Every night, I do the same five-step skin-care routine: I wipe off my makeup, cleanse my skin, tone, apply serum, and moisturize. And until recently, I thought this was enough. Then, after learning about face essences, a water-like lotion that's purpose is to deeply moisturize and rejuvenate the skin of its natural oils after it has been stripped down by cleansing, I decided it was time for me to add a sixth step.

For anyone unfamiliar (and not to be confused with toner), a facial essence should be used as the middle step before you slather on your serum or face moisturizer. Simply pat it onto your face and neck with your hands or a cotton pad (though we suggest your hands so you don't waste a drop) for a brighter and softer complexion. Ready to make a purchase? Here are our top, editor-approved picks of the best facial essences.

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