First Look: Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence

I try a lot of different skincare products and have more or less positive experiences with a fair number of them, but these days, it’s rare for a product to delight me so much that I actively look forward to the next time I get to use it, or to excite me so much that I can’t shut up long enough for my full testing period to finish before I start blogging about it. My current obsession, Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence, took me completely by surprise–but maybe this first look will keep it from taking you by surprise, too!

Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence first impressions review

The sleek bottles come with gift tags on them. Appropriate for a product that came into my life like a gift from the skincare heavens.


The product featured in this post was provided for my consideration by Beautibi.


I met my first bottle of Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence at the perfect time. Now that Young Master Fiddy has started school, I don’t have the time for a lengthy, comprehensive morning skincare routine anymore, not unless I want to sacrifice precious sleep time, which I don’t. Neither do I want to sacrifice my skin, though. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been auditioning different products for the crucial role of The Only Thing I Put On My Face Before Sunscreen. Then Beautibi’s new Classic box showed up at my door, containing the fresh-faced surprise star of my new day routine.

Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence layers

It’s like a vinaigrette for my face. I loooove vinaigrettes.

Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence is a biphase liquid formulated with a ratio of 20% oil-based and 80% water-based ingredients, allowed to separate into sexy sexy layers in the bottle rather than whipped together with emulsifiers into a standard lotion consistency. To use, you shake the bottle to mix the two layers, then dispense and pat the resulting liquid into clean skin.

I’m childishly fascinated by the whole “shake and mix and watch the layers separate again” process. Because OOH LOOK IT’S SO COOL.

Beyond the (very valid) SUPER COOL factor, unemulsified products like these offer a more substantial potential benefit for skin: more room for the ingredients we really want on our faces. The emulsifiers used to bind the water and oil ingredients in more conventional skincare products take up some volume in the overall product. Take those out, and you have a little more space for things that can do skin some real good. Not that that means the Balance One Step Facial Essence really does contain a higher concentration of the sexy stuff, but it does increase the chances for sexiness.

Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence English ingredientsHere are the ingredients, sexiness included:

Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence ingredients: Betula platyphylla japonica juice, macadamia integrifolia seed oil, octyldodecanol, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, squalane, 1,2-hexanediol, pentylene glycol, pyrus malus (apple) seed oil, water, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, lactobacillus ferment, lactococcus ferment lysate, bifida ferment lysate, streptococcus thermophilus ferment, glycerin, sodium chloride, glyceryl caprylate, butylene glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, phospholipids, ceramide 3, cholesterol, arginine, phytosterols, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol

CosDNA analysis

Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence labelThe first ingredient in the Balance One Step Facial Essence is birch sap. As I learned when reviewing COSRX Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion, birch sap is humectant and contains a number of skin-friendly nutrients, making it a more beneficial and efficient base for a product than plain water. Also high up in the list are several moisturizing, antioxidant-rich plant oils and squalane. Further down are a trio of ferments, which could increase the product’s antioxidant power and boost its anti-aging and sun damage prevention effects. The Balance One Step Facial Essence also contains Ceramide 3 and cholesterol, which, in conjunction with the botanical oils, may help to strengthen skin’s barrier against moisture loss.

I do notice a citrus oil (bergamot) in the ingredients list. Citrus oils in skincare products are controversial, especially since phytophotodermatitis caused by citrus fruits is very real. Personally, I used to be much more wary of citrus oils in my skincare, but these days I’m generally not worried about it. The oils are likely present in only trace amounts to provide fragrance, and in any case, even my hyperpigmentation-prone skin hasn’t experienced a reaction from this or any of the other citrus-containing commercial skincare products I’ve tried. That’s not to say that my way is the right way or only way, though! If you have concerns about the bergamot oil, patch test or avoid accordingly.

Speaking of fragrance, the Balance One Step Facial Essence doesn’t appear to contain any artificial fragrances. It has a sort of clean, earthy, herby scent to it that dissipates almost too quickly (to me, anyway!) once I put the product on.

Closeup of Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence

The bottle is sitting on my desk right now and I can’t stop shaking it to watch the oil settle.

As you may have guessed from the large number of oils and lipidy ingredients in the Balance One Step Facial Essence, this product was made for dry, dehydrated, or more sensitive or compromised skin. My question as I considered trying it out as intended, as a true single-step product without any hydrating products underneath or any emulsions or creams on top, was whether it could really replace an entire hydrating and moisturizing routine for my skin. My moisture retention has improved a lot since the height of my tretface days, it’s true. But continued use of tretinoin as well as the stronger AHA I’ve been testing lately mean that my skin does still need plenty of both water and oil in its diet.

Consistency of Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence

Speaking of water and oil, how sexy are the tiny oil droplets in the just-mixed liquid? SO SEXY.

Even shaken up to mix the oils thoroughly throughout the product, Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence is quite thin and runny. It definitely feels like a lightweight hydrating product one would put on early in a complete skincare routine; the closest comparison I can think of is Goodal Waterest Lasting Water Oil. I adore the Lasting Water Oil but definitely don’t think of it as a product that can replace an entire routine for my skin.

DOUBTING INTENSIFIES

Once I applied the Balance One Step Facial Essence to my face, however, I could definitely tell the difference between it and a more standard hydrating booster. Despite the product’s thin consistency, it imparts a definite richness. It takes longer to dry down than a typical watery product–about 5 minutes or so, still much less time than a “normal” morning skincare routine would take–and once it does dry enough for sunscreen, it leaves my skin feeling thoroughly hydrated and moisturized, with a noticeable but extremely lightweight fatty protective film on top. Surprising!

Even more surprising has been how well the Balance One Step Facial Essence holds that moisture in my skin even when I use one of my more alcohol-heavy sunscreens on top. I’ve been using the Hyggee product as my only morning skincare for the past few days and have tried it with both Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Biore UV Perfect Bright Milk. These sunscreens owe a lot of their cosmetic elegance to the alcohol they contain, and the UV Perfect Bright Milk especially is a sunscreen I don’t use unless I’ve prepared with a heavier moisturizer underneath. Neither of these sunscreens gave me any problems while I had the Balance One Step Facial Essence on. My skin looked plump and glowy and felt perfectly moisturized all day. Amazing!

Skincare routine with Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence

Seriously, this is all I did this morning and all I’ve been doing the past few days.

I still have plenty of testing to do before giving the Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence a final score. I want to compare it to even more products used as single-step skincare, try it under a wider variety of sunscreens, and see how well my skin continues to retain moisture over a longer period of time.

For now, though, I’m much more infatuated with this product than I expected to be considering I’d never heard of it until Beautibi curated it. Using it as my only morning skincare doesn’t feel like a trade-off at all. Actually, I look forward to my speedy but somehow still effective new morning routine, and I enjoy the product so much that I’ve talked myself into incorporating it into my longer night routines as well. I’m beyond happy with how it’s performed so far and have high hopes for how my skin will take it as the weeks go by!

Currently, Beautibi offers Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence as part of the “Balance” variety of her newly launched Classic box, in mini size in the Classic Mini Set, UPDATE!! or individually here. If you’re curious about the contents of the box, I can say a couple of things about it. One is that while I don’t use bar soap on my face pretty much ever, I do really like the fancy schmancy Oneoseven soap as a hand and body soap. It produces a super fluffy foam, smells great, and doesn’t leave my skin dry. The B-Lab I Am Sorry Just Cleansing peeling gel gommages up nicely and provides very gentle exfoliation. I’m also giving the Simplistic Wonder Essence a shot and find it so far so good, though I don’t have any effects to report there yet.

Doesn't matter how overloaded my #beauty closet might be with #presssamples, I never turn down @beautibi when Jen comes knocking. Today the mailman swung by with the new Classic box, which she sent over for me to check out! This box features #Kbeauty brand #Hyggee, whose Fresh and Balance products are meant to be used as a single step complete #skincare routine. (Besides sunscreen, of course.) Since I was JUST talking about how I don't have time for multiple steps in the morning, this is perfect timing! Each box comes with one of the products; I'll see which one works better for my skin. There's also the #Simplistic Wonder Essence, a brightening toner- or FTE-like product that comes in a REALLY COOL flask that I'll definitely be showing off here later on. There are also #sheetmasks and fancy #Oneoseven Milky Cream facial soaps (pH testing imminent) and a peeling gel. And Jen threw in the mini version of the box too. Also confetti and samples as always. I'm almost ready to start a new FTE or toner-type product, so the Miracle Essence will be up soon, and I'm excited to stick the Hyggee products in my routine soon as well. And everything else really. See, this is why I don't turn Jen down. #fiftyshadesofsnail #rasianbeauty #koreanbeauty #koreanskincare #asianskincare #asianbeauty #asiancosmetics #beautibi #beautybox #beautibibox #beautyaddict #skincarejunkie

A post shared by Fiddy Snails (@fiddysnails) on

If you’ve never shopped at Beautibi before, you can get $5 off with my referral link. And if you’d rather wait to buy the product separately, Jen does often release products a la carte a little while after they debut in her boxes just let me know that she will be adding the Hyggee One Step Facial Essences to the site as a la carte offerings, so stay tuned for the link!

Do you have a single-step skincare routine? Are you happy with it?

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24 responses to “First Look: Hyggee Balance One Step Facial Essence

  1. This product has me so Hyppee right now (see what I did there? ;D) I’m dying to try it!! My new internship has me waking up much earlier than I’d like to, and couple that with being a college student (we call our library “Club Snell” because everyone is there from dusk till dawn…heh), some mornings/nights I just can’t be bothered to go through a full routine. I really think my skin and I would appreciate this gem.

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    • It does seem like it would be an awesome product for student life. Oh and btw I’ve just heard from Jen that she has decided to add it as an a la carte item on the Beautibi site so stay tuned if you don’t want to get the entire box just to get at the one product!

      Also. HAHAHA you got Hyppee

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  2. I just love your reviews, Fiddy. This looks heaven-sent for my poor parched face! I’ve just run out of the COSRX Snail essence, and have been searching for heavier alternatives for winter. Keep us updated if you find it seperately from the box? And, of course, on how it does under long-term use~

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  3. My personal interest in these one steps for morning have been increasing and then you come out with this post so quickly after showing on your snap. Our giant foreheads are allowing some type of weird telepathy; I need to try this out!

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  4. I’m waiting for it to be sold separately from Jen! It looks so awesome as a biphasic AIO! I’m using the J.One Jelly pack as my super lazy, can’t do anything else mornings lol

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  5. Hi! I tried to buy the mini box, while using your referral link but it said the codes not working. The hyggee essence sounds like something I would love to try but my skin is sensitive so I would definitely prefer trying the sample first! Let me know if you can help?

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    • Hi Emma, I just made sure the links are up to date so hopefully they should be fine! The referral link isn’t a direct code though–you’d click that link to create your user account on the site and then after that just find and purchase items the normal way. Let me know if it doesn’t work and I’ll see what’s up!

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    • Hey Emma!

      I’ve been playing with the referral link and I just wanted to clarify–when you clicked the link, did you go to a screen that looks like this http://imgur.com/a/O7Whd ? And then the code that you get on that screen is not working for you? Just wanna make sure I know what’s going on and I’ll get in touch with them and see if something is broken 🙂

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      • Hi! Yes, the code is working now. Not sure why it wasn’t before but I’m looking forward to trying this essence! It’ll be my first one so I’m glad I’ll get to try a sample first. Thanks for all your test-running for us!

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      • Oh good, I’m glad it’s working again! I remember that there had been a couple of brief outages with the use account part of her site a few days ago so I imagine the issues were related to that and are fixed now. I really hope you enjoy it! 😙

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  6. I just got this in the mail today and cannot wait to try it out tomorrow morning! Even though I decided to give it a try because some of my mornings are pretty hectic ( 3 kids to send to school….) and this could be great for school volunteering days, I still do not want to give up my Shark Sauce amazing effects on my acne scars… Would you suggest using the essence before or after the Shark Sauce? Thank you so much!

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  7. If time is really short for me, I can live with just Scinic’s honey ampoule in the morning, though I prefer to also moisturise. If I’m feeling a bit dry, the Rohto 50 ingredients lotion is also nice on its own. I may be biased, however. I adore that lotion!

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