Toner vs. Essence: What’s the difference?

Toner vs. Essence: What’s the difference?

The list of products, steps, and tools involved in a skincare routine seems to grow by the minute. It can get overwhelming for even the most advanced beauty connoisseur. Everyone boasts different opinions on how to create the ideal everyday skincare routine. We’re here to help clear a few things up.

In between your standard cleansing and moisturizing, there are a few additional steps that you might want to consider incorporating into your skincare routine. Two of these in-between steps are often misunderstood and mixed up: toner and essence. While they may look and feel similar, they serve different purposes and deliver varied results. For some, toner is the way to go, whereas others swear by essence. Some may prefer both! We’re here to help provide all the basic information you’ll need to create a successful regimen for your unique skin concerns.

Toner 101

Toner is a lightweight, often water-based, formula designed to balance your skin’s natural pH levels. Cleansing can alter your skin’s moisture balance so it’s important to apply toner directly afterward. In addition to balancing, toner helps remove any leftover makeup, impurities, and dead skin cells. A clean, residue-free face helps subsequent skincare products absorb quicker and more efficiently. Additionally, toner can help reduce the look of pores and brighten your complexion (this is great for oilier skin types).

Fun fact: The pH scale ranges from 0-14 and is used to determine how acidic something is, with 0 being the most acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being the most basic. Your skin should be around 5pH, slightly on the acidic side. But don’t worry, this isn’t a science course—just pay attention to your skin and what it’s trying to tell you. 

Essence 101

While already extremely popular in Asia, Japanese and Korean essences (also sometimes referred to as “lotions”) are gaining worldwide attention for their incredible benefits. While toner primarily balances and cleanses the skin, essence is packed with cosmetic active ingredients that target specific skin concerns such as hydration, radiance, texture, and more.

Get To Know Balancing Milk

Unsure where to start? Can’t decide between toner or essence? Want to save some time while reaping maximum skincare benefits? We’ve got just the thing. We’ve created an all-in-one, first-of-its-kind balancing milk: INFINESSE Derma Pump Milk S. This Hyaluronic Acid-infused multitasker softens, brightens, smooths, balances, and strengthens the skin, providing all the benefits of toner and much more. It also removes any makeup residue, excess oil, and dead skin when applied with a cotton pad. Composed of water, oil, and natural moisturizing ingredients, it has a unique texture and velvety finish that your skin will love.

How to use: To get the best results, thoroughly cleanse your face then apply three pumps of INFINESSE Derma Pump Milk S onto an Extra Facial Cotton. (FYI: a cotton pad distributes a uniform amount of product onto the skin, which is key to optimum moisture balance.) Gently massage the product into the skin using slow, circular motions. This mild exfoliation helps remove makeup residue and dead skin cells. Use morning and night.

An Essence For Everyone

There are many different types of essences, each addressing varied skin concerns. Our iconic Skin Conditioner Essential N is a great place to start for most skin types. A rare variety of Job’s tears called Kita no Hato helps smooth the skin with moisturizing properties and antioxidants. If you’re looking for a youthful glow, indulge in our luxe EXCIA EMBEAGE Extra Lotion to rejuvenate and stimulate the skin for a lifted, firm appearance. For beautifying youthful-looking care, Flora Drip is the perfect, all-purpose essence for you. Powerful fermented technology actively permeates the skin to address multiple skin-aging concerns.

The cherry on top of ALBION’s essence skincare is a layered sensory experience. Each product is imbued with elevated, non-irritating aromas that soothe and relax the body and soul. Your skincare ritual will reach a whole new level of luxury.

We believe strongly in the transformative powers of toner and essence. Now that you know the differences and have been introduced to our best-in-class offerings, the real fun can begin. Enjoy trying new products and discovering what works best for your skin. Wherever your skincare journey goes, we’re here for you every step of the way. Here’s to happy, glowing skin.


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