In Korean beauty routines, a skin essence is a key step that ensure that all the other skincare products work well with the skin. I discovered how much I like using a product like this as an extra layer of hydration when I tried the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence. But that is a pricey product so I went in search of more affordable alternative and I think I found one!
The Body Shop Drops of Youth Youth Essence-Lotion
Meet The Body Shop Drops of Youth Skin Essence! It is no secret that I love The Body Shop skincare and so I was hoping to find a good alternative in their line. I tried the Vitamin E version first, but that wasn’t a big success. At the same price as that, at €15, this is a much more affordable alternative to the Kiehl’s skin essence. The question is: is it any good? The answer is YES!
The packaging of this product is nice and clean. It is a green plastic bottle that is quite easy to use. It contains 160 ml of product and you can easily see how much product you still have left. The way I use this is quite simple: I just pour out a bit onto my hand and spread it over my hands. The next step is to gently dab it onto my face. I then go straight in with a face oil and a moisturizer.
What this product promises to do is refresh the skin and a prep step before you apply any more skincare. It is a vegan product with aloe vera and three plantbased extracts. It is supposed to hydrate and is your first step after cleansing.
Aqua, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Phenoxyethanol, Betaine, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Parfum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Disodium EDTA, Methylpropanediol, Linalool, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citronellol, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Eryngium Maritimum Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Poterium Officinale Extract, Zingiber Officinale Root Extract, Limonene, Leontopodium Alpinum Callus Culture Extract, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum.
If you look at the ingredient list the main ingredient is water. An ingredient that is high up the list that I am not happy about is Alcohol Denat: this ingredient actually detracts moisture from the skin and can be a major irritant. It was also a main ingredient in the Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate, which was not great for my skin. Many of the active ingredients promised are in the second half of the ingredients list. So just looking at the ingredient list, this isn’t the greatest if you have sensitive skin.
Despite the not so great ingredient list, I find this product works well for me. The Vitamin E version felt like it didn’t work as a prepping step in my skincare routine as it was too thick. This does work as a first step: it is not my main hydrator and I mainly use it at night before going in with some more intense product. I feel this product helps my skin to absorb the products I layer on top and that is my main goal with using a product like this.
As you can see this product looks like water and is quite thin. The website says this should have a gel like texture, but I would disagree. It is far thinner than a gel texture. It is runny and therefore you only need a little bit at the time. It sinks in quickly and I feel I can apply other skincare products straight on top of it.
While The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Skin Essence works well for me, I can see this won’t be for everyone. The ingredient list is full of potentially irritating ingredients. I therefore would not recommend if your skin already feels dry and it definitely requires intense hydrating products to be applied on top. That said, I find this product does exactly what I need it to do and that is why I will definitely be repurchasing this once I get through some of my other skincare.