This Essence Is Essential For Glowing Skin

Essences are a hard sell — I get that. While they've been around for a while in Korea, they're just now gaining traction in the West — mostly because nobody really understands what the heck they are (we've outlined it here, if you're interested). Even I, someone whose job it is to try pretty much every product that comes across her desk, wasn't completely convinced when my friend recommended it to me. "So, like, it's not a toner?" "Nope." "But, also not a serum?" "Nope." "I don't get it."  I also wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of adding another step to my daily skin-care routine, because, well, ain't nobody got time for that. But, I was fascinated nonetheless. Plus, I'm always willing to try a new Korean beauty product — I mean, this is the nation that brought us the best sheet masks and BB creams, people. They basically have this skincare thing down to a science.  Many bloggers and other beauty enthusiasts claim the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence is a dupe to SK-II's more expensive version. Which, it very well may be, but who honestly cares when the reviews are as good as they are? According to Missha rep Yuna Shin, one million bottles had been sold just 11 months after its launch in late 2011. As of August 2014, over five million bottles had been sold. The numbers kind of speak for themselves, don't they?  This fancy-water-in-an-equally-fancy-bottle contains active ingredients including fermented-yeast extract, which absorbs rapidly into the skin to help boost the product's soothing, moisturizing, brightening, and anti-aging properties. According to Shin, it's recommended that you apply the essence right after cleansing (or after a toner, if you use one) with either your hands or a cotton pad. I, personally, use the former method since I feel like the nutrients absorb better after a gentle slapping of the face. But, be wary that it can slip through your fingers if you're not careful. Essences are a prep-your-face-for-other-products step, so you can apply your moisturizers and serums right after. A satisfied SokoGlam customer sums up all my feelings toward the product perfectly: "I am not sure what this does, but I love it." After using this essence for a couple of months, my skin is smoother than a baby's butt. And, on the days when I don't use it, I feel and see a difference. My complexion is more even-toned and radiant, despite how badly the recent weather has tried to dull it. It truly is holy water at it's finest. Yes, essences are a hard sell, but this hard-to-wow girl is pretty sold on this ones effects.

Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, $49, available at Missha

Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series