If your complexion tends to be on the drier side, or just doesn't seem to retain the same glow it used to, a facial essence could be an instant fix. Although they look like the old-school toners you used to swipe on as part of your 3-piece skincare set, facial essences are formulated to restore much-needed moisture into your skin, and can actually help the rest of the products you layer on top to be more effective. To get the most out of your facial essence, we recommend patting it into your skin using your hands immediately after cleansing. The process can be compared to the way watering a potted plant works—if you pour the water directly onto the super-compacted soil, it simply runs off the sides without any benefit to the plant, but if you hit the dirt with a spray bottle beforehand, the water helps to decompress the soil so that the rest is able to reach the roots. By applying a skin essence prior to your serum and moisturizer, the active ingredients are able to travel deeper into your skin, which also soaks up the essence's benefits depending on the type you choose.
For example, if uneven tone is an issue for you, Fresh's Peony Spot-Correcting Essence is great for fading the appearance of dark spots, whether brought on by sun damage, acne, or age. The potent mix of vitamin C, licorice root, and peony target the spots to slow melanin production, while the shot of hyaluronic acid keeps your compelxion hydrated. In addition to Fresh's formula, we rounded up 9 more of our favorite facial essences. Shop all of them below!