We’d all love to adopt a K-Beauty routine, but the extensive, multi-step regimens can be confusing, to say the least. Fortunately, Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, co-founders and co-CEO’s of the natural K-Beauty retailer Glow Recipe, are here to school us on the hot Korean Beauty product we need to know about — essences. Applied after your toner but before your serum, they prep and prime your skin while imparting complexion-enhancing benefits. Get ready to dive face-first into these six problem-solving essences, hand-picked by the lady bosses at Glow Recipe.

for brighter tone

1. Yuri Pibu Cellum Amaid Essence ($38): If dull skin is the silent killer of your every selfie, this is the essence for you. Lee explains, “This is the perfect brightening essence that promotes cell turnover for more youthful skin. It’s made with 60 percent galactomyces ferment filtrate, an ingredient extracted from sake yeast, and is a brightening powerhouse. It’s also packed with a blend of six natural oils to promote that youthful glow.”

for clear skin

2. Leegeehaam Tea Tree 90 Essence ($45): Breakouts unfortunately follow some of us way past adolescence. Not to worry! According to Chang, “This is a lightweight essence made from 90 percent tea tree extract, an ingredient commonly used to treat acne. The water-free formula also contains centella asiatica, which helps to even skin tone and visibly improve skin texture.”

for Minimizing Pores

3. Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence ($38): Be warned — this holy grail product often sells out. “This essence is a personal favorite of mine, as it works to smooth skin and tighten the appearance of pores,” Lee says. “[It’s] made with 60 percent artichoke extract, a super effective ingredient that dramatically firms the skin.”

for hydration

4. ID.AZ Dermastic Essence ($58): Sometimes skin needs help replenishing its protective barrier, which keeps moisture in and bacteria out. In those instances, reach for this restorative essence. “Formulated with Tremella mushroom, hyaluronic acid, and papaya fruit extract, this essence helps repair and restore the skin’s moisture barrier,” says Chang. “It’s gentle and super light, which allows it to instantly absorb into [your] skin.”

for a dewy finish

5. Leegeehaam Vita Propolis Ampoule ($38): If it’s a dewy glow you’re after (and let’s face it — who isn’t?), look no further than this top-seller. According to Lee, “Ampoules are essentially more concentrated treatments meant to be used intensively over a shorter period of time. However, Korean women now use ampoules in versatile ways, including layered before a serum or essence, even infusing a drop or two into BB or foundation for extra glow. This is one of the most highly rated products on our site and is packed with 50 percent propolis extract, giving skin an instant radiance boost.”

for makeup prep

6. Blithe InBetween Makeup Prep Essence ($38): Imagine a world where cosmetics didn’t leave you at risk of blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores. That’s where this priming bad boy comes in. “This innovative essence creates a sheer, protective layer on the skin surface to lock in moisture, prevent makeup from clogging pores, and protect against environmental stressors,” Chang says. “It’s also formulated with fermented soybeans, tomato leaf extract, and ceramides to nourish, hydrate, and strengthen skin for a makeup-ready complexion.”

Which essence do you want to try? Tell us on Pinterest!

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(Photo via Glow Recipe)