Toner vs. Essence: What’s the Difference?

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Hi Friends!

From my experience, I get quite a few clients asking what the differences are between a toner and an essence. This post will hopefully clarify some information about the significant differences between the two. As a disclaimer, a lot of the information will be purely opinion/experience based. References will be listed to below of useful resources that I’ve read up on/used in the post!

As always,


Toner vs. Essence: What’s the Difference?

Toners and Essences are not the same thing. They both have different properties, and have different ways of operating on your skin! In similarity wise, they both are used to prep the skin before further treatment via specified moisturizers.

Toners have been a neglected step in many people’s skincare regime. From what I find, many of my clients do not even use a toner! Even the deluxe sample ones from their typical gift with purchase, it gathers up in a pile of products that never gets used. People are simply misinformed about toners! We know that toners are meant to restore your skin’s natural pH level. However, what people may not know is that it also helps remove any excess dirt/debris that is leftover from makeup removal and/or environmental stress. You’d be surprised as to how much excess dirt/debris is left over, even after a full on cleansing session on the face! There is also a variety of different toners out there as well, such as brightening toners, hydrating toners, alcohol free toners (for sensitive skin), the list goes on. It does this all, while keeping your skin moisturized enough to allow the proper penetration of your serums and other skin care products. As for the application process of a toner, it is best used with a cotton pad. The cotton pad will help to lock in what the toner removes off of your skin.

Essences have always been around, however, they did originate from Asian skincare regimes; which eventually made its way to the North American market. The purpose of the essence is to open up the skin, to fully allow the penetration of your serums and moisturizers. This will help lock in all of that good moisture in your skin, since essences have micro ampules that lock in those skincare products into your skin. Essences are often confused as toners since of the appearance of both products; both are liquid based. In comparison to the application process of essences, it is suggested that you gently pat the skin with your finger tips instead of the use of cotton pads. But why are essences more similar to serums? In general, these essences are quite similar to a serum because of the skin correcting properties that it contains. For example, it can contain vitamins essential for the face for a radiance boost, or help will the cell turnover of your skin; which helps with the regeneration process. Despite all that is mentioned with it’s similarity with a serum; serums are still used afterwards because it contains more active ingredients that help the skin, such as anti-aging benefits and other nutrients for the skin.

As a conclusion, both toners and essences are sometimes hard to add to a skincare routine; especially when an individual is used to only using a cleanser and moisturizer. The benefits of using either or product will greatly make a difference in the overall appearance of your skin. Again, skincare is completely personalized and different for everyone. Reading up on key differences and how to use products is always a good thing to be consistent on. Better take care of it, and learn of products that you could use to best help slow down that aging process. You only have the skin you have right now!






The Differences Between Toner vs Essence vs Serum. (2016, June 27). Retrieved September 04, 2017, from

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