There are so many skin care products on the market these days, it can be a minefield knowing where to even begin, but keeping up is part of the fun, isn't it? It's not often that something lands on my desk where I don't automatically know what it's for, but that is exactly what happened when Lancome's newest Hydra Zen product was sitting in front of me.
On the bottle, it simply says "Anti-Stress Beauty Essence", which sounds great, but what exactly is it? A toner? Cleanser? Serum? Light mask? Gel Moisturiser?
The simple answer is no, it's none of those, which begs the question again - what is it?
Beauty Essences are big in Korea, where the K-Beauty fans are known to be ahead of the game in a big way - do you remember a few years ago when BB & CC Creams became popular? And the new buzz about cushion foundations? That all started in Korea.
The idea behind these "essences" is that they are a stepping stone in your beauty routine, offering an instant hit of moisture to the skin, whether used alone or as prep for either more skin care or make-up.
When pumped on to your hand, Lancome's Hydra Zen Beauty Essence (€39) looks like a gel, but the minute you touch it, it becomes like water, which is when you can massage it onto the skin. It absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling really refreshed, comfortable and hydrated with no residue at all.
As a make-up artist, this is the exact type of result I want when working on a photo shoot as it means make-up can be applied straight away, as if to entirely clean skin, but skin that is hydrated, plumped and ready for make-up.
For everyday use, this could serve as an instant shot of moisture for those who suffer with dehydration caused by changeable weather/stress/lack of sleep etc, but are happy with their skin care routine in general. Some might argue that it all seems a little gimmicky but I found that this works, and works fast as well, so it's a thumbs up from me!
Do beauty essences intrigue you? Would you try it?