Applied after cleansing but before serum, hydrating essences are rapidly absorbed for maximum moisture with concentrated formulas designed specifically to target wrinkles, fine lines and dull and uneven skin tones.

“Don’t be deceived; though they may have the consistency of water, some are more concentrated and high-impact than many serums and creams, ” Eleanor Pendleton, SK-II Australian beauty expert, says.

While new to Australia, hydrating essences are common in Asian women’s skincare rituals. Ms Pendleton explains the Asian skincare market is about a decade ahead in skincare technology.

“Asian skincare brands are often respected as being pioneers, ” she says. “Take BB creams — they originated out of Asia in the 90s but only gained momentum here in Australia a couple of years ago.”

The products stemmed from Asian women having a thinner moisture barrier and being prone to moisture loss. “So you can undoubtedly expect essences and liquid lotions to be the next big thing, ” she says.

Top lotions and essences:


SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, $100

This was the first SK-II product ever, launched in Japan in 1980. Still touting the same original formula, which Japanese women refer to as “miracle water”, it’s 90 per cent Pitera. This works to boost the skin’s moisture intake, smooth and exfoliate skin texture and renew dull skin. Available from Myer and David Jones.

Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, $115

This super-silky serum helps prevent fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and uneven skin tone. It’s luxe and ultra-hydrating, formulated with micro-nutrient bio- ferments (a blend of micronutrients and peptides) to mirror cell renewal. The result is plump skin with a supple texture and glow. Available at Estee Lauder counters and at

Chantecaille Vital Essence, $144

This revolutionary eye gel and face serum looks science-savvy in its new-age packaging so you just know it packs a punch — its super-hydrating, anti-ageing ingredients and antioxidants protect and rebalance. It has 95.5 per cent botanicals, with healing pure rosewater and white rose to strengthen, it regulates sebum, is anti-inflammatory and revitalises cell renewal for sensitive or acne-prone skin. Available at Mecca Cosmetica and


Shiseido IBUKI Softening Concentrate, $58

Popular among city dwellers for its ability to imbue even the most stressed skin with a dewy finish, this concentrated softener penetrates quickly, plumps and enhances other skincare. It is perfect for those in their 20s looking to get a head start at building good skin foundations. For the next age group up, try the luxe anti-ageing Shiseido Future Solution LX Concentrated Balancing Softener, $126. Available at Shiseido counters at Myer and David Jones.

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, $79

Its nifty little packaging is perfect for holiday packing and this intensive moisture treatment offers super-saturated hydration for even the driest skin. The clear, watery fluid revitalises thirsty skin and smooths and minimises fine lines, while a blend of hyaluronic acid, panthenol, glycolipids and algae extracts restores balance. Visit for stockists.




© The West Australian

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