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Facial essences are in high demand from those in the know about skincare, thanks to their advanced refining formulas and ability to penetrate the skin much deeper than your average moisturiser.

Follow along to learn the five key benefits of face essences, covering all the basics as well as how facial essences help hydrate, soften, refine and strengthen your complexion. We’ll also introduce you to our Clarifique range of brightening skincare options.


What is facial essence?

Originating from the world of Korean skincare, facial essences are ultra-light, ultra-hydrating liquids designed to deeply enrich your complexion and gently prep your skin for the next steps in your skincare routine. Essences have been an essential part of Korean skincare routines for many decades, however recent years have seen these light yet potent formulas rise to prominence in the West as well.

Essences usually have a water-based formula featuring potent ingredients for a range of different skin benefits, these formulas can either target a specific skin concern or seek to promote overall skin health. The best facial essences leave your skin feeling clarified and refreshed.


What does facial essence do?

What a facial essence does is directly related to their ingredients, which vary in each formula. Commonly seen essence ingredients include water, plant extracts, fermented ingredients and hyaluronic acid.

Our best-selling Clarifique Dual Essence leaves your skin brighter, more refined, plumper and tighter in just four weeks thanks to its brightening and plumping ingredients.

As a dual essence, this formula is a unique combination of two essences blended in a 97/3 proportion. The 97% portion of the mix is a clear essence of French Beech Bud Extract with just a touch of glycolic acid. The 3% consists of Lipidic Enriched Essence with vitamin E, rose essential oil, sunflower oil and grapeseed oil. The skin result? Smoother and more refined skin.

What Does Facial Essence Do

Unpacking the 5 top benefits of facial essence

Overall, facial essences are designed to help prepare the skin to properly absorb other skincare products, priming your complexion for the rest of your routine. Let’s break down the other key benefits of face essence formulas.


2. hydration

Facial essences are enriched with potent hydrating ingredients in a lightweight formula that can penetrate the skin deeply. This delivers powerful hydration and plumping effects to skin layers traditional moisturisers can’t reach.

Choose a facial essence for dry skin for lipidic replenishment and hydration, then lock in that moisture by following up with a day moisturiser. We recommend the Génifique Day Cream, a youth activating day formula suitable for all skin types.

2. Skin Brightening

Facial essences are also renowned for their skin brightening properties. For example, our Clarifique Dual Essence utilises the latest in enzyme science to support the four factors of skin clarity: hydration, even skin tone, cell regeneration and elimination of dead skin cells.

After using our essence for four weeks, your skin will appear brighter and more radiant for a new level of translucency.

3. Skin Softening

After one week of using our Clarifique Dual Essence, your skin will seem softer and more comfortable thanks to an impressive roster of deeply hydrating ingredients.

Dry or dehydrated skin often looks and feels rough, so boosting moisture levels in the skin has the added benefit of creating a softer, more supple complexion that’s smoother to the touch.

4. Pore Refining

If your skin tends towards a combination or oily skin type, facial essences can also help refine any enlarged pores you may have noticed. Ingredients such as glycolic acid and French Beech Bud reach deep into pores to eliminate impurities, resulting in tightened, visibly minimised pores.

Pre-cleanse your skin with our Clarifique Cleansing Foam for optimal pore refining benefits.

5. Strengthening

The benefits of face essence for sensitive skin relate to its ability to help strengthen the barrier function, which helps protect skin from environmental aggressors like pollution and allergens.

For example, our Clarifique Dual Essence’s Lipidic Enriched Essence nourishes the skin’s surface and boosts the strength of its barrier function.

How to use facial essence

Now that you know what essence is and what it does, it’s time to detail how and when to use facial essence. These lightweight, watery formulas tend to have a very low molecular weight, meaning they can deeply penetrate the skin. To maximise these benefits, apply your facial essence after cleansing but before heavier products such as serums, face oils, moisturisers and creams. Gently press several drops of facial essence into your skin, as you would with a serum.

According to the Lancôme beauty experts, our Advanced Génifique serum is an ideal next step to apply after your essence. This anti-ageing face serum is enriched with pre and probiotic fractions to help balance your skin microbiome.


Now that you understand how facial essence boosts your complexion, why not learn a little more about serums? Read our guide What is Face Serum and Why Should You Be Using It? for an overview of these potent skincare products.

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