Serums Vs. Essences: What’s the Difference?

A lot of people have asked – what’s the difference between a serum and an essence? Well an essence is actually a pre-serum treatment that is used after cleansing and toning and helps to prep the skin for further application of more intensive products. Essences are watery in texture and sink into skin in a second whereas serums can be slightly heavier. Essences are generally really hydrating and are great to use if you need an added moisture boost. But for more intensive treatment a serum is a must. Serum contains tiny molecules of active ingredients that penetrate deeply into the skin – much deeper than moisturiser which helps the surface layer. I’ve been using both an essence and a serum these days for added moisture as my skin tends to get dehydrated. Here are some of my favourites. 

Philosophy Time in a Bottle Repair Serum

Philosophy Time in a Bottle Repair Serum

I was really excited to try the latest launch from Philosophy which is called ‘Time in a Bottle’.  This is a repair serum that works on visible ageing from yesterday, renewing skin defenses today and resisting future aging. So it repairs and protects/prevents – the best of both worlds! 

Philosophy Time in a Bottle Repair Serum Philosophy Time in a Bottle Repair SerumPhilosophy Time in a Bottle Repair Serum

It comes with a little vial of high-potency vitamin c8 activator which you pour into the serum and then fasten the pump to the bottle. You then shake it up and it turns light pink – meaning it is ready to start working! The serum has some pretty impressive stats to it as well with 88% of women showing significant improvement in lines, wrinkles and texture and 100% of women showing a dramatic clinical improvement in firmness. This product has clearly been through the rounds of clinical testing and I think that’s a good sign. It means that it actually works. I do check this with products as I think it’s important if you are going to splash out the cash that you make sure that the product has been thoroughly tested and the clinical trials show impressive results. This is a great serum to use if you live in a large city as well because it fights the damage caused previously but also protects from the onslaught of new damage. A real winner, this one.  

Philosophy Time in a Bottle Repair Serum

Filorga NCTF Essence

Essences are huge in South Korea and if you read my blog or follow me you will know that I love Korean beauty (I’ve even got a Korean beauty box – you can sign up HERE)! One part of the South Korean skincare routine is the essence application. Essences are usually quite watery in texture and sink into the skin rapidly in order to help prep the skin for the next step – the serum. So think cleanse, essence, serum, moisturiser. This Filorga NCTF Essence is probably one of my favourites so far – what it does is contain water sensors that provides express and long-lasting hydration in just 30 minutes. So if your skin is dry and thirsty this is a great product to add into your skincare routine and I’ve been LOVING it! I’ve already recommended it to several people. If you feel your serum isn’t enough and want to up your skincare routine, consider an essence for extra moisture – and this one is a great choice! Also this one has a concentration equivalent to an injectable filler!

Filorga NCTF Essence and the difference between a serum and an essence Filorga NCTF Essence

Roger & Gallet Le Soin Aura Mirabilis Legendary Fluid

If you love natural products then this new launch from Roger & Gallet is worth checking out. It’s made with 99% natural ingredients and you can use this as a serum or an essence (pre-serum treatment) everyday. This is all about the rosewater which is known to hydrate and plump the skin and has been used for hundreds of years to do so. The product sinks in really easily so it’s perfect for summer and it’s great for a refreshing hydration infusion for the skin!

Roger & Gallet Le Soin Aura Mirabilis Legendary Fluid

Roger & Gallet Le Soin Mirabilis Double Extract Serum

Another new launch from Roger & Gallet is the Aura Mirabilis Double Extract Serum. This is a serum so you can use this everyday to restore the skin’s barrier function (important if you live in a big city). It targets fine lines and wrinkles with 18 plants and also sinks in like a dream. This serum is all about protection so as I said, it’s great if you live in a polluted city because skin needs extra protection against all the nasty particles floating in the city air!

Roger & Gallet Le Soin Mirabilis Double Extract Serum Roger & Gallet Le Soin Mirabilis Double Extract Serum

Decleor Aroma Lisse Dark Circle and Eye Wrinkle Eraser

This isn’t a serum but it is a specially targeted form of skincare – think of it as a serum for the eyes. I’ve discovered recently how wonderful eye creams and serums are and having a bit of a love affair with them again – especially ones that target dark circles. I’ve always suffered from dark circles and am not one who can hide them when I’m tired. My eyes always give away when I’m tired so these days I always turn to an eye cream that also can minimise pesky dark circles. This Dark Circle and Eye Wrinkle Eraser from Decleor is brilliant because it also contains pigments that nuetralise the purple of dark circles so it not only targets but also covers and enhances – pretty much meaning you can skip the concealer (which always makes me look older anyways)!

Decleor Aroma Lisse Dark Circle and Eye Wrinkle Eraser

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil

This Phyto Replenish Oil from Dermalogica is an impressive oil that doesn’t feel greasy. Whaaaat? Yes that’s right. Doesn’t feel greasy. So if you have been shying away from oils on your face then I would suggest giving this one a go. It uses Camellia (an expensive skincare ingredient), Orchid and Chia Seed Oils to help moisturise and reinforce the skin’s barrier. The good thing about this oil as that you can also layer it with other skincare for an added boost. This oil can be treated as a serum in that you can apply it over an essence or on it’s own before applying your moisturiser. 

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil

Have you tried any essences? Now that you know the difference between a serum and an essence I hope you do!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all my latest adventures @beautyrocksblog and if you didn’t know I’ve also got my own beauty box. My next box is SEOUL SISTER and is all about Korean beauty – you can sign up HERE! Each box is worth $65 and only costs $25 so you just can’t lose!

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  1. June 30, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    I love the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all the great blog posts.

    • rockersjamie
      July 2, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      Oh thanks so much – that means a lot! Thank you so much for reading:)

  2. August 5, 2017 / 9:49 am

    a very nicely written topic with very deeply discussed points. thanks sir , for this amazing post you always inspire me to do more

    • rockersjamie
      August 5, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      Thank you for reading Rahul!

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