Familiar to most and popularized in Asia as part of their elaborate skincare routine, the concept of an essence is to provide a boost of hydration somewhere between a toner and a serum. Speaking for myself, incorporating this additional ‘essence step’ has always felt a little too extra for me. That is until I got hooked on acid toners that beg for a liquid follow up to soothe, balance, and restore.
My latest obsession: the flawlessly-performing Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence from Fresh.
What is it?
The superhero ingredient in this somewhat viscous, silky solution is Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate. Yeast extract from fermented Black Tea, aka Kombucha, is combined with Green Tea and Kigelia Africana Fruit Extracts to form a potent antioxidant trifecta that protects the skin from free radical damage. The addition of Hyaluronic Acid ensures optimal levels of hydration and will leave your complexion all kinds of plump and glowing.
How & When:
After cleansing and exfoliating, but before applying your serum or moisturizer. Skip the cotton round, dispense a few healthy dashes into the palm of your hand, and press the solution into the skin. Instantly cooling and hydrating, the latest from Fresh feels ultra luxurious and is instantly cooling and hydrating.
It would come as no surprise to discover that K-beauty aficionados use this formula to practice the ‘7 Skin Method’. The juicy cucumber scent is very spa (and so on brand) but do keep the added fragrance in mind. It’s neither cucumber water nor extract. Rich for a liquid, it absorbs in seconds, making it an easy step to include morning and/or evening.
Do you need it?
If your skin resembles mine, give it a try. I have found the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence to be a remarkable addition to my grooming regimen. Fantastic after a shave, the soothing liquid tightens pores, brightens, and provides lasting hydration. My combination yet constantly dehydrated skin (fun, sun, wine, questionable sleep pattern, religious rotation of acid toners) has welcomed the much-needed boost.
For essence enthusiasts who want to know how Fresh compares with the iconic SK-II formula: I’m still a huge believer in the fermented sake invention that is the Japanese original. However, its $179 price tag is borderline insane.
P.S. Crème Ancienne Infusion Toner has to be one of the best formulas ever created by Fresh…until now. Kombucha for the win.
$68 (150ml) available at Sephora.com, fresh.com
*press sample, affiliate links