Why do we include essences into a routine?

in Jan 13, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Face Essences, Toners, and Mists: Which One is Right for You?

In the world of skincare, there are a plethora of products that promise to give you flawless, radiant skin. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which ones are truly beneficial and worth incorporating into your routine. This is where face essences, toners, and mists come into play. These products not only offer hydration but also act as a crucial first step in your skincare routine, ensuring that the rest of your products can work their magic effectively.

Unveiling the Science behind Skin Prep

Before we dive into the specifics of each product, let's understand the science behind why they are considered essential. Face essences, toners, and mists are typically water-based formulas.

When applied to the skin, water can disrupt the tight  structure of the skin barrier, making it more fluid. This allows fat- and oil-based skincare ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin, where they can work their magic. In other words, these products act as a gateway for the active ingredients in your skincare products, enhancing their efficacy.

Think of a doorman when you are approaching a hotel holding 5 shopping bags. They hold the door so you can go in with ease. Thats exactly what these hero products do.

However, it's important to note that although these products may seem similar, they each have their own unique benefits and application techniques. Let's explore the differences between face essences, toners, and mists, and why they deserve a spot on your skincare shelf.


The Power of Face Essence

In a nutshell: Face essences are lightweight, water-like serums that provide hydration and improve the absorption of subsequent skincare products.

Face eccences have gained popularity in recent years, particularly due to the influence of Korean beauty trends. These essences are described as "softening" in K-beauty, leaving the skin dewy, plump, smooth, and soothed. They provide a light moisturization, allowing the skin to better absorb the products that follow. 

Who can use facial essences?

The good news is that face essences are suitable for everyone. Hydrating the skin is essential for optimal product absorption. Research has shown that hydrated skin allows for better penetration of active ingredients compared to dehydrated skin. This is particularly important as dehydrated skin lacks water, while dry skin lacks oil.

In clinic we have seen, around 95% of patients when assessed under a skin analysis machine have shown signs of dehydration! 

How do you use an essence?

We recommend Silcot Sponge Touch Moisturizing Cotton Pads These soft and absorbent cotton pads are designed to deliver moisture to your skin while ensuring a gentle touch. The sponge-like texture of these pads ensures a delicate and non-abrasive application, making them suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.

The Magic of Face Toner

In a nutshell: Face toners balance the skin's pH, remove impurities, and can provide hydration or gentle exfoliation. A patient favourite of ours is the COSRX BHA Power Liquid

Traditionally associated with oily or blemish-prone skin, face toners have evolved to offer a myriad of benefits. They help balance the skin's natural pH, which can be disrupted by external factors such as beauty products and UV radiation. By making the skin slightly acidic, toners support the skin barrier and optimize its function.

Understanding pH can be tricky, so lets try and explain it simply. Imagine your living room, its usually the place you feel calm and comfortable. You have designed your perfect space, it might be minimalist, a particular scent, temperature etc. But the minute you are in that perfect environment you feel your best. This is pH. The environment in which your skin thrives and looks its best. 

Toners can also be formulated with various ingredients to cater to different skin concerns. They are often water-based and can contain herbal extracts, antioxidants, and hydrating components. Additionally, some toners feature gentle exfoliants like salicylic acid or lactic acid, which help remove dead skin cells and promote a smoother complexion.

Who can use face toner?

Face toners are no longer exclusive to oily or blemish-prone skin. With the introduction of toners that are paired with humectants and antioxidants, they are suitable for a wide range of skin types.

For example, we love the PYK toner. This essence toner provides intense hydration, quenching your skin's thirst and leaving it feeling supple and refreshed even for the oiliest of skins. 

How to use face toner? The same as an essence!

 We recommend Silcot Sponge Touch Moisturizing Cotton Pads 

The Refreshing Face Mist

In a nutshell: Face mists provide lightweight hydration and can be used throughout the day to refresh and hydrate the skin. You may have seen us using the Artemesia Mist in clinic. 

Face mists are often underestimated in their skincare benefits. Along with essences, they are the unsung heroes of your skincare routine, replenishing hydration and combating dehydration. Almost everyone experiences dehydration at some point, making face mists a valuable addition to your routine.

Face mists not only provide hydration but can also target specific skincare concerns. They can feature a range of ingredients, such as humectants, brighteners, ceramides, essential fatty acids, and anti-inflammatories. Some mists even contain skin-friendly essential oils, enhancing the sensorial experience of using them.

Have a look at another favourite, time is running out mist. This contains Organic Green Plum Water: Rich in antioxidants, which helps to hydrate and revitalize the skin.

Who can use face mist?

Face mists are suitable for every skin type. They deliver lightweight hydration, which is beneficial for all skin types, whether dry, oily, or combination.

How to use face mist?

Using face mist is simple yet effective. Generously spritz the mist onto clean, and sometimes toned, skin, and immediately follow it with your serum, facial oil, and/or moisturizer. This helps trap the hydration and ensures that it doesn't evaporate off the skin.

Face mists can be used throughout the day to refresh and hydrate the skin, even over sunscreen and makeup.


Choosing the Right Product for You

Now that you understand the unique benefits and usage of face essences, toners, and mists, you may be wondering which one is right for you. The truth is, many people can benefit from incorporating all three products into their skincare routine. However, if you're looking to start with just one, consider your specific skin concerns and goals.

We have our skin quiz for your to upload your selfie, and in just 5 minutes we can guide you to your perfect routine. If you are still confused, you can even pop over to Harmony Medical and arrange a virtual skin consultation with one of our skin experts! 

For a quick summary, have a look below:

If you prioritize hydration and improved product absorption, a face essence is an excellent choice. It will leave your skin dewy, plump, and smooth, allowing subsequent skincare products to work effectively.

If you're aiming to balance your skin's pH and remove impurities, a face toner is the way to go. Look for one that offers additional benefits, such as hydration or gentle exfoliation, to address your specific skin concerns.

If you need a quick pick-me-up throughout the day and want to combat dehydration, a face mist is your best friend. It provides instant hydration and can be used over makeup or sunscreen, making it a convenient option for on-the-go hydration.

Ultimately, the choice between face essences, toners, and mists is a personal one. Each product offers unique benefits, and it's up to you to decide which one aligns with your skincare goals and preferences.



Incorporating face essences, toners, and mists into your skincare routine can be a game-changer. These products not only provide hydration but also enhance the efficacy of your other skincare products. Face essences offer lightweight moisturization and improved absorption, while toners balance the skin's pH and provide additional benefits like gentle exfoliation. Face mists, on the other hand, deliver refreshing hydration throughout the day.

Remember, skincare is a journey of self-care and finding what works best for your skin. Experiment with different products and formulations to discover the perfect combination that leaves your skin looking and feeling its best. Embrace the power of face essences, toners, and mists, and unlock the potential for radiant, healthy skin.

 Take the first step towards your skincare journey by exploring the diverse range of face essences, toners, and mists available. Find the ones that resonate with your skin concerns and start your skincare routine with confidence and excitement.

We really hope that helps! 

Enjoy your skincare,

Team Harmony 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.