This review contains PR samples° and affiliate links* The By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence is the latest K-beauty star product from the Wish Company, boasting fermented, hydrating ingredients galore, so obviously I had to review this for you guys! I’m also going to share my thoughts on the currently trending “boosting essences” in Korean beauty…
Sometimes beauty trends seem to come out of nowhere, no matter how well you think you have monitored the beauty market as a blogger. I must admit that I did not, in fact, foresee “boosting essences” becoming a trend, or even a thing at all. As a fan of first treatment essences, I was very intrigued by the new By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence and thus extra delighted to have it unexpectedly arrive at my doorstep (it looks like I’m back on the Wishtrend PR list?).
With its mix of fermented actives and hydrating, soothing ingredients this essence seems right up my alley. My skin really loves fermented ingredients – not every skin does – and so I regularly incorporate them into my routine. Let me first explain a bit more about the mysterious new category of the “boosting essences”, then give you the basics on the Quad Boosting Essence and how I am getting on with the product!
By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence: So What Exactly Is a “Boosting Essence”?
Listen, I love my essences, especially of the “first treatment” variety, but sometimes this particular skincare routine category becomes a tad confusing. Not only do Korean brands have a tendency to call anything from toners to serums an “essence”, they now also have suddenly decided to call what I would have thought to be a first treatment essence a “boosting essence.”
So, in case you were wondering what I mean by first treatment essences: basically, these are the classical Asian essences with a watery texture and brightening ingredients such as galactomyces or saccharomyces. The Japanese SK-II Facial Treatment Essence* is probably the most widely known (and most expensive) version of this, while my personal favourites are the Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition* and the IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning.* They are usually referred to as first treatment, starting or first step essences because they are the first step in your skincare routine right after cleansing, though opinions differ as to whether you should use a treatment essence before or after your toner.
Now, “boosting essences” are presented as a new thing, but as I’ve said, to me they are really no different than the already existing treatment essences: they usually have a watery texture and contain fermented ingredients meant to brighten and tone skin. Marketing blurbs are trying to sell these essences as having the mysterious power to “boost” the effectiveness of the following serums and hydrators. Um…colour me sceptic here, people. Boosting essences are to be used after toners and before serums.
The By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence contains “3 complex ingredients”, which is confusing because the “quad” in the name would suggest four. Apparently, the quad part refers to the 3 complex ingredients (Mulberry Bark Extract, Indian Lotus Leaf Extract and Magnolia Berry Fruit Extract), PLUS Willow Bark Extract, Cornflower Water and Propolis – so, four ingredients, but actually kinda six if you do the maths. Maybe Wishtrend chose this numbering system because a “Sex Active Boosting Essence” would have been a bit of a, um, problematic name for their product?
Here is the full list of ingredients for the By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence:
“Aqua(Water), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract(10%), Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water(9%), Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract(9%), Morus Alba Bark Extract(8.7%), Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract(8.7%), Methylpropanediol, Glycerin, Saccharomyces/Honey Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propolis Extract(1%), Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin.”
Now, we all know I love a good propolis product, but the Quad Boosting Essence only contains 1% of this miracle ingredient, which I must say is a bit disappointing. The Quad Active Boosting Essence is fragrance- and alcohol-free and does not contain any essential oils. Most of its ingredients were chosen because they work well for inflamed, acne-prone skin: mulberry extract, for instance, is a currently trending K-beauty ingredient used in many serums targeted at blemished and oily skin. A recent example of this is the very popular A’PIEU Mulberry Blemish Clearing Ampoule.*
Apart from the anti-inflammatory and anti-blemish ingredients, this essence also contains ferments, namely fermented honey extract and fermented black tea extract. Both are said to improve skin texture and have an overall brightening effect.
How I Feel about the By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence
So, ok – I will be honest: this is probably the first By Wishtrend product I’ve tried that didn’t totally blow me away. I actually found myself struggling with writing this review because my overall experience with the Quad Boosting Essence has just been kind of “meh.”
The essence isn’t a terrible failure or anything: it is a nicely hydrating liquid product, and I think younger skin will like this as a refreshing, simple toner. But, as an essence, I just expect to see more results than just hydration. Essences are meant to brighten, tone and nourish skin, and I really didn’t see much of that at all, even after using this for a good month.
The texture of the By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence is watery, with a “silky” slip to it when you apply the liquid. You can either use a cotton pad to apply this, or – my preferred method for all essences and toners – just pour a little bit into your hands and then lightly pat the product into your skin.
The Quad Boosting Essence sinks nicely into the skin and doesn’t leave any residue – it definitely is formulated with oilier and less dry skin types in mind, as it feels very light.
As for the “boosting” part: I can’t say I have noticed anything special about my ampoules and serums when using them after the essence. I don’t think there is any secret “boosting power” in this product, though since I am suspicious of this entire “boosting” trend, I didn’t really expect to be wowed here and wouldn’t hold it against the By Wishtrend essence in particular.
So, bottom line: this is a nice, light toner with some good ingredients and without any strong irritants for sensitive skin. However, I just didn’t feel this did anything special compared to other watery essences from Asian brands I’ve tried, which have really blown me away lately with how much they have improved my skin’s brightness and youthful appearance.
I guess the By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence has been formulated more with younger skin in mind, potentially for women in their 20s or even teens, to have first experiences with a watery essence that can help soothe their skin.
Let me know in the comments: Do you use an essence in your routine? What do you think about the “boosting” essence trend?
Take care guys!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by a brand or shop – I am not obligated to write this blog review, was not paid for the article, and my opinions are entirely my own.
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!