[REVIEW] Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence EX

Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence EX Review:

I have always been in love with Innisfree. My first foray into the world of Korean skincare products started with Innisfree mainly because I was intrigued with the ingredients they incorporated into their skincare: orchid, green tea, volcanic clusters, seawater, soybean, rice, broccoli, olives…you get the idea. Prior to this, I was a Dermalogica super fan and so a skincare range using natural and everyday “in-my-larder” ingredients was very alien to me.

As Innisfree is definitely cheaper than Dermalogica, I decided to give my wallet a break and opted for this (at that time) very strange concept of “essence” which apparently I was supposed to incorporate into a recommended gazillion step skincare routine.


– Build a tight and dense skin barrier to help your skin fight against environmental and natural damage.

– Removes impurities for smoother skin.

– Provides your skin with elasticity.

– Brightens and revitalizes skin tone.


Bacillus/Fermented Soybean Extract, Arbutin, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Prunus Mume Fruit Extract, Adenosine, Subtilisin, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Glycerol, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG/polybutylene glycol-8/5/3 glycerin, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Sodium Polyacrylate, Polypropylene, Glyceryl caprylate, Aqua, Ethylhexylglycerin, Edetate Disodium

Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence EX Review

Volume: 150ml

How to use:

1. Pour appropriate amount onto your palm and tap / pat it evenly all over your face for better absorption.

2. You can use a cotton pad if you prefer but I feel that with such a watery product, it would be a tad wasteful to saturate the cotton pad.

**I use my hands so both my face and hands can reap the benefits of this essence.

My Skin Type: Oily / Combination: Oily T-zone, Dry U-zone; sensitive skin

Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence EX Review:

Fermented food is meant to be good for your gut…think kimchi, kombucha, miso, yoghurt, natto….mmm…..this post is making me really hungry. I am guessing therefore Innisfree must have applied the logic that what is good for your inside must also be good for your outside.

Hence, enter the soybean energy essence. It contains 91% fermented bean extract which has been fermented for 300 days and claims to strengthen the skin, remove dead cells and has anti-aging properties.

An essence, in my opinion, sort of bridges the gap between a toner and a serum. It is sort of like both but is neither. Unlike a toner, it is not meant for cleansing even though it has a similar watery consistency to that of a toner.

It contains more active ingredients and natural extracts that are meant to be patted into your skin using your hands preferably as opposed to using a cotton pad.

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Also, unlike a serum, an essence has less concentration of a particular ingredient but instead serves to create a layer of hydration to prep your skin for better absorption of your heavy-duty serums.

So, a fermented soybean essence with anti-aging and hydrating properties that can help my more expensive serums absorb and work better sounds like an important step.

Have to admit that initially, I was a bit dubious about this whole concept of an essence that seemed wholly unnecessary even if bloggers and people in the industry were swearing by it. However, marketing ploy or not, I happily bought into it as it was affordable in terms of cost and if any of its benefits did materialize, so much the better!

The Soybean Energy Essence EX is housed in a sturdy frosted plastic bottle. It is also great for the cost conscious as you do get a lot of product for the price you pay. Similar to all other Innisfree products, the colour depends on the product range.

For the soybean range, it is an earthy brown. The cover is a screwcap and the opening for the essence allows just the right amount of product to flow out.

I use this essence after my acids but before applying my serums. I usually mix it with other products that work better with a carrier e.g. the LJH Propolis ampoule.

I feel that this gives the essence an extra ‘oomph’ and also it helps with serums / ampoules that do not have much slip if used on its own. As this essence has rather neutral properties i.e. not significantly acidic or otherwise, it works well as a carrier as it will not serve to neutralize the effect of the stronger ampoule.

Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence EX Review

As you can see from the photos, the essence is quite runny. It took me a few tries to take the photo as the essence would slip off my hand before I could even put the bottle down! Once you pat it into your face, it does not leave a sticky feeling (unlike the Hada Labo lotions where you were supposed to pat it in until it does not feel sticky) but instead results in a nicely moisturized canvas…all ready for your next step.

Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence EX Review

The essence itself is odorless and absorbs fairly quickly into the skin. No tacky residue whatsoever which I appreciate as I am not a massive fan of having a sticky layer of film on my face. Usually, by the time I get around to applying this essence, I would have done a fair bit of waiting around as necessitated by the Tiam vitamin C serum and BHA that I have applied prior to it.

This essence does a perfect job in resetting the moisture levels of my skin so that it is nicely moisturized and ready for the serum stage.

There are no significantly visible benefits like improvement in elasticity, anti-aging or brightening of skin tone with this essence. What I do like about it however is that it refreshes my skin after all the waiting time for my acids to work its magic.

So in terms of its hydrating properties, it definitely gets the job done. The one thing I love most about this serum is that due to its pH neutral level of 5 (I got this tidbit of information from an Asian Beauty thread on Reddit), it serves as a perfect mixer / carrier for any ampoules or dry oil that have less slip on its own.

Unless I can find a similar value for money, neutral pH and sensitive skin friendly essence, I will be sticking with this one for the foreseeable future.

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Where to buy:

Amazon | eBay

Have you tried Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence EX?

Do share your thoughts in comments.

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