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A Love Letter to 23.5°N's Rice Soothing Active+ Essence

Looking back on all of the essence products I have used over the past 4 years or so, I was surprised to see how few I have worked into my routine (relative to the amount of products I have used overall). Essence is a skincare category that I seem to favor, as most of the products I trial end up performing well. I end up keeping most of the essences I use in my routine long after the trial period (with the occasional fail from time to time)…until I use up every last drop haha!

So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that I quickly fell for the 23.5°N Rice Soothing Active+ Essence after snagging it on the Glowie Co site. This slightly thick yet layerable essence comes from one of my favorite Taiwanese brands (23.5°N) that carries some really beautiful and elegant products. Most of their offerings are geared towards combination skin types or those that live in humid areas…Think lightweight and layerable toners, essences, and serums. They also have a range of gel style wash-off masks that are incredible.

23.5°N Rice Soothing Active+ Essence

23.5°N Rice Soothing Active+ Essence

The Rice Soothing Active+ Essence is all about calming and hydrating the skin, with a bit of brightening power to boot. With a consistency reminiscent of products like the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner, this essence is packed with rice ferment filtrate, rice extract, and sodium hyaluronate. Aside from that, only glycerin and some texturizers/preservatives round out the 7 ingredients long list. This is one of the most concentrated rice-based products I have seen at a steal compared to other more mainstream brands. 

Another thing that really makes this essence (and all of the offerings from 23.5°N) is their focus on locally sourced ingredients. Much like the K-Beauty brand I’m From, the city/region of ingredient harvest is listed right on the package. I love this touch and the brand’s focus on supporting local communities. That, in addition to the simple yet well made packaging, had me happily reaching for the Rice Soothing Active+ Essence over the past few weeks.

23.5°N Rice Soothing Active+ Essence

While using 2-4 pumps of the product twice daily, my skin has seen a major bump in overall hydration and soothing. I really feel like I have dialed in my routine and key products for times when my skin is feeling irritated or flushed (now if I could figure out these pores haha!). Rice, aloe, mugwort, and centella are my go-to ingredients…so this essence felt right at home during the harsh winter months. There is an immediate cooling and comforting feeling with each absorbing layer that builds on the calming effect.

But, that same concentration of fermented rice extract (a.k.a. sake) has some impressive brightening and illuminating effects that just make the 23.5°N Rice Soothing Active+ Essence all the more well-rounded and perfect for use all year long. Over time, I have appreciated a more even tone to my skin as well as that dewy “glow” that I love (without venturing into greasy territory…there are no added oils here). Plus, the lack of fragrance makes this essence approachable for a lot of skin types and conditions. 

Even though this essence focuses on a single key ingredient, the formulation and results-driven approach places it a class above the Chasin’ Rabbits Magic Beauty Shroom Tremella Mushroom Essence/Elixir that was one of the few essence product fails I have experienced. I’m so happy to be back in the world of minimal ingredients essence winners like the Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence.

Those with drier skin types may need to layer this product on once or twice more than I did (although my combination/oily and acne-prone skin does drink up toners and essences) or back up the hydration with a nice toner. The 23.5°N Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Toner is another favorite of mine from the brand. There really is room to customize the 23.5°N Rice Soothing Active+ Essence to your needs with just a few more (or fewer) pumps of product in your routine.

I’m so lucky to have been introduced to 23.5°N a couple of years ago and will continue to come back to the brand and try everything they have to offer. This Rice Soothing Active+ Essence fits the bill for deeply hydrating, soothing, and brightening fluids that I can just layer on and on and on!

Full Ingredients List: Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphensin

Where To Buy? (Glowie Co Site - $35.00 USD - 150 ML):