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The Danish term hygge means to be content with the simple things in life – an idea that has never been more relevant than it is now – and Korean brand HYGGEE adopts this concept into its skin care products. As we transition from winter to spring, I’ve been looking to simplify my routine with lightweight and gentle products that will maintain skin’s pH balance and ensure it stays moisturized but not greasy.
HYGGEE’s Onestep Facial Essence, which comes in two types, truly ticks all the boxes. This multifunctional essence claims to strengthen skin barrier, improve pH balance, offer moisturizing effects, and serve as a toner, serum and moisturizer in one. The Balance version is targeted towards dry and sensitive skin, while the Fresh version is designed for oily and combination skin. I put both of these products to the test to see whether they live up to their claims!
Even though I personally have combination skin, I wanted to try out HYGGEE’s Onestep Facial Essence (Balance) because I was so intrigued by its unique foaming oil formulation consisting of 20% plant oil and 80% enriched water essence. It naturally separates into two layers, which is why the essence needs to be shaken before use. It’s also formulated with birch sap and NMF 5 effectors to offer intense hydration, natural oils that create a seamless moisture barrier to prevent evaporation, as well as four kinds of ferment to exfoliate skin. The essence has a lighter and smoother texture than most other oil-based products, providing an instant freshening effect and leaving skin radiant and dewy.
I found this essence to be rather viscous, as I had to pour out many drops from the bottle’s small hole in order to get enough product. The consistency also made it quite hard to apply. I really liked the light scent, which seemed to consist of a mixture of citrus and herbal elements, as it was tangy and fresh with slightly bitter notes. My qualms with the essence include the greasy shine that it left on my hands and face, as well as its slightly sticky finish.
I don’t think the essence significantly brightened my complexion. However, it did deliver on the moisturizing and smoothing fronts. The moisturizing effect was subtle but still noticeable after a night of sleep.
HYGGEE’s Onestep Facial Essence (Fresh) is made for oily and combination skin, so I had sky-high hopes that this would be a perfect fit for me. The water-based essence is also enriched with birch sap to deliver and retain moisture, avocado extract to control excess sebum, and fermented ingredients to remove dead skin cells and create soft, smooth and radiant skin. It’s meant to instantly quench your skin’s thirst while leaving it refreshed and shine-free.
I much preferred the convenient pump bottle design of this essence. One pump delivered just enough product, and it was very easy to spread across skin. The Fresh version has the same great scent as the Balance version, as well as a similar texture. However, its water base and sebum control formula made all the difference, sinking into skin immediately and leaving a lightweight and comfortable matte finish.
Similar to the Balance version of the essence, I woke up with subtly moisturized skin. My skin felt smoother after use when compared to the Balance version, but I didn’t really notice a softer or more radiant complexion.
For a more objective measure, I decided to bring in a skin moisture analyzer to track the effects the two essences had on my skin over time. Below are my skin’s recorded moisture levels:
|Balance version||Fresh version|
|After 10 minutes||50%||58%|
|After 3 hours||46%||47%|
It was interesting to see that although there was a more immediate jump in moisture right after use of the Fresh version, the effects of both were quite consistent after a longer period of time. Given that the Balance version is created for dry skin, I was surprised that it didn’t raise my skin’s moisture levels more than the Fresh version.
Overall, I expected a more dramatic moisturizing effect from both essences and was slightly disappointed by how my skin felt in the morning. Nonetheless, I had a pleasant experience in general, as the scents and textures were gentle, the formulas didn’t irritate my skin, and they lived up to most of their promises. Both versions boosted my skin’s moisture levels to roughly the same extent, but I definitely prefer the Fresh version because of its shine-free finish. It’s an absolute dream to use in the morning, as it settles into skin quickly and leaves no visible trace of its presence, allowing me to immediately apply my makeup on top. It also keeps my skin feeling hydrated but not oily during the day. In comparison, I would probably save the Balance version for use before bed.
Have you tried these essences? Leave your thoughts down below!