Save Or Splurge? | B. Skincare Essence Lotion vs Origins Original Skin Essence
When it comes to Korean skincare routines, the essence step is vital. In a way, it’s the glue that sandwiches together all of the moisture and ingredient goodness with your skin. They tend to be quite viscous in formulation, not a toner or a serum, but somewhere in the middle. They also contain higher concentrations of ingredients to provide that extra boost in layering your skincare. Due to their liquidy consistency (and absence of thickening agents) these ingredients are more easily able to penetrate into the skin making them contenders for rather effective skincare.
This year, we’re seen a significant rise in Korean beauty brands available on the Western Market. As excited as I am to see this grow, seeing Western brands launch their own versions of these skincare formulations is intriguing. The question is, are they any good? I’ve chosen two essences from two ends of the pricing spectrum and road tested them consistently in my skincare routine. I was surprised by how different the B. Skincare Essence Lotion and Origins Original Skin Essence were. Not just in terms of formulation but their effectiveness and the different properties they bring to the table.
HOW TO USE AN ESSENCE
Although I’m not one to instruct others on how products should be used, the general consensus is that you pour a little into the palm of your hand and pat it into the skin. This is what I personally do. I find it to be the most effective way to apply such a liquid product.
B. SKINCARE ESSENCE LOTION - £6.99
In a beautifully sleek and minimalist bottle, Superdrug’s skincare brand have created a refreshing, light weight and soothing essence lotion just as they’ve claimed to.
Scent - fresh like cucumber water.
Formulation - very watery, it feels like patting cucumber scented water onto your skin.
Immediate Results - skin looks plumped and juicy but doesn’t feel particularly nourished. It’s not sticky or tacky though which I appreciate.
Ingredients: Aqua, Isopentyldiol, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol, Pentylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross polymer, Fructose, Urea, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Polyglutamate, Parfum, Sodium Hydroxide, Allantoin, Maltose, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Trehalose, Algae Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Glucose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Geraniol, Potassium Sorbate, CI 61570, CI 47005
Allantoin - to soften and soothe the skin
Algae Extract - to smooth and soften (although it’s towards the bottom of the ingredients list)
12hr hydration claimed with Hyaluronic Acid
Out of a hot shower, this is the perfect essence due to its refreshing nature. It does cool and soothe my skin but does nothing to encourage long term nourishment or extra hydration in the skin. I didn’t find it made any different to the texture of my skin. Honestly, it felt like it had evaporated after 20 minutes. But before that, it did make my facial oil feel like silk on my skin and it pairs oh so well with a gel moisturiser. I have had some angry skin moments over the last few months and I found that this helped to calm that down so my skin didn’t feel hot and agitated.
ORIGINS ORIGINAL SKIN ESSENCE LOTION - £22.00
As part of their Original Skin range (I reviewed the mask here), Origins brought out this essence lotion with a rather exciting inclusion of their Dual Ferment Complex. Seeing as it’s three times the price of B.’s offering, I was expecting great things and a beautiful ingredients listing.
Scent - quite strong for a skincare product. It smells like the Retexturizing mask. In my opinion it’s a mix of something sweet and botanical but also green. It’s not a bad or pungent smell. It disperses quickly but straight out of the bottle it can take you by surprise.
Formulation - more viscous than the first. It feels like there’s something more to it so I don’t get that feeling of just patting water onto my skin. It’s like an incredibly light serum with a formulation similar to those I find in sheet masks.
Immediate Results - skin also looks plumped and juicy and feels nourished and bouncy.
Ingredients: Water,,Alcohol Denat,Butylene Glycol,Glycereth-2,PEG-75,Polysorbate 20,Citrus Grandis Peel Oil,Lavandula Angustifolia Oil,Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil,Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil,Salvia Sclarea Oil,Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil,Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract,Limonene,Linalool,Methyl Gluceth-20 ,Laminaria Saccharina Extract,Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/,Castanea Sativa Seed Extract,Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract,Salicylic Acid,Caffeine,Ethylhexylglycerin,Glycerin,Phytosphingosine,Caprylyl Glycol,Carbomer,Sodium Hyaluronate,Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate,Silica,Tromethamine,Hexylene Glycol,Disodium DTA,Phenoxyethanol,Mica,Titanium Dioxide,Iron Oxides,Molasses ExtractSaccharum OfficinarumExtrait De MéLasse,Yeast ExtractFaexExtrait De Levure
Willow herb - A skin soothing plant extract.
Persian silk tree - It’s all sounding rather fancy now isn’t it? This is researched as a great antioxidant and fights the process that encourages collagen to lose elasticity hence promoting plumped, youthful skin.
You’ll know I’m a huge fan off fermented skincare - you can read about the benefits here. So, I was intrigued by the complex they added to this essence (even though it’s the last ingredient listed). Although this is aimed at all skin types, I’d be careful if you’re particularly sensitive due to the number of fragranced essential oils and use of salicylic acid. I was surprised this didn’t irritate my skin, actually.
My skin loves this stuff. I use it in the mornings and it adds this juicy layer allowing oils and moisturisers that follow to apply like a dream. I do believe that it has helped with refining the texture of my skin too. Generally, after using this, my skin looks brighter and I get a much better makeup application experience.
AND THE WINNER IS...
On the whole, both essences felt great on my skin and really got me thinking that I do want an essence in my routine, always. My favourite has to be the Origins Essence though because it has had a better long term effect on my skin. If you’re instead still intrigued to try a Korean branded essence, check out this post, to find all the cool places you can easily purchase one from the UK.
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