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Decoding Skin Care Products: Toners, Serums, and Essence

Decoding Skin Care Products: Toners, Serums, and Essence Which goes first on your face?

If you’re a beauty junkie, then skin care would be a must in your daily regimen. But in a sea of beauty products, how can you ever figure out which skin products to use and, more importantly, which one goes first onto your skin?

There are three key products you need before you apply makeup: toner, serum, and essence. To clear out the confusion, here are their definitions:


Try: Kiehl's Ultra Face Toner

Toners were created to balance out the skin’s pH level, seeing how soaps back then were harsh on the skin. But now that there are gentle facial cleansers, there has been less demand for a toner. However, nowadays, toners have antioxidants and additives for preparing your skin. Hence, they can serve as a base level for hydration and, for some, a second step in cleansing.

Essence vs. Serum


Try: The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost Instant Smoother Serum

Believe it or not, essence and serum are practically the same thing. The only difference is the texture, as serums are more packed and concentrated with active ingredients (thus its thicker consistency). Essence’s texture on the other hand feels more like toner's but with a little bit of body.

Try: L'Occitane Peony Skin Care Perfecting Essence

In conclusion, you don’t really need to apply both, but that still depends on what your skin needs. If you think you need both, essence should come first before serum. It's because the former adds another layer of hydration in preparation for your next beauty step.

Main image and photos from Kiehl's, The Body Shop and L'Occitane

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