Skin Care

The Difference Between Serums, Emulsions and Essences

Skincare today not just involves three steps (cleansing, toning and moisturising), but there has been an additional lot of steps. Because of the emergence of Korean Beauty (K-Beauty as it is affectionately known), the Korean skincare procedure is now widely known for its large number of products and treatments such as serums, emulsions and essences that now plays an important role in the therapy.

So what is the difference between serums, emulsions and essences?


Serum is a concentrated thick liquid solution that consists of active ingredients. It has sticky feeling after applying it on the skin. The active ingredients in serum are meant to target and treat imperfections in the skin like wrinkles, dark spots and dullness.

Serums are believed to be thicker, sticky and work faster than essence.

THE FACE SHOP White Seed Brightening Serum 50ml

The Face Shop White Seed Brightening Serum

Skinfood Premium Avocado Rich Essence

Skinfood Premium Avocado Rich Essence


Essences are the thinnest and least concentrated among the three products, and it is similar to toner, but it doesn’t balance the pH level like  a toner. It aids the absorption of beauty products that are applied on the skin after it.


Essence contains valuable ingredients that help treat any skin concerns.


This is a lighter, thicker and less concentrated lotion than a serum. It moisturizes and prevents other applied beauty products from evaporating from the skin.


Emulsions possess a combination of moisturizing ingredients and water, plus they are known to help hydrate and moisturizes the skin.

Etude House Honey Cera Emulsion

Etude House Honey Cera Emulsion

Why You Should Incorporate Serums, Emulsions and Essences in to Your Skincare Routine:


Since you have been familiar with the difference between serums, emulsions and essences, you can apply any of the three into your daily skincare routine.

Firstly apply essence, due to it having thinnest texture among the three, after using beauty products like toner or cleanser. Next on the list is serum and then essence. In the space between the steps above, make sure you give a product a minute or two to penetrate.

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