Essence VS. Toner: What You Should Be Using According To Dermatologist Dr. Mamina Turegano

Dr. Mamina Turegano

Mamina Turegano, MD, is a triple board-certified dermatologist, internist, and dermatopathologist. Dr. Turegano has a special interest in evaluating how nutrition, lifestyle, sleep, and other environmental factors can play a significant role in inflammation, aging, and cancer. She enjoys incorporating holistic practices in her patients who deal with anything ranging from acne to warts. Dr. Turegano has an active and thriving cosmetic and laser practice, where she performs various neuromodulator (Botox, Dysport, Jeuveau) and filler injections (Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero). She also performs Kybella, micro-needling, chemical peels, and plate-rich plasma PRP injections. Given her background in internal medicine, she also has an interest in complex medical dermatology, including autoimmune skin diseases and psoriasis. 

It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all of the skincare options that are out there. Retinol or retinoid, serums or oil? The list goes on. Most recently, essence became a popular product in skincare, originating from Korea. We sat down with Haute Beauty Skin Expert Dr. Mamina Turegano to learn the real difference between toner and essence and who should be using each.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

HB: What is toner?

Toner removes any residual dirt. It is supposed to restore the balance of the pH on your skin so that the other products work better.

HB: What is essence?

Essence is basically any ingredient that can address a specific issue that you might have. If you have dryness you can an essence that addresses dryness. If you have wrinkles, you can get ingredients, that can help with wrinkles. If you have uneven skin tone, you could get ingredients in your essence for that. It's really ingredients in this lightweight liquid form that can be used as a little booster for what you're trying to target.

HB: Is applying toner a necessary step in your skincare routine?

With the whole movement of double cleansing, to me, it makes toner less necessary because that second round of cleansing can help remove any extra dirt grime. It may even be healthier for your skin than potentially using a harsher ingredient to wipe away any extra dirt or grime.

Essence vs. TonerPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

HB: What are your favorite essences to use?

I got a couple, one is the Scinic First Treatment Essence, the other is the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin, another one that I like is SKII.

What makes SKII and Scinic, really effective is this fermented yeast extract that's in both. Yeast fermented extract has been shown to do multiple things. It's been shown to help hydrate, help repair the skin barrier, help with like hyperpigmentation, even out skin tone, help shrink pores, and decrease like oil in your pores.