If your facial cream is feeling too heavy this time of year or simply isn’t doing a thing for your skin, it’s time to experience an emulsion.
As straightforward as some products are, even skincare enthusiasts can be thrown off their game when it comes to emulsions. What exactly are they anyway, and why would you need one at this stage in your life if you never needed one before?
The short answer to the “what is it” question is that an emulsion is a lightweight lotion and usually comes in a pump bottle. If you’ve ever made an oil-based vinaigrette for a salad, you know that the oil tends to sit on the very top until you shake the carafe. Emulsions occur when two substances, like oil and water, actually combine.
Why does any of this matter? Autumn weather often varies between hot and cold, and those temperature variances can make it difficult to find a moisturizing product that works. Emulsions fill that seasonal gap because they provide enough moisture to hydrate the skin without feeling heavy like a cream. The following five emulsions are some of our top picks for this transitional season but don’t be surprised if you find a new favorite that works for you year-round.
Epicuren Discovery’s Facial Emulsion Enzyme Moisturizer
Want a lightweight moisturizer that tackles texture and dehydration while giving lackluster skin a much-needed boost? Epicuren Discovery’s Facial Emulsion Enzyme Moisturizer contains their trademarked MetadermabolicTM Enzymes in a formula based on pharmaceutical research with people suffering from severe skin damage. This moisturizer helps normal-to-combination skin renew itself. Lactic acid keeps pores clear, and the fatty acids in apricot oil nourish skin without making it feel greasy.
COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion
For the oily-skinned minimalist who wants a properly formulated product without all the frills associated with marketing and packaging, COSRX is life. Easily one of the most effective products for the money, the COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion contains centella asiatica to calm acne-prone skin. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) break up the debris trapped in pores to keep them clear, and black bee propolis calms inflammation while offering antibacterial benefits. Having all three in a lightweight moisturizer under $20 makes this emulsion an all-around winner.
The History of Whoo Jinyul Essential Revitalizing Emulsion
For the dry-skinned K-beauty fan who prefers a product steeped in tradition, The History of Whoo can’t be beat. THoW’s bottles are mesmerizing to look at, and the red and gold packaging that houses the Jinyul Essential Revitalizing Emulsion gives a vanity the air of royalty as well as mystery. What separates the Jinyul from other emulsions is its combination of panax ginseng root extract, fermented black tea, and brightening extracts, including licorice root. Together, this anti-aging powerhouse protects the skin from environmental stresses while brightening and restoring its natural glow.
Dr. Oracle’s 21STAY A-Thera Emulsion
If you avoid using moisturizer because of oily or acneic skin, it’s time to rethink that approach. Dr. Oracle’s 21STAY A-Thera Emulsion was formulated by one of Korea’s top dermatologists and balances both the water and oil levels in the skin, which results in a softer, smoother appearance. Maca root extract helps support the skin’s natural barrier while ultra-pure Celtic water provides intense hydration from within.
J-beauty fans will instantly recognize Sekkisei’s iconic sapphire bottles. While the brand’s lotion has achieved cult status, the Sekkisei Emulsion should be on your radar as well. The entire line brightens and moisturizes simultaneously. The emulsion works well on its own if your skin skews toward the oily side and equally as well if you choose to layer it under a heavier cream for those with normal-to-dry skin or live in a harsh climate. Rarely do products cross spectrums as seamlessly and satisfy so many needs, so keep this gem in mind for yourself or someone special since the holidays are on the horizon.