In partnership with Jurlique.
While most essences' look essentially like bottled water, you'd be mistaken to dismiss them as just that. Essences' are potent, active products that should form the start point of any effective skincare routine.
Originating from East Asia, a water essence has long formed a crucial part of Japanese women’s skincare routines and the Korean 10-step beauty routine that is now famous through out the Western world. Often dubbed a ‘miracle water’ a water essence stands alone in any skincare routine. Whilst it hydrates the skin, it shouldn't be confused with a moisturiser and while it can also work to treat the skin, it isn't a serum.
Still unsure? Let me explain further.
How can water also be skincare you wonder? Well water is often the perfect conductor for other products; aiding them in penetrating and absorbing into the skin’s deeper layers. Much like how oil applied in conjunction with water will mean the oil works into the skin instead of sitting atop it, a water essence works in the same way, whilst also providing its own benefits.
Why do you need to incorporate an essence into your skincare regime?
A wet sponge will absorb water better than a dry sponge. And this principle works the same for your skin. A serum is formulated to penetrate the deeper layers of our skin but by prepping the skin with an essence what you do is ensure that any of your subsequent skincare products are more readily absorbed.
As a beauty editor, and as cosmeceutical skincare grows in popularity, I have grown accustomed to skincare burning, or stinging, or tingling so a product that is essentially water initial sounds ineffective. But it is its very nature - lightweight, fluid, watery - that makes it quite the opposite.
A water essence holds benefits all on its own, ingredients that will hydrate, smooth and nourish the skin. But what makes an essence so very essential is that it works synergistically alongside other products. So that they do not interrupt their process but enhance their efficacy.
What comprises a water essence and what are the benefits?
A water essence is more than the sum of its name. Packed with nourishing ingredients blended specially for their nourishing and hydrating properties. The Jurlique Activating Water Essence works on three levels: to hydrate, condition and revitalise the skin. Up top the essence utilising the power of marshmallow root extract to hydrate the skin and maintain a healthy balance of moisture levels. An ingredient that is increasingly popular in skincare, and for good reason. As a humectant the extract both attracts and holds moisture in the skin. (By the way, here is an ingredient that works as effectively when applied topically as it does when ingested.)
To maintain the condition of the skin whilst smoothing and soothing, Jurlique Activating Water Essence utilises a cocktail of plant extracts. Including a mix of calendula, rosemary, white hazel, nettle and yarrow extract - all working together with a goal of balancing, purifying and conditioning the skin. Resulting in smoother and softer skin immediately.
With botanicals sourced from the brand’s biodynamic farm in the Adelaide Hills, the ingredients are a vital living blend. Maximising their efficacy and potency when applied to skin. Free from parabens, artificial colours and fragrances, PEGS, sulphates you know your skin is in safe hands. Whilst essences vary in their primary function, the Jurlique Essence both treats and hydrates.
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The step by step routine:
If you’re looking to incorporate an essence into your routine (and you should) it is the first step in products that will remain on your skin (not including your cleansing routine that is). An essential first step, the Activating Water Essence is best dispensed into the palms of your hands and then gently pressed into the cheeks, forehead, chin and neck until absorbed. From here it is onto your serums, moisturisers and eye products.
If you’re looking for a serum that restores vitality to the skin, the Jurlique Nutri-Define Supreme Rejuvenating Serum functions best. This can be applied directly to the skin and again, using palms to press the product gently into the skin.
Now that you have applied the products with the lightest consistency it is time for any moisturisers and eye creams that form a part of your routine. Night is the best time to care for the delicate skin around the eyes. Jurlique Nutri-Define Supreme Eye Contour Balm is rich, anti-aging and fights the formation of wrinkles. Note that an eye cream should go underneath a moisturiser. This will ensure that the eye cream is more readily absorbed and will also work to protect the delicate skin around the eye from a heavier fluid.
If a watery essence is where you start, then a rich cream is where you end. Lastly apply your favourite night cream to seal in the moisture and hydrate skin during its peak renewal hours.
This really isn't about complicating your routine but making the routine that you are doing more effective. Making sure the products you love and spend money on are working to the best of their ability. A water essence isn't an additional but an enhancer. If there is anything that's true in beauty, and in life, it's that you've got to work smarter, not harder.