WHAT IS TONER + ESSENCE?

Last week, I was in an Uber Pool, when my co-passenger eerily leaned over during our 40-minute commute (to Santa Monica in traffic) and whispered, “Your skin looks amazing! What is your secret?”

 

I stared at her for a second, taken aback, then took out my headphones and said, “Sorry, what?” (I was in the middle of listening to “Liberi Fatali” from FFVIII – bless Square-Enix for finally doing some good and releasing those OSTs on Spotify.)

 

Needless to say, out of politeness I tried to think of a way to casually describe my daily skincare routine and how she might benefit by adding certain ingredients (*cough* Galactomyces) and products (*cough* EVENPRIME) into her own skincare regimen. 

 

What it boiled down to was this: she knew the basics and even used some K-Beauty products, but she was missing one crucial step – toner and essence. Fair enough. Skincare is tricky, and keeping up with all the product nomenclature out there might make your head spin.

 

Why is toner + essence such an essential step?

 

Toner is traditionally used as the final step in cleansing, while Essence is used as the first step in treatment. The main function of a toner is to balance the pH level of skin after cleansing and to remove the last traces of dirt and residue that your cleanser may have missed.

 

On the other hand, essences are like the middleman between your toner and moisturizer and target skin concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, and/or dull and uneven skin tones. Think of essence like a daily vitamin pack for your face.

 

In Korean beauty, toner + essence hybrids, which tend to focus more on locking in moisture after cleansing, are used to prep the skin with an extra layer of hydration, further promoting happy, healthy skin. With regular use, you should notice smoother and brighter skin.

 

When do I apply a toner + essence hybrid?

 

I like to apply some form of toner or essence immediately after cleansing. I tend to prefer a spray applicator as it is more sanitary than applying with fingers and more eco-friendly (and less wasteful of product) than using cotton pads or rounds.

 

Depending on the climate, I may re-apply the mist to add back moisture in the middle of the day (periodically rehydrating in dry climates like LA is important), or after working out to soothe redness.

 

Why use a toner + essence hybrid in lieu of separate products?

 

First things first, it’s very important to use a pH-balanced cleanser to maintain your skin’s natural acidity. Harsher soaps can cause an imbalance that leads to oily or dry skin (or worse – breakouts). Since all EVENPRIME (and most popular K-Beauty) products are pH-balanced, the antiquated toner of our mothers’ era is no longer necessary (remember, even ladies were once told it was okay to wash their faces with Dove bar soap). 

 

A toner + essence hybrid is essentially a pH-balanced essence that helps add a general blanket of goodness (antioxidants, nutrients, and humectants) back to the skin after cleansing. I also like to think of a “more is not always better” approach to skincare – in fact, the 10-step K-Beauty routine is sort of a myth. So when you’re in a hurry to get to work in the morning, the ease-of-use and time saved using a toner + essence hybrid is extremely valuable.

 

Introducing EVENPRIME’s Soothing Face Mist

 

EVENPRIME Soothing Face Mist 

If you’re familiar with Asian beauty you may already know about SK-II’s famous “Pitera” essence ($$$) or cheaper dupes like Missha’s “Time Revolution” series or CosRx’s brightening sprays. All good products, but we (*cue haughty anime laughter*) worked with one of Korea’s top chemists to create an even better formula.

 

Our Soothing Face Mist contains an incredibly high concentration of our star ingredient, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, a nutrient-dense byproduct of fermented saké that helps brighten skin tone, control oil production, reduce the appearance of large pores and blemishes, and speed up skin-cell turnover.

 

That’s not all. We also added a few additional humectants and skin-beneficial ingredients:

  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) helps soothe and restore the skin’s natural barrier to harmful bacteria, while Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5) improves hydration.
  • Deep Sea Water, sourced from more than 1500 meters below the oceans surrounding Korea’s volcanic islands, is rich in minerals like Mg, Ca, Cl, Na, K, Se and V. These minerals help detoxify skin, reducing irritation and inflammation, and help to regulate sebum-production (preventing clogged pores). 
  • Sodium Hyaluronate is smaller and more stable than older forms of Hyaluronic Acid, which allows it to more easily penetrate the skin. It helps your skin retain moisture while reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Sea Buckthorn and Kakadu Plum extracts have high levels of Vitamin C and other antioxidants that detoxify the skin and fight free radical damage caused by pollution or sun exposure. Further enhanced when combined with Madecassoside (a bio-active compound found in Centella Asiatica). Both extracts have natural antibacterial qualities and help protect acne-prone skin.


Like all of our products, our Soothing Face Mist is 100% clean, vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free. A portion of all sales goes to ocean cleanup efforts around the world. I use it on my face daily, and can’t recommend it enough.


To quote my mother, who for the longest time refused to trade her Witch Hazel toner for our Face Mist (but is now converted), “I’ve spent so much money over the years on products like Obagi to fight hyperpigmentation, but this is the only product that has actually worked.”