best korean essence for combination skin

7 Best Korean Essence For Combination Skin In 2023

It is difficult to get the right best Korean essence for combination skin or any other skin product really, because of its dual nature.

Some areas can be really dry whereas other areas, mainly the T-zone tends to be oily. People with this skin type often struggle to find a product that works just right for them.

The Korean skincare industry has introduced a lot of wonderful products for combination skin that helps in improving your skin and the essences are no exception.

Before starting with your skincare products, it is essential to use an essence on your skin to make sure that it is ready to fully absorb and reap the benefits of the Korean skincare products that follow.

It has a very watery consistency so it doesn’t feel sticky on your face after application. 

Korean Essence For Combination SkinBest ForChief Ingredients
Missha The First Treatment EssenceBrighteningHimalayan purple barley
Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis EssenceCollagen Boosting and DrynessBlack bee propolis, Sodium hyaluronate,Rrroyal jelly extract
Tosoowong Green Tea Skin EssenceAcne & RosaceaGreen tea extract, Bifida ferment
Cremorlab Mineral Treatment EssenceSensitive, Sun-burnt SkinChamomile, peony, Rooibos extract
COSRX Advanced Snail 96% EssencePitted Acne Scars Snail mucus filtrate
Neogen Real Ferment Micro EssenceAnti-AgingRice ferment, Bifida ferment
Danahan Seed Secret EssenceSkin InflammationKorean red ginseng

The main way to make sure that your combination skin gets all the right treatment is by layering appropriately.

We have curated a list of the best essences available for combination skin to make sure that your skin care routine is not incomplete.

Top Korean Essence For Combination Skin 2023

How To Choose the Best Korean Essence For Combination Skin?

Choosing the best Korean essence for combination skin requires considering specific factors that cater to the unique needs of this skin type. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the right choice:

  1. Skin Type Assessment: Understand your combination skin type. Combination skin usually features an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and drier cheeks.
  2. Hydration and Oil Control: Look for an essence that provides balanced hydration without being too heavy on the oily areas. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid offer lightweight moisture, while tea tree oil can help control excess oil.
  3. Ingredients: Opt for essences with nourishing and soothing ingredients like green tea, centella asiatica, or snail mucin to calm and balance your skin.
  4. Non-Comedogenic: Ensure the essence is non-comedogenic to avoid clogging pores and potential breakouts on oily areas.
  5. Alcohol-Free: Avoid essences with high alcohol content, as alcohol can be drying and may aggravate the dry areas on your skin.
  6. Texture: Choose a lightweight and easily absorbable essence, as heavy products may cause greasiness on the T-zone.
  7. pH-Balanced: Look for pH-balanced formulas to maintain the skin’s natural balance.
  8. Patch Test: Always do a patch test on a small area of your skin to check for any adverse reactions before applying it to your entire face.
  9. Product Reviews: Read reviews from people with combination skin to see how the essence worked for them.
  10. Consult Professionals: If you have specific skin concerns or sensitivities, it’s best to consult a dermatologist or skincare expert for personalized recommendations.

Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, so it may take some trial and error to find the perfect Korean essence for your combination skin. Be patient, and listen to your skin’s needs to achieve a healthy and balanced complexion.

Difference Between Essence and Serum

Essence and serum are both popular skincare products, but they have some key differences in terms of their formulation, texture, and purpose in a skincare routine:

  1. Formulation:
  • Essence: Essences are lightweight, water-like formulas that contain active ingredients to hydrate, nourish, and prep the skin. They typically have a higher water content and are formulated with smaller molecules, allowing for deeper penetration into the skin.
  • Serum: Serums are more concentrated and thicker than essences. They contain a higher concentration of active ingredients, such as antioxidants, peptides, or vitamins, targeting specific skin concerns like wrinkles, dark spots, or hydration.
  1. Texture:
  • Essence: Essences have a watery texture that absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving a light and refreshing feel.
  • Serum: Serums have a thicker, more viscous texture that may take slightly longer to absorb into the skin.
  1. Function:
  • Essence: Essences mainly focus on providing lightweight hydration, maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier, and preparing the skin to better absorb subsequent skincare products.
  • Serum: Serums are formulated to address specific skincare concerns and deliver potent active ingredients deep into the skin to target issues like aging, brightening, or firming.
  1. Order in Skincare Routine:
  • Essence: Essences are typically used after cleansing and before applying serums or moisturizers. They are considered an essential step in Korean skincare routines.
  • Serum: Serums are applied after using an essence and before moisturizer to maximize their benefits.
  1. Usage Frequency:
  • Essence: Essences are often used twice daily, in the morning and evening.
  • Serum: Serums are also used twice daily or as recommended by the product’s instructions, depending on the specific skin concern being targeted.

In summary, essences focus on providing lightweight hydration and prepping the skin, while serums are potent treatments that target specific skincare concerns. Incorporating both essence and serum into your skincare routine can create a well-rounded approach to maintaining healthy and radiant skin.

Is Essence or Serum Better For Combination Skin

Both essence and serum can be beneficial for combination skin, but they serve different purposes and can address specific skin concerns associated with this skin type. The effectiveness of each product depends on the ingredients and the specific needs of your combination skin. Here’s how each product can benefit combination skin:

Essence for Combination Skin:

  • Lightweight hydration: Essences are water-like formulas that provide lightweight hydration, which is essential for combination skin to balance both dry and oily areas.
  • Balancing: Many essences contain ingredients that help balance the skin’s oil production, making them suitable for the T-zone (oily areas) without overhydrating the drier areas.

Serum for Combination Skin:

  • Targeted treatment: Serums are more concentrated and can address specific skin concerns like fine lines, dark spots, or dullness.
  • Customizable: Combination skin often experiences different issues in different areas, and serums can be customized to focus on those specific concerns.

Combining Essence and Serum:
For combination skin, using both essence and serum in your skincare routine can offer a balanced approach. You can apply an essence all over your face to provide lightweight hydration and prep the skin for better absorption of subsequent products. Then, use a targeted serum on specific areas or concerns that need extra attention.

Always check the product ingredients to ensure they are suitable for your skin type. Look for lightweight, non-comedogenic, and hydrating essences for combination skin. For serums, consider formulas that address your specific skin concerns without being too heavy on the skin.

Ultimately, the best approach is to listen to your skin’s needs and tailor your skincare routine accordingly. Experiment with different products to find the right combination that works best for your unique combination skin.

Missha The First Treatment Essence

Best Brightening Korean Essence For Combination Skin

Best Brightening Korean Essence For Combination Skin

This is one of the best selling essences for combination skin and it is heavily concentrated. It has more than 90% fermented ingredients which include fermented yeast extracts of Himalayan Purple Barley and Gemule.

The Himalayan Purple Braley seeps deep into your skin to provide moisturisation, remove dead skin cells, even the skin tone and soothing irritated skin.

The fermented Gemule Yeast extract also helps in improving the moisture-retaining capacity of the skin. The essence also contains Niacinamide which is an extremely beneficial ingredient for your dull skin.

It strengthens the skin’s barrier, evens your skin tone, improves texture and elasticity and fades imperfections.

The Cassia Alata leaf extracts protect your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun, delay aging and restore damaged DNA cells. It claims to improve your skin hydration up to 142% and the texture by 119%.


  • Perfect to use as the first step in your skin care routine as it helps boost skin hydration.
  • Promotes better skin texture by getting rid of dead skin cells.
  • Recommended for those with dry and dull skin types.


  • Cannot be used by children, only suitable for mature skin.

Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence

Best Hydrating Korean Essence For Combination Skin

Best Hydrating Korean Essence For Combination Skin

This essence contains 63% Black Bee propolis and 10% Royal Jelly and 10% Black honey extract which is extremely nourishing to your skin.

Black honey contains Lactic acid, Iron and Antioxidants which protects the skin from free radicals. It helps in slowing down ageing by improving the collagen on your skin.

This essence is recommended for those with a weak or broken skin barrier since it helps in healing and strengthening it. The bee propolis penetrates deep into the skin and helps in smoothening the skin and making it soft and supple.

It replaces purified water with an ampoule essence made of mature honey that strengthens the skin barrier.

This essence is recommended for those with weak immunity who tend to suffer from breakouts and dryness.

It is also helpful for people who tend to have damaged skin barrier due to the changing seasons and inner dryness of the skin.


  • Contains natural ingredients.
  • Acts as a protective barrier over the skin and helps retain moisture for longer hours.
  • Cane help even out skin tone and reduce dark spots.


  • Not recommended for those with irritated or very sensitive skin types.

Tosoowong Green Tea Skin Essence

Korean Essence For Acne-Prone, Combination Skin

This essence is packed with the goodness of Green tea which is highly nutritious for your skin. It helps in treating a number of conditions such as Acne, Rosacea etc. 

It has excellent antioxidant and antibacterial properties which help in slowing down ageing and relieving irritation. It is also rich in Vitamin B2 and Vitamin E which helps in improving the level of collagen on your skin and keeping it tight and firm.

It also contains Niacinamide and Fruit extracts which help in keeping the skin healthy and plump.

Niacinamide protects the skin from environmental stressors like the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun, pollution and other toxins. It also helps in relieving acne and acne scars, skin inflammations etc to bring an even texture and glow to your skin.

The fruit extracts help in promoting the growth of new skin cells and provides intense hydration and nourishment to the skin. This is ideal for those who want to remove redness and inflammation from the skin.


  • Perfect for those with sensitive skin.
  • Contains green tea as its key ingredient which is loaded with antioxidants to promote better skin health.
  • Can penetrate deep into the skin and moisturize and nourish the skin from within.


  • None.

Related: Try these best Korean essence for acne to keep breakouts under control

Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence

Korean Essence For Sensitive, Combination Skin

This essence is rich in chamomile extract, peony extract, Rooibos extract and mineral essence that helps in repairing and restoring dry skin. Chamomile extract assists in soothing irritated and inflamed skin with the help of its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps in softening rough and dry skin.

 Peony also has great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which makes sure that your skin is protected from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

The essence claims to give five specific benefits to your skin through prolonged use such as whitening the skin, improving the texture, moisturising the skin, minimising pores and removing and preventing wrinkles.

This essence does not contain skin irritants like artificial fragrance, artificial colour or denatured alcohol. It also has a soothing smell of natural spring water.

If you are someone struggling with uneven skin texture, wrinkles, pores and uneven skin tone,  this could be your holy grail.


  • Can be used for all skin types even for those with sensitive skin.
  • Free-from harsh chemicals like parabens.
  • Helps restore skin elasticity and nourishes the skin from within.
  • Helps keep the skin hydrated and improves overall skin texture.


  • Not suitable for younger skin, only suitable for mature skin.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96% Essence

Korean Essence For Combination Skin and Acne Scars

This essence is formulated with 96% Snail secretion which is an amazing ingredient for your skin. It contains hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and glycoproteins.

Hyaluronic acid is well-known for its property to lock-in moisture on your skin and keeps it hydrated for a considerably long time. The glycolic acid penetrates deeply into your skin and helps in increasing the production of collagen on your skin.

It also helps in soothing acne and fading acne scars. It is also a great exfoliator and helps in delaying the process of ageing.

The glycoproteins in the essence work with hyaluronic acid to strengthen the skin barrier and deliver smooth and healthy skin. If you are looking for a product that can revert skin damage, this is a good option.

This product is hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free and phthalate-free.

The snail mucin in the product is obtained in an environmentally-friendly manner after providing a safe and 100% natural environment for the snails.


  • Suitable for those with damaged or dehydrated skin types.
  • Helps lighten scars.


  • None.

Related: Check out these amazing Korean serums for acne scars to get smooth, glass-like skin

Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence

Best Anti-Aging Korean Essence For Combination Skin

The essence comprises over 90% natural fermented ingredients. The Bifida ferment Lysate in it helps in strengthening the skin barrier and moisturises the skin to improve elasticity and improve immunity.

The Betula Alba Juice has excellent antibiotic and antiseptic properties. The Saccharomyces ferment filtrate helps in encouraging the regeneration of the skin. 

This ingredient also strengthens the skin and intensely moisturises it to improve elasticity. The rice ferment filtrate helps in balancing the amount of oil on your skin.

Also, the essence also provides other benefits like promoting even skin tone, helping the skin recover from damages, protecting the skin, reducing the wrinkles on your skin, boosting immunity etc. 

The natural fermented water in the essence penetrates deep into the skin to improve the foundation of the skin, It also absorbs quickly into the skin so it replenishes the moisture without feeling sticky. 


  • Absorbs immediately into the skin and strengthens the skin barrier functioning.
  • Protection against irritants.


  • None.

Danahan Seed Secret Essence 

Best Anti-Inflammatory Korean Essence For Combination Skin

This essence is enriched with Ginseng water which provides excellent benefits for your skin. Ginseng is a popular ingredient in Korean skincare products and it is known as a “natural skin balancer” because of its ability to improve the condition of your skin.

It is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that protect your skin from several stressors including weather changes and ageing.

The essence also helps in improving your complexion and achieving an even skin tone to brighten your skin tone. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help in relieving inflammation, redness, breakouts, itching and puffiness.

The essence also consists of saponin and natural extracts that deliver soft, supple and youthful skin. 

Although the essence might appear to be thick in texture, it doesn’t feel heavy once you apply it to your face since it absorbs quickly.

This product is formulated without the use of sulfates, artificial colours, alcohol, parabens, mineral oil and essential oils. 


  • Perfect for any skin type.
  • Helps nourish the skin and promote skin glow.
  • Helps reduce signs of aging.


  • None.

If you are looking to achieve the popular Korean glass skin texture, an essence should be an inevitable part of your daily skincare routine.

Its benefits cannot be provided by any other skin product and it also helps in utilising the benefits provided by the other products.

Most of the essences tend to be lightweight and watery so it doesn’t feel sticky upon application.

However, it is important to understand your skin type and choose the products accordingly so you can get the exact results that you are looking for. 

Why You Should Trust Koreatruly?

All our editors including the author of this article, Song-i do extensive research on the products reviewed and recommended in the article. We also use these products ourself to give you accurate, first hand information without any prejudice or bias. Koreatruly has also got a team of medical reviewers and skincare experts to help give accurate advice and provide research-based facts concerning a product, its formulation or ingredients.

Also Read:

Best Skinfood products

Best Korean essence for oily skin

Best Korean essence for acne

Best Korean vitamin C serums

Missha The First Treatment Essence
best korean essence for combination skin

The Missha The First Treatment Essence is among the best Korean essence for combination skin. It contains niacinamide and Himalayan purple barley. It nourishes and brightens your skin.

Product SKU: YOQ570788NBLQ6

Product Brand: Missha

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $24.38

Price Valid Until: 2024-07-06

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

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