An Asian-inspired must-have for luminous, hydrated skin.

14 08 13 essencelotion


When it comes to our beauty routine, the vast majority of us can rattle off a multi-step program, usually consisting of cleanser, serum and moisturizer. Essence lotions, sometimes called softeners or watery lotions, are a critical part of the aforementioned beauty routine in Asian cultures and are starting to catch on in our Western culture. These essence lotions are incredibly lightweight and often compared to toner—the difference is that most toners contain alcohol to act as an astringent. Drops of essence lotions are applied with clean fingertips, patted on the face until completely absorbed. Due to their liquid form, they penetrate directly into the pores to deliver nutrients, anti-aging ingredients and hydration without any additives that give creams and serums their consistency. We love the active ingredients in Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion ($37, select Hudson’s Bay Clinique counters): Watermelon, apple and cucumber extracts leave our skin feeling soft and luminous, while caffeine brightens our complexion. When followed with a moisturizer, the essence lotion is effectively sealed into the skin, to keep skin hydrated all day.