What are Treatment Essences Exactly? And Which One is Right for Me?

We consistently get asked about the differences between toners, treatment toners, essence toners, treatment essences, true essences, and whether or not all of these products are required for building a comprehensive K-beauty routine. (To simplify this, think of treatment toners, essence toners, and treatment essences as one and the same.) For this blog, we’re tackling treatment essences and helping you figure out which one is right for you.


While a fairly new category of products in the US, the treatment essence has carved out a space in Asia almost two decades ago. Treatment essences occupy an in-between role in a skincare routine as it resides somewhere between a toner and a true essence in texture and in the routine order. A toner balances skin in a thin formulation while a true essence is concentrated and thicker, requiring a dropper. Treatment essences are a happy middle as they act as a toner wherein it softens and preps skin for the next step, yet it also provides targeted treatment for your specific concerns like a true essence. This unique, multi-tasking hybrid makes for a lightweight, yet ‘cushiony’ or ‘bouncy’ texture that are dispensed through bottle neck.


See how the texture is thin, yet has retains some viscosity

So what does this mean for your skincare routine? Not all three steps of a toner, a treatment essence, and a true essence are required. Treatment essences can act as a substitute for your toner, and they provide the added bonus of nourishment. The application technique is just as important as the product itself – dispense a dime-sized amount into hands to and gently tap into skin. If preferred, dampen a cotton pad with the same amount and sweep all over the face. Afterwards, we still recommend following up with steps that treat specific concerns with higher concentrations of active ingredients.

Blithe’s line of treatment essences is named vital for a reason – not only do these essences invigorate and energize skin, but they also are a skincare routine staple. Here is a run-down on each flavor of treatment essences and which one is the right one for you based on your desired result.


Hydration all the way

All of these treatments undoubtedly hydrate skin, but if you’re looking for intense hydration to relieve dry skin, 5 Energy Roots ($42) is the one for you. The top ingredient in this essence treatment is ginseng extract, which is full of antioxidants and vitamins to protect and plump skin.  Lotus and other botanical root extracts account for a total of 46% of the formula, making this a seriously soothing and calming treatment.

Anti-aging and protection

As the name suggests, the 8 Nourishing Beans Pulp Essence ($46) contains 8 different bean extracts, which include soybeans and kidney beans, that provide an abundance of amino acids which are the protein building blocks of skin. This is a particularly unique with little ‘beans’ suspended within the essence, which is how it got its name as a pulp essence. Just like how your morning cup of OJ is believed to be more nutritious with the pulp, this treatment has the added nutrition of encapsulated vitamin E, a famous antioxidant with anti-aging benefits.

Brighten up your day

The newest addition to the Blithe collection of treatment essences, the 9 Essential Seeds flavor ($42), features baobab, camellia, quinoa, and grape seed extracts among others to moisturize and brighten skin. While camellia is a well-known skincare ingredient, the baobab is less familiar though its seeds contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins. The addition of niacinamide makes this treatment essence ideal for brightening and evening skin tone.

Here’s a handy chart to navigate the Blithe family of products by skincare concern and by steps:


Have any more lingering questions? Let us know in the comments!

Get your glow on,

7 replies

  1. I’ve been using Time Revolution first treatment essenc and I’d like to incorporate the Whamisa green tea serum toner, but I’m not sure which should go first. Thanks for any suggestions.



  2. Wich one do you recommend for acne prone skin? I want to try one of this but Im not sure which one please 🙏🏼 Let me know.


  3. Can anyone speak to the anti aging line , I am 50 and notice skin losing elasticity and lines appearing. Suggestions that help? Are there issues with buying and shipping to Canada?


  4. I have been using the “original” Vital Treatment Essence (5 Energy Roots) ever since I bought i from you last Fall. My intention was to use it, after toner, as a source of additional hydration during the cold winter months. I can absolutely say that this does work quite well in that regard, and especially if combined with the Whamisa toner as a first step.

    I’m quite happy with this product and, even though the weather is warming up, I find myself unable (read unwilling) to stop using it! In addition to extra hydration, I also find that it provides a nice boost to my skin’s overall texture and tone as well. Almost any essence/serum/ampoule that one might follow this up with just seems to sink in better and be more effective than otherwise. Certainly, using the LJH Propolis after the Blithe Treatment Essence almost guarantees a healthy AB glow to one’s skin, or at least that is what I have found.

    A little does go a long way with this Treatment Essence so the bottle seems to last and last. I’d like to try one of the others but it may be a while until I finish off this first one.

    Liked by 1 person

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