Facial Treatment Essences
By now I’m sure most of you have a least a passing acquaintance — if not hands on experience — with the intricate Asian skin care routines that typically involve at least eight steps and multiple products. Of these, one of the most indispensable is the beauty essence, a product that I highly recommend adding to your beauty routine.
Designed to be used after cleansing and toning, essences hydrate the skin and soften the top layer of skin to enhance the absorption of anti-aging ingredients. Unlike toners, which can strip the skin with alcohol or exfoliating acids, a beauty essence is more like a super lightweight serum that infuses the skin with nutrients and humectants. Since they’re so light, essences can be used under serums for a higher dose of active ingredients.
One of the best known is SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, which contains over 90 percent Pitera, a vitamin, mineral and amino-acid rich substance derived from yeast in the fermentation process of saké (the product was developed by scientists who noticed the youthful hands of aged workers at a saké brewery). According to SK II, Pitera stimulates the natural renewal process of the skin to achieve the five qualities of beautiful, youthful skin: reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, smoother skin texture, diminishment of age spots, firmer skin and improved radiance.
Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence is the company’s best-selling product. It restores skin elasticity with saccharomyces (yeast) ferment filtrate and licorice root extract to fade dark spots.
Try a sheet mask soaked in beauty essence; it’s like a mini-facial that replenishes and rejuvenates your skin. One that contains two of my favorite natural anti-agers — bee venom and snail mucus filtrate: Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack Bee venom increases blood circulation, plumps out and firms the skin by promoting the production of collagen and elastin. Snail mucus, as I’ve written before, nourishes and tones the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots.
As with other essences, you can follow up a sheet mask with your favorite serum, moisturizer and skin treatment oil, but you’ll have to wait until next week for me to further expound upon the benefits of the elaborate, multi-step Asian skin care ritual.