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The Ultimate Guide to Essences, Serums and Emulsions

by Julie Williams |

We are all pretty familiar with the three-step skincare routine — cleanse, tone, and moisturise. But where do essences, serums and emulsions come in? How do you tell them apart, more importantly, how can they help you achieve beautiful skin? Here’s all you need to know.

What are Essences ?

Essences, such as Rejuvenating Lifting Skin Essence, are light yet powerful formulas that treat skin on a cellular level. This means they deliver our rich ingredients deep into your skin fast — all the better to hydrate, rejuvenate, and help regenerate your skin cells. Essences are typically clear and watery, with a mild, almost-unnoticeable scent. Their lightweight texture means your skin can quickly absorb all the goodness including the DRH-4 & H-CURE1 formula, they are suitable for virtually every skin type.


  • Ultra-lightweight and quickly absorbed, essences can deliver rich ingredients to hydrate or rejuvenate skin.

Some essences are formulated with anti-ageing care (all in our case) or anti-blemish benefits, while others focus on smoothing and softening skin. But almost all of them contain ingredients for rejuvenation and hydration to give you healthy skin.

When to use

Essence is considered to be the heart of the skin care regime and is meant to be used after your skin has been prepped through cleansing and used as a hydrating facial toner.

Rejuvenate your skin for natural radiance

Your skin has a natural renewal rate of about 28 days, which is the full cycle it takes for new cells to replace dead ones on the surface of your skin. Age, environmental stresses, or even lack of sleep can slow down this process. Essences help get it back on track, promoting natural cell turnover to reveal your natural radiance and healthy-looking skin.

Hydrate your skin quickly and without stickiness

Your skin needs lots of moisture, and essences deliver that quickly and effectively. Our essences are packed with ‘Defined Cell Culture Media’ to leave your skin plumped with hydration.They will re-energise tired skin and deliver nutrients deep into the skin layers, and provide anti-oxidant protection with highly concentrated amino acids to give you a fresher even and more luminous complexion.

What are Serums ?

Think of serums as boosters for your skin. As they’re more concentrated, they tend to have a thicker consistency with small molecules that can penetrate to reach the third layer of the skin, providing direct nutrients like our Age Restoring Lifting Serum. While essences provide a host of benefits for your skin, the best face serums deliver a suite of active ingredients to target specific concerns or areas with faster, better results.


As concentrated boosters for your skin, serums tend to be thicker in consistency than essences. However, serums can target specific concerns with faster, better results.

Serums let you customise your skincare routine based on what your skin needs most, and the huge variety in the market means there’s a skin serum for everyone. Here are the main types of serums, and what they can do for your skin:

Slow down signs of ageing

Anti-aging serums typically contain ingredients such as peptides and antioxidants. Peptides help boost the production of collagen in skin, a process that slows down naturally with age. This plumps up skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Antioxidants like Vitamin A neutralise free radicals – unstable molecules that break down your skin’s collagen and accelerate multiple signs of ageing – to prevent oxidative damage. Of course in our case our serums are also enriched with ‘Defined Cell Culture Media’.

Brighten up your skin

Brightening serums are high in ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and flavonoid-rich fruit extracts such as blackberry and prune. UV exposure causes unprotected skin to produce melanin, leading to uneven pigmentation and dark spots. These powerful ingredients work to inhibit melanin production and target dark spots for radiant, clear skin.

When to use

After cleansing and toning/essence, before you apply moisturiser.

What are Emulsions ?

Emulsion is a a light-weight, non-sticky water based lotion that helps your face absorb other beauty products. They helps retain hydration levels and prevent moisture loss from the skins surface. Great for people with oily skin as they do not cause pore clogging issues, and are also good for sensitive skin. They are not reserved for only these skin types, if your skin needs more moisture an emulsion can work for your skin also. Perfect for adding an extra layer of hydration to your routine. Try our Age Restoring Emulsion for intense hydrating.


  • Emulsions are great for daytime use, especially to use after serums seal in the moisture before adding cream.
When to use

Emulsions are good for daytime, especially good to use after serums to seal in the moisture before adding cream.

Feed your skin

Feed your skin with all the nourishment it needs with Rejuvenation Lifting Skin Emulsion containing not only our cutting edge ingredients, but also a plentiful supply of amino acids, vitamins peptides and proteins all help to support and nourish the skin. Importantly unlike other emulsions they also influence the skins own stem cells for regeneration and growth.

Where do essences, serums and emulsions belong in your routine?

Your skincare routine can have multiple essences, serums and emulsions, depending on your skin’s needs. So, which comes first? The general rule of thumb is always go from light to heavy. That means thinner, less viscous products go on first. Start with Essence following cleansing, then Serum. That means Emulsion comes last in your routine prior to applying moisturiser. In between each step be sure to give the products a minute of two to absorb and then continue layering. There is no set rule to have to use all three at the same time, you can of course choose to split them up between your morning and evening routines, it is totally dependant on your skin.

Quick Tip

Switch up your routine every day based on how your skin is feeling. If your skin feels dry and tight, skip your toner and double down on your essences and emulsions for hydration and rejuvenation instead.

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