Tuesday, February 24, 2015

DHC Resveratrol Essence

Last month I've mentioned that DHC Resveratrol lotion (a Japanese equivalent of a hydrating toner) has made its way into my skincare rotation. I told you that it's a decent competent, product, probably too expensive for what it does, but pleasant nonetheless. It took me a bit longer and a lot more testing to make up my mind on its companion, DHC Resveratrol Essence, but I think that I can finally share it with you.

In Japanese cosmetics an "essence" is the runny milky serum that you apply after your lotion/toner and before a moisturizer cream. The names are confusing, but once you get it and remember that the "lotion" is the watery stuff and the essence is a serum in a thin lotion form things become simpler. I was first introduced to this concept by Kanebo Sensai (no longer available in the US). DHC Resveratrol Essence is very similar to the Kanebo Essence, but cheaper and easy to obtain.

DHC Resveratrol Essence doesn't appear revolutionary, and the ingredient list (see below) is pretty straightforward. But the proof is in the winter-ravaged skin, and I can tell that it is nourishing, softening, and acts as a moisture magnet for whatever else I put on my skin afterwards. The softening effect is the big thing here, because this is the one thing I can't get enough during this season. Resveratrol is a polyphenol antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes, so it is a good-for-you anti-aging material. It's pretty far down the list, though, so I can't vouch for its effectiveness,  but I use so much other antioxidants that I doubt it matters much.

Hydrating lotions are also the heart and soul of Japanese sheet masks. I've used both this essence and the toner for this purpose (when not being lazy), as well as in combination: soaking the paper mask in the lotion and putting it over a face slathered with the essence (about twice as much as you'd use in a quick pre-makeup routine). I always want to take a nap like that, but in reality I either watch a YouTube makeup video or read a bit (still more relaxing than catching up on email).

Ingredients: water/aqua/eau, butylene glycol, squalane, pentylene glycol, glycerin, glycosyl trehalose, sodium methyl stearoyl taurate, behenyl alcohol, hydrogenated lecithin, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, tocopheryl acetate, disodium EDTA, resveratrol, hydrolyzed soy protein, isodonis japonicus leaf/stalk extract, oryza sativa (rice) extract, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, hydrolyzed collagen, sodium hyaluronate

Bottom Line: when my skin is happy I am happy.

DHC Resveratrol Essence ($61) is available from DHCcare.com. The product for this review was sent by PR.


  1. My winter skin is absolutely parched and cracking. I desperately need an addition to my routine to add moisture back in. My trusted Shiseido isn't working well at present.

  2. Thanks so much for clarifying what an 'essence' is. I knew lotion = toner, but have been mystified by 'essence' for quite a while. Now I know how to use all those samples of SK-II Essence I have lying around! ;)


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