like they're hydrating and soothing but as I'm trying to list the ones that are not exfoliating I'm not going to group them with these necessarily but they're an honorable mention for sure.
So I think I'm going to leave it here. I know there are a few essence type products that are Korean brands that aren't from Sephora or as popular. I learned about them from Stephanie Nicole so I'm going to link one of her videos where she talks about them because she will do it far better than me. There's also a popular mist that I do not have which is the Josh Rosebrook Hydration Accelerator (I believe) that again I learned about through both Stephanie Nicole but more so Caroline Hirons who has it in constant rotation and in empties. I see that Pixi has released a Rose Tonic in their Rose line and I hear it's amazing but since I don't have it then I don't want to speak on it. I'll try and find a video from Caroline where she discusses it.
This step has really been a fantastic addition to my routine. My goal now is more about hitting hard with deep hydration and preventative measure rather than "fixing" or "reversing" certain things. Dehydration is my first thing to "fix" for my skin because plump hydrated skin has the best glow and texture in my experience. I don't see myself getting away from this step just like I wouldn't step away from my Vitamin C. So that says something right there I think, from my own logic and how imperative I think Vitamin C is....I also think your hydration should be just as important as well.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.