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Skin Essences – Are They Money Down The Drain?


Are You Wasting Your Money On Skin Essences?

There’s a lot of hype these days surrounding skin essences, which has primarily been driven by Korean skincare brands. But they are nothing new and have been used in Britain for centuries!

May Day Ritual

During Beltane, an ancient Celtic fire festival on the 1st of May which our ancestors frequently celebrated (you probably know this as May Day), it was a tradition for the young women of the village to wake up very early and collect the morning dew from flowers and plants on Beltane morn, and to wash their faces with it to bless themselves with long lasting beauty, protection and purification for the coming year.

There was a lot to be said for this ancient wisdom as this morning dew is infused with beneficial flower and plant phytonutrients (or as they are being trendily called these days, essences!).

So Does That Mean Skin Essences Are Worthwhile?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. Yes, if your current moisturiser or other skincare product doesn’t contain these beneficial essences and water, and no if it does.  

Our Skin Is Worse Today Than Ever!

Even though people are using more skincare products than ever before (there’s even a 12 step routine!) our skin has never looked so bad. This is because skincare is unnecessarily being made over complicated to upsell to you and make you feel like you are missing out and should be buying the latest thing and that more products = great skincare, when in actual fact simplicity is the key.

Think of splashing morning dew on your face!

Birds chirping and green walks: Taking time out to reconnect with nature | Express & Star

There has been a shift away from simple, natural remedies that already contain a magic of their own towards faddy trends, and it has absolutely nothing at all to do with it being better for your skin. But it has everything to do with selling you stuff you don’t really need but is marketed in a way that makes you think you need it!

How many of these essences that often don’t come cheap are half as healthy or effective as morning dew?

Less is more – have you heard that saying?

What Function Should My Current Product Fulfil?

The reasons why the experts tell you to apply a separate skin essence before you apply your regular moisturiser, oil or serum, is;

  • for increased hydration,
  • for additional nutrients
  • to make your skin more easily absorb the next product you apply.

However the bottom line is that if you use hydrating, nutrient rich skincare as your primary product, be it a cream or a water based serum, you don’t need a separate skin essence.

How Do I Know if I Need An Essence?

This is the tricky part and really comes down to a combination of trust in the brand you are using and reading the ingredients list of the product.


You have to ask yourself the question – why is a brand pushing a skincare essence on me if their product is already hydrating my skin and is nutritious?

Could it be because a particular product I’m using doesn’t have the sufficient essences and hydrating capabilities my skin needs or is it because it does, but they also want me to purchase their skin essence? Could this be to try and simply sell me more products or because they lack the necessary expertise to know that I don’t need an essence?

We’re not trying to make your life more complicated. Our point is that by doing some digging around just now to get to the truth, it could make your life less complicated and save you valuable time and money in the long run.

Always Read the Label

It is important when purchasing a skincare product to read the label and see what you are applying to your skin. This is also important because it then lets you know if the product is indeed good for you and your skin and whether or not it is filled with synthetic ingredients.

What Ingredients Should I Look Out For?

When reading the label, important ones to look out for are;

  • Water (aqua). This will hydrate your skin. Sounds simple? Yes, but as we have said before simplicity is the key. It will also help your products efficiency as your skin will more readily absorb all of the vital nutrients contained in the other ingredients in your skincare product.
  • Aloe Vera. A humectant that attracts water from the air and pulls the moisture deep inside the lower layers of your skin so that it stays hydrated.
  • Vegetable Glycerin. This is also a humectant and a great hydrator as it attracts water to the skin and also holds it there.
  • Natural Essences. Look for essential oils and plant extracts as these will contain many of the phytonutrients your skin needs.
  • Natural Oils. Look for natural oils such as almond oil, coconut oil and rosehip oil. These will not only nourish your skin with all of the fatty acids, ceramides, vitamins, minerals, proteins etc. your skin needs to boost your collagen and elastin levels and regenerate skin cell production, but they will also help you to lock in that valuable moisture to keep your skin hydrated.

What If My Skin Needs Even More Hydration?

If your skin still needs even more hydration, save yourself time, hassle and some of your hard earned cash and splash some mineral water on to your face prior to applying your moisturiser, oil or water based serum.

Splash water, not your cash!

US currency going down a stainless steel sink drain. $20 bills with water in spiral vortex

We would always recommend a good quality, natural, water based moisturiser that contains natural oils over a facial oil or water or oil based serum for your day time routine as it has everything your skin needs.

A day cream would be an even better choice than a standard moisturiser as they are more oil rich.

Although oils and oil based serums are good at locking in moisture and are packed with fatty acids, ceramides etc. Since they don‘t contain water they are not hydrating enough on their own. Whereas water based serums, although they are hydrating like moisturisers, they don’t contain the natural oils needed to lock in the moisture. 

To sum it all up, a good quality water based moisturiser with natural oils gives you the best of both worlds!

Go For a Roundhouse Kick!

If you really want to go crazy, pack a real roundhouse skincare kick during the day and lock in the moisture even more, you could apply a light oil (such as rosehip oil or a rosehip based oil) on top of your moisturiser or day cream once it has absorbed (usually about ten minutes or so).

Or Slug It Out!

As part of a night time routine, you could try slugging. It doesn’t sound very pleasant but we can assure you that slugs know a thing or two about healing and your skin will thank you in the morning!

Once you have thoroughly cleansed your face, our suggested routine would be three simple steps.

      1. splash on mineral or filtered water

      2. apply a night cream

      3. apply an oil such as argan oil or a wax based face mask on top.

This is the skincare routine for locking in moisture and feeding your skin with everything, and we mean everything your skin needs and then some!

Or if You Want to Travel Back in Time?

Or if you’re really feeling adventurous, want to get out into the wonderfulness of nature, and be like your ancestors, try splashing some of that morning dew we spoke about earlier on to your face as your step 1. You don’t have to wait until the 1st of May. Any time of the year during spring or summer would be just as good! Unless of course you believe in the magick of Beltane 🙂

You are welcome to republish our blog however if you use all or any part of it, we politely request that you cite the source and link back to our website. Failure to so so would be an infringement of copyright. 


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