Essence vs Serum for Skin Care: What’s the Difference

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Essence and serum are interchangeable skincare products, but are they similar? Most people think that essence and serum are the same for skincare. In reality, they are not!

Thanks to Korean Beauty for introducing us to the essence and confusing our minds with another skincare product, kidding! But what exactly are they?

Essence looks like a serum at first glance and even performs the same functions such as fine lines, dark spots, etc. But they both are different in terms of texture and ingredients.

Here we have explained the difference between essence and serum for skincare. After then, it’s your choice to either use one or both together. So, let’s start the article by explaining both individually.


What is Essence?


In 1897, Shiseido (an internationally renowned skincare company) introduced essence in the skincare market. After then, essence has become an essential part of our skincare routine.

Essence is a water-based skincare product that usually helps to hydrate and protect the skin. Many companies have invented their essence that targets specific skin problems.


Benefits of Essence

The main aim of the essence in skincare is to help better absorption of other products applied after it. It contains active ingredients that provide the following benefits:

  • Rebalance the pH level of skin
  • Boost the overall skin health
  • Treats dehydrated skin
  • Protects skin from bacteria and free radicals
  • Soften and smoothen the outer skin layer
  • Depending on the active ingredients, it also acts as an anti-aging agent and protects skin from harmful UV rays.


Ingredients Commonly Used in Essence Skin Care Products

  • Water: The base of essence that hydrates the skin
  • Glycerine: Acts as a moisturizing agent
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Moisturizes and plump up the skin
  • Botanical Plant Extracts: Natural ingredients acts as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent
  • Yeast Fermentation by-products: Protect against UV rays
  • Nutrients: Nourishes the skin and provide strength to cells


How to Apply Essence for Skincare?

Essence place is at the heart of the whole skincare routine. You must apply it after applying cleanser and toner but before serum or moisturizer.

  1. Wash your face using a face cleanser.
  2. Apply toner on your face using your fingertips.
  3. Pour 4-5 drops of essence in your hands and apply it gently pat it all over your face, and don’t forget your neck.
  4. Use a moisturizer or serum, whatever suits you!

We suggest you apply essence twice a day in the same manner to get fast and better results.

Read on to know about the serum.


What is Serum?


The serum is a skincare product that is light weighted but contains a heavy concentration of active ingredients. It helps to treat fine lines, wrinkles, dry and dull skin, pigmentation, etc.

The serum is available in different forms such as gel, oil, lightweight creams in the market. Serums absorb quickly into your skin and provide you instant results; that is why mask sheets contain serum and gives you a glow in 15 minutes.


Benefits of Serum

  • Absorbs quickly into your skin and doesn’t feel heavy
  • It helps to get rid of oily skin and acne
  • Reduces and delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protects skin from harmful UV rays, free radicals, and other sorts of damage
  • It gives you instant results


Ingredients Commonly Used in Serum for Skincare

Serums have been divided into many types according to their specific treatment of skin:

  • Anti-aging serums
  • Skin brightening serum
  • Acne-prone serums
  • Free radical-fighting serum, etc.


Therefore, the ingredients also get divided into specific types of serums. Here is the list of ingredients you can find in serums commonly.

  • Retinol or Bakuchiol: Acts as an anti-aging agent
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C serum provide maximum benefits of a serum
  • Vitamin B5: Acts as a skin-hydrating agent
  • Vitamin A, E, and Resveratrol: Protects our skin from free radicals
  • Salicylic Acid: Reduce acne


How To Apply a Serum?

How to Apply Serum

Like essence, you must apply the serum after cleansing your face in the following way:

  1. Apply a face cleanser to clean your face.
  2. Pour few drops of toner and tap with your fingertips on your face gently.
  3. Use essence, but it is optional
  4. Apply a pea-size quantity of serum on your face and massage it gently.
  5. After few hours, apply moisturizer or face cream (Optional)

We suggest you apply the serum at bedtime and leave it until morning. Then, in the morning, use a moisturizer. You should apply the serum every day for overall skin health.

Now, the time has come to know the difference between serum and essence in a clear way. So, let’s get started.


Difference Between Serum and Essence

Although serum and essence contain active ingredients for overall better skin health, many differences need to be addressed.

S.No. Bases Essence Serum
1.     Texture Essence is more watery-like, light, and gentle in texture. The serum is gel-like, thick, and dense in texture.
2.     Nature of Ingredients Essence mainly contains natural ingredients that are less likely to cause any side effects. The serum contains slightly harsh ingredients that can cause some side effects like irritation.
3.     The Concentration of Active Ingredients It has a lower concentration of active ingredients than serum. It has a higher concentration of active ingredients than essence.
4.     Aim The primary function of essence is to hydrate skin. The primary function of serum is to target the skin problems like wrinkles, pigmentation, fine lines, acne, etc.
5.     Age Group Essence is suitable mainly for young women for youthful skin. The serum is suitable mainly for mature women wanting to treat skin problems.

So, these were the fundamental differences between essence and serum, which you must know. But now, it’s your choice whether to use both or one of them.

However, before buying any serum or essence, you must check the ingredients list. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, we suggest you not purchase them.



Both serum and essence have become an essential part of the skincare routine. Although serum and essence differ, there are certain similarities that no one can deny. So, we leave it up to you which one to choose for your skincare. But let me assure you that there is no harm in applying both for skincare.

Here we end our article! See you in the next one; until then let me remind you one thing, you are beautiful/handsome, never forget that!

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