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Home>Blog>The Top K-Beauty Essences to Try in 2021

The Top K-Beauty Essences to Try in 2021

MIRA BEAUTY • updated Jan 4, 2021
The Top K-Beauty Essences to Try in 2021

Feel lightweight and luxurious with these K-Beauty essences

The world of Korean Beauty is associated with quite a few things - including natural and often bizarre ingredients (think bee venom,) a talent for glowing skin, and essences. All the essences. This ultra-hydrating product is somewhere between a toner and a serum, and typically used after a cleanser to prep the skin for the rest of your 8, 12, or 20-step K-Beauty routine.

Essence products are packed with high doses of active ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin, and easily absorbed into the skin for all the moisture and nourishing power you need - without clogging your pores in the process. It’s the dream, right? The lightweight texture and simple application means that facial essences are one of the top beauty products to incorporate into your 2021 skincare routines, and you can find all the MIRA BEAUTY favorites below!

Vintage Single Extract Essence by Amorepacific, $95

Vintage Single Extract Essence by Amorepacific
Source: Amorepacific

We’re giving you the tea on one of the best facial essences in the K-beauty world… Green Tea, that is. This powerhouse skincare ingredient is known for protecting against environmental stress and free radical damage, keeping your complexion looking youthful and fresh, and you’ll find a ton of Green Tea in the Vintage Single Extract Essence by Amorepacific. And not just any type, but leaves from an exclusive Dolsongi garden on Jeju Island in Korea. Once your skin is protected against pollution, you’ll also notice an improvement in clarity, texture, and elasticity that makes you look instantly younger and refreshed. Moisturize, prep, and protect your skin with one of the best facial essences by Amorepacific, which 94% of MIRA guests agree is hydrating and great for sensitive skin.

Wild Dew Treatment Essence by Peach & Lily, $39

Wild Dew Treatment Essence by Peach & Lily
Source: Peach & Lily

When it comes to your K-beauty skincare routines - you dew you, babes. That being said, we definitely think you need the Wild Dew Treatment Essence by Peach & Lily. It’s a complexion cocktail of nourishing ingredients to restore and refresh your skin, with a water-like texture and floral scent that makes it super easy-to-use. If you’re wondering about the lineup of superstar skincare ingredients, it’s a dew-zy. We’re talking about antioxidant-rich lotus extract, brightening niacinamide, anti-aging yeast ferment, firming and lifting adenosine, protective bamboo extract and nourishing radish leaf extract. They all come together to leave you feeling as fresh as a daisy, and prepare your skin for all the serums, moisturizers, and face masks in your beauty routine.

Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence by COSRX, $23

Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence by COSRX
Source: COSRX

“This product is completely worth trying has helped fade my dark spots as well as hydrate my face without leaving it greasy.” It’s not just the MIRA reviews that sing the praises of this facial essence by COSRX, but the entire beauty community. Why? Because Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is what K-Beauty skincare routines are all about. It’s formulated with 96% snail mucin, one of the quirky-yet-powerful K-Beauty ingredients that provides nutrients to maintain skin’s moisture levels and repair damage. It also contains Sodium Hyaluronate, a form of Hyaluronic Acid to intensely boost moisture levels, and Arginine to support elasticity. But it’s truly the snail mucin that makes this facial essence like a multivitamin for your face, and it’s especially ideal for those with ultra-dry skin. Another MIRA review nails (or should we say snails?) it, saying “COSRX snail mucin has been amazing for my dry, eczema-prone skin. And I’ve seen improvement with hormonal acne as well!” Try this facial essence by COSRX that 97% of MIRA guests agree is anti-aging, 90% believe is hydrating, and 94% say is brightening.

Hungarian Water Essence by belif, $36

Hungarian Water Essence by belif
Source: belif

Hydration is essential in every skincare routine, but especially for the K-Beauty lover. A moisture surge is the key to less fine lines, a smoother complexion, and the intensely glowing skin that you’re used to seeing on Instagram. That’s why a facial essence is necessary for healthy and hydrated skin, and you’ll be feeling mega-moisturized with the Hungarian Water Essence by belif. The water-like consistency is just as refreshing on your skin as you think it is, and this formula contains a blend of apothecary herbs and antioxidant agents to restore moisture and create long-lasting hydration. Rosemary, lavender, and other hydrating nutrients work together to detoxify and leave your complexion feeling dreamy - solidifying Hungarian Water Essence as one of the best facial essences you need to try in 2021. What more could you expect from an iconic K-Beauty brand like belif? 91% of MIRA guests say that this facial essence is hydrating and good for sensitive skin, while 85% believe that it treats acne.

The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence by TONYMOLY, $30

The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence by TONYMOLY

Don’t hate, hydrate. There aren’t enough good things to say about Green Tea and its ability to moisturize, nourish, soothe… and did we mention moisturize? That’s exactly what you’ll get with The Chok Chok GreenTea Watery Essence by TONYMOLY, with a sweet twist. According to the brand, this facial essence contains a special type of fermented Korean green tea called 'ChungTaeJeon' that has been used in the country for over a thousand years. As the world's first naturally fermented green tea, ChungTaeJeon is “fermented through sunlight for over 365 days and provides gentle yet intense moisture and hydration that lasts.” It’s even more legit than fresh Green Tea, and that’s saying quite a bit. Alongside this skincare ingredient, The Chok Chok also features Lemon Seed Oil with antibacterial properties and Rosewood Oil to soothe and revitalize. We know you became obsessed with TONYMOLY after checking out the Moisture Boost Cooling Algae Eye Serum that’s adorably shaped like a whale, alongside the rest of the brand’s cute packaging, and the products inside are just as revolutionary. Give your skin a boost with this Korean Beauty brand that will revamp your beauty routine.

Water Bank Hydro Essence by Laneige, $39

Water Bank Hydro Essence by Laneige
Source: Laneige

“You should get the Laneige Water Bank Hydro Essence! This is perfect because it is very lightweight and absorbs quickly. Doesn’t leave that oily shine at all.” Called “the powerhouse of hydration,” Laneige has been keeping your skin moisturized since 1994… and you can definitely count on the K-beauty brand to upgrade your 2021 skincare routine. Water Bank is a collection that strengthens the natural moisture barrier and hydrates like a dream without clogging your pores… and this facial essence does just that. It’s made with highly-concentrated Green Mineral Water™, and infused with vitamin-rich kale, watercress, and beet to provide intense hydration that lasts for days. Restore the moisture that your skin has lost due to age, genetics, or environmental stress… or just get a hydration boost during the chilly winter months when your skin needs it the most. Water Bank by Laneige always has your back, and our MIRA guests agree! 93% say that it’s hydrating and good for sensitive skin, while 89% agree that it’s effective at treating acne.

Hi Bye Vita-Peel Essence by Banila Co, $24

Hi Bye Vita-Peel Essence by Banila Co
Source: Banila Co

When looking at the skincare trends for 2021, you’ll notice that “skinimalism” is at the top of the list. You know, using less (but more effective!) products to save time and money… which is likely a far cry from the 20-step K-Beauty routine you’re used to. However, you can still incorporate your Korean Beauty favorites into your 2021 beauty lineup, and it all starts with the Hi Bye Vita-Peel Essence by Banila Co. It’s only one product, yes, but this facial essence is infused with 14 vitamins and AHA ingredients to leave a silky, soft, and supple complexion. Lemon brightens the complexion, AHA’s gently exfoliate and sweep away dead skin, and the rest of these nutrients will nourish like a dream. K-Beauty style. Say “hi” to hydration and glowing skin, and “bye” to environmental stress and free radical damage - as this beauty product by Banila Co is the real deal.

Miracle Seed Essence by Primera, $58

Miracle Seed Essence by Primera
Source: Primera

“This was my first time ever using an essence, and after this miracle seed one from Primera I will never go without it again! After using this for two weeks my skin has a more even tone and it instantly gives a dewy texture to my face without it looking oily.” The word “miracle” may be a bit overused in the beauty world, but it’s not an exaggeration when talking about one of the best facial essences by Primera. It’s made with amino acid-rich lotus seeds to smooth texture, improve tone, increase hydration, and help protect against environmental stressors. Along with Niacinamide to brighten and protect, Sodium Hyaluronate to deeply hydrate, and Citric Acid to exfoliate and smooth out the skin tone. These ingredients all work together to prep your skin for all the K-beauty serums and masks. Primera is a K-beauty brand that you definitely need to have on your radar in 2021, and it all starts with this nourishing essence.

Fermented Soybean Firming Energy Essence by innisfree, $39

Fermented Soybean Firming Energy Essence by innisfree
Source: innisfree

If you couldn’t tell by the rest of this list, the fields of Jeju Island in Korea are a haven for the best skincare ingredients. K-Beauty brands around the world collect substances from the island to incorporate into beauty products, and innisfree is no exception. In fact, the brand originated when founder Sunghwan Suh discovered the rich green tea fields, soybeans, and natural elements like mineral-rich water and volcanic ash oil that are present on Jeju Island. They became the basis for all innisfree products, including the Fermented Soybean Firming Energy Essence that’s definitely Jeju-approved. It’s packed with antioxidant-rich Fermented Soybean oil and extract that lift and firm the skin while strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier with amino acids. Not to mention Oat Kernel Extract to smooth and soothe the complexion, which is especially helpful for those who deal with eczema, rosacea, or stressed skin. Innisfree has been a Korean Beauty staple for over two decades, and you’ll see why with this facial essence that you need in your 2021 skincare routine.

Shop all the best K-Beauty essences on MIRA.