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About the product

What Is It:

Formulated with 95% galactomyces ferment filtrate, the COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence is a fan favorite for its ability to hydrate, fortify the skin barrier to prevent moisture loss, and brighten uneven skin tone. Galactomyces is a type of yeast lauded for its brightening, hydrating, softening, and antioxidant properties; its fermentation makes it better able to penetrate deep into the skin. Niacinamide is the second ingredient to help lighten dark spots, while hyaluronic acid (the third ingredient) plumps up fine lines for firmer, brighter skin. This is a great product for anyone looking for a one-and-done type of essence or to layer into your multi-step routine.

Our insight:

This brightening essence has been a favorite of Beautytap Marketing Director Jude Chao since 2015! She originally reviewed it on Fifty Shades of Snail and said:

“The Whitening Power Essence leaves my skin significantly more supple immediately after use. It really does have brightening power, too. … And it’s hydrating enough that I’ve gone without body lotion on many nights without feeling tight or dry.”
Read the full review here!

How to use:

After cleansing and toning, apply on face, gently patting in to enhance absorption.


Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, Panthenol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol, Adenosine

Brand info:

A true breakout star in the highly competitive world of K-beauty, COSRX’s popularity spread by word-of-mouth through the blogosphere rather than marketing. Founded with the simple mission of good, effective skincare ingredients, as little of the bad stuff as possible, open communication with their customers, minimal marketing, and affordability, COSRX believes in spending their money on ingredients and effectiveness rather than packaging and promotions. To that end, they focus on their ground game, listening to customer feedback to refine and formulate their products and provide better service. From their cult favorite One Step Pimple Clear Pads to their Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, COSRX epitomizes the future of K-beauty.

Reviews & Comments 15


This is a good, simple, solid product. If you are starting out with ferments and k-beauty this would be a good start. For those already knee deep, this product is a little thicker as a first essence. For me this isn't as effective as another ferment that I use. I have dry, irritable, sensitive skin and my skin does not seem to like this one very much. I have been breaking out a bit. Again solid product and would not discount telling another to try it but unfortunately it isn't for me.

I feel really 'meh' about this product. It worked fine enough to hydrate my skin, but I never experienced the brightening that it had been raved about for. I also never noticed any extra plumping or firming of fine lines, so once I ran out of my first bottle I decided not to go for a second.


This essence was fine, but it didn't give me the same soft, bright look as the Missha FTE. It's slightly more viscous than the Missha essence, and slightly more visibly hydrating, so for those with drier skin (mine is combo-oily) it may be a better choice. And it's about half the cost of Missha per bottle, so there's that to factor in. All in all, a solid product but not a standout.


Placed an order for this and can't wait to receive it and see how it works for my oily, acne prone skin.


This essence was the first ferment product that I bought and I still use it. I no longer use it twice a day everyday like I originally did but I use it at least once a day. I've collected quite a few ferment containing products since I started but this one has a permanent spot. It absorbs wells, layers with other products well and has helped (or a least played a part in helping) my old, dull, dry, wrinkled skin. I use this in combination with a lot of other items so I cannot say all of the improvements are... Read more


Unfortunately I cannot rave about this product as much as everyone else does - it is definitely a solid product, but for me the brightening effect never happened. It spends decent moisture though, which is nice.


I already emptied 2 bottles of this essence and i can say that it really helps absorb the other products that you put on your skin. It is easily absorbed by the skin and i use it after putting toner on my face.


Would this be considered a first essence since it has fermented yeasts?


To me it feels thicker than first essences, which might make it harder to layer thinner toners on top of. I use it as a regular essence.


To me it feels thicker than first essences, which might make it harder to layer thinner toners on top of. I use it as a regular essence.


I used one bottle of this essence based on the fact that I read somewhere that its a dupe for the SK II essence. It was a nice, light, hydrating essence. I think I will have to keep using it to see more brightening results. Like others have said, it absorbs quickly and is good first essence.


I love this product! If I could give it 10 stars I would.
For reference, I have very dry and sensitive skin.

This essence and the matching 'Galactomyces Alcohol free toner' are my holy grail skin care products.
They were my introduction to KBeauty and I have honestly not found anything that I like more and I have tried dozens and dozens of things.

This essence absorbs beautifully and I can't imagine my skin care routine without it. It is seriously hydrating and brightening.

When I first began using them, my skin did break out a little more than usual. However,... Read more