Essence VS Serum: Which To Use In Your Skincare Routine?

Essence VS Serum: Which To Use In Your Skincare Routine?

Solving the Essence VS Serum Conundrum Once And For All!


The differences between essence and serum are somewhat rare to see. In fact, many people think that essence and serum are the same. 

Generally, these two products can be an excellent solution to your daily skincare routine. 

They both equally contain powerful active components that are helpful to the skin, but there are certain prominent differences to tell them apart!

This post will discuss the dos and don’ts in achieving the best results from essence vs serum. Here are the key differences you should note.


What is Essence?

Facial essence describes a watery substance that contains various active ingredients to facilitate skin hydration. The ingredients can help to bring out your skin’s inner glow and promote skin consistency and tone.

Its constituents vary depending on brand and personal preference, skin kind and manufacturers. Essence typically evaporates fast since it is watery and light. Hence, it is suitable for deep hydration in skincare.

What does essence do in a skincare routine?

Face essence can offer several advantages and benefits to your skin if you add it to your daily skincare routine. It can be the best option for patients with sensitive skin allergies thanks to its elevated concentration of active elements. 

Applying alternative products can result in breakouts, itching, and redness.

Benefits Of Using Essence To Your Skincare Regimen

A facial essence product comes with features that soothe the skin at the cellular level.

Therefore, it accelerates its natural turnover and encourages a healthier and smoother complexion. You ought to rub it on your skin gently for it to penetrate deeper. 

Benefits Of Using Essence To Your Skincare Regimen - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online MalaysiaThe ingredients in essence help promote skin texture and tone. 


Essence has a lighter structure that offers numerous benefits without affecting the skin. Some benefits you may reap from the product include:

  • Hydration

Maintaining healthy moisture on the skin is crucial for people with dry skin. Essence can make this dream come true! The product comes with features to penetrate deep skin, give a youthful look, provide a hydrated glow, and improve the skin texture. 

It contains hyaluronic acid to help hydrate the skin. [1] Thus, the acid traps natural water from the surroundings and shields the skin from losing it’s moisture.


  • Anti-Aging Features

Essence also contains Vitamin C that helps to prevent early aging symptoms. The product will boost the skin’s immunity by stimulating skin collagen production. Therefore, it will protect the skin against developing wrinkles and other common skin aging concerns.

It would be best to mention that serum can also provide most of these skin health benefits. However, the active components’ concentration for the two products may vary. 

In other words, the products are more suitable for a certain skin category than others.

For that reason, ensure that you choose the best version of facial essences skin care for your skin variety. You can apply the product somewhere on your skin to see how your skin reacts. Remember to give it time to be sure that it would be the best option for you.

Editors’ Picks




What is Serum?

Serum refers to a gel-like product with an eminent concentration of powerful ingredients that can help to get rid of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, discolouration, fine line, and wrinkles. 

The product can be suitable for rejuvenating the skin’s cellular level. It works well for numerous known health benefits.

The product contains enzymes, peptides, antioxidants, and vitamins to control scarring, acne, aging symptoms, skin pigmentation, and free radical damage. It also helps to reduce fine lines.

A serum product feels a bit thicker and heavier than a beauty essence. Yet, the two products boost hydration, deliver beneficial nutrients, and are relatively lightweight.

What is Serum - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

Serum is a gel-like product with high concentrations of active constituents.


Serum can be less or more oily depending on the brand, but most brands are watery nowadays. 

Higher active essential concentration will translate to an oily serum product. The increased concentration can be helpful to particular patient categories since it helps to target and treat intense specific skin concerns.

Serum products come in pumps or dropper bottles to enable easy use. Users can apply a few drops on the hands and spread it gently on the face to massage it on the skin. 

Massaging it gently in a circular motion (using fingertips or cotton pad) will help to deliver the ingredients deep into the skin. 

Note: applying more serum in your skincare routine does not mean you’ll get more benefits.

Benefits Of Using Serum

A few drops of a good serum is sufficient to deliver better results. Instead of the amount, focus on applying the product regularly. Ensure that you rub gently on the skin to penetrate inner skin levels.


Benefits of Using Serum - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

Serums work differently depending on individual skin nature and health. 


In general, the product comes with beneficial ingredients that work differently depending on the skin type and health condition. They contain AHAs, BHA, HCA, and Vitamin C. These ingredients are vital for the following benefits:

  • Hydration

Maintaining natural moisture on the skin is crucial for people with stale skin. Serum products can make it easier! 

These products come with features that can penetrate deep skin for a youthful look, provide a hydrated glow, and improve skin texture. Common serum products on the market also contain HCA to help hydrate the skin. 

Similar to facial essence, the ingredients in serums trap moisture from the surroundings and hold them in your skin. 


    • Anti-Aging Features

      The serum also contains Vitamin C that helps to prevent early aging symptoms. It will boost the skin’s immunity by stimulating skin collagen production. This protects the skin against developing creases and other common skin aging features.

      Nevertheless, the lofty concentration of active components in serum may irritate some skin types. [2] Thus, it’d be wise to try it on a small part of the skin before applying it to the whole face. 

      Doctors recommend using essence before switching to serum as a replacement if essence products do not work. Always keep in mind to consult a dermatologist should any skin issues arise.

      Editors’ Picks



      Essence Vs Serum: 6 Key Differences and Similarities

      1. Texture And Concentration

      Essence comes in a liquid texture that is slightly more watery than serum. Thus, the user should pour it on their fingers and apply it gently to the skin. The skin will absorb it gradually to permeate the deeper skin level. 

      On the other hand, the serum contains a greater concentration of vital ingredients, making it harsher. Yet, products with oil-based or water consistency are available to be chosen from, just like other cosmetic products. 

      In any case, the product is oil-free to suffuse deep into the skin. Consequently, it may deposit a non-greasy finish that enables it to diffuse deeper into the skin. 

      Texture And Concentration - Differences Between Serum and Essence - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

      Essence products are more watery than serum. 


      2. Ingredients

      Essence preparation involves heating ingredients such as remnants, rinds, vegetable skins, and fruits skins at a high temperature to produce vapours. The next step would be to collect and condense the steam. Most brands indicate on packages that essence contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. 

      On the other hand, serum eliminates most of the fluids in its ingredients. It contains a higher concentration of skin brighteners, peptides, and antioxidants. It can feature other ingredients such as kojic acid to deliver better results. 

      In any case, serum products such as Bio-essence Bio-Gold Golden Ratio Double Serum and SK-II Facial Treatment Essence PITERA Facial Serum claim they include enzymes, peptides, AHAs, BHA, HCA, and Vitamin C. 

      Generally, the serum has more active elements than facial essence to combat harsh conditions.

      Ingredients - Differences Between Serum and Essence - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

      Serum products contain more key active ingredients suitable for more complex skin.


      3. Order Of Application

      In any case, you should try out essence first before you opt for serum. Serum products are suitable for more complex skin conditions. In general, serum creams contain a larger concentration of dynamic components that are more likely to cause side effects. 

      Therefore, essence should be the first option for improving your skin hydration with no other complex skin health conditions. Serum and other creams can be an option where essence does not give positive results. It can be suitable for severe skin health conditions like removing dead skin cells.

      If you intend to use these two products simultaneously, the ideal order of application should be essence first, then serum.

      Simply follow the essential steps of your regular skincare routine and use essence after a hydrating toner and sheet mask (optional), then followed by serum, moisturizer, and eye cream.


      4. Skin Type Affinity

      Essence comes with several skin health benefits, but minus the excess lipid and grease layer in serum. Thus, essence products are more suitable for users with oily skin who would like to boost their skin moisture level. 

      The serum is apt for users looking to balance out skin oil, remove dead skin cells, and refresh the skin. Serum can be way intense for irritated skin that requires simple hydration.

      You may be interested in: Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

      Skin Type  - Differences Between Serum and Essence - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

      Essence products are suitable for users with an oily skin type.


      5. Used For Different Age Groups

      Essence has a lower active ingredient concentration than serum. Thus, it can be the better option for younger ages that require simple skin toning and cleansing. In other words, the essence is gentler on the skin than serum.

      You can opt for antioxidant creams and serums when you hit your late 20s to boost collagen production and combat premature aging skin. 

      Retinoid and retinol products are good for users crossing the 30s milestone. 

      Generally, the essence is appropriate for younger ages that require a safe, glowing skin health booster.

      Used For Different Age Groups -  Differences Between Serum and Essence - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

      Essence is more gentle on the skin as compared to serum.



      6. Benefits/Downsides

      Serum vs essence can both serve the same function. The products are suitable for hydrating the skin and slowing the aging effects. 

      However, serum features an elevated concentration of active ingredients, making the product more intense to the skin. It would be best to opt for facial essence where you need to improve simple skin health conditions.

      On the other hand, the serum is suitable for treating intense health conditions. With that being said, the product can result in adverse effects for some skin types. Therefore, it would be best to substitute serum to essence if the condition does not improve.

      Benefits of Serum and Essence -  Differences Between Serum and Essence - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

      Both products are suitable for hydrating the skin and combating anti-aging.

      So, Should I Use Facial Essence or Serum To My Skincare Regimen?

      "Use at Your Own Risk"

      It would be best to initially try out essence before you attempt serum regularly in your normal skincare routine. 

      In any case, the serum contains an elevated concentration of active ingredients, which makes it more likely to cause side effects or skin issues. Besides, checking on other crucial factors such as age will help you make the right decision. 

      Essence is suitable for dehydrating the skin and reversing aging effects for younger people.

      Conversely, serum can be suitable for complex skin treatment and anti-aging solutions for older people. It can be a better option for users who want a youthful skin surface in their 30s or above.

      To Sum Up




      • Liquid Substance
      • Light

      Gel-like consistency


      • Liquid & Watery Texture
      • Watery & Oil-based

      Skin Nature

      • Dry skin
      • Aging skin
      • Oily skin
      • Dry skin
      • Aging skin

      Active Ingredients

      • Remnants & Rinds
      • Vegetable skins
      • Fruits skins
      • Hyaluronic acid
      • Vitamin C
      • Skin brighteners
      • Peptides
      • Antioxidants
      • Hyaluronic acid
      • Vitamin C
      • AHAs
      • BHA


      • Rubbing
      • Rubbing


      • Anti-aging
      • Hydration
      • Anti-aging
      • Hydration



      30s and above


      • Retinols acid
      • Salicylic acid
      • Itching
      • Redness
      • Skin irritation


      Wrapping Up

      To sum up, it would be best to select the best brand and type of product according to your skin type and needs.

      Top-selling skincare brands such as Eucerin, Hada Labo, and DermEden come with beneficial features for the skin. The skin care products from these renowned brands tend to reduce active ingredients to ensure that they do not cause considerable side effects on the skin. 

      iPharmaHome, for example, is an online pharmacy that serves as a platform for all your health/beauty related queries and needs. With safety and quality guaranteed, you can purchase your favorite beauty and supplementary products here! 

      Check out the below for more available skincare products in iPharmaHome.



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