A Tale of Two Essences: Whamisa and The Face Shop

all products purchased by me.  blog post contains affiliate links

Essences.. I use them for my face.  I find them to be lightweight, fast absorbing and extremely hydrating, without being oily and greasy.  So, why not use one for your eyes?  I use eye creams all the time, because I find that my eye area is where my age really shows ~ my laugh lines are smiling more than ever, which is fine by me, but under my eyes, there is some crepiness that I do not care for.  Your skin around your eyes is much thinner, so facial products are usually too heavy to use under your eyes.  I learned about essences for eyes a few years ago and I purchased a couple of them in the last several months.   I use them before applying Primera Organience Cure Eye Cream ~ I will be reviewing that soon in a few weeks, in case you are interested!

Whamisa Organic Flowers Eye Essence  Whamisa is a popular, slightly expensive brand that is focused on using natural fermented ingredients in their products.  I wasn’t overly impressed by their facial masks, but I am always willing to try a different product by a brand if I find the ingredients list to be interesting.   This essence is a whiting and anti-wrinkle product that is made from pure natural ingredients, of which 95.22% are of organic nature.   They use a fermentation process that will distill the flower and herbal extracts and preserve their anti-oxidant properties.

Description: Whamisa eye essence is made of pure natural origin and 95.22% of it is organic ingredients. There is no purified water, but only used botanic extracts ~ aloe vera leaf and chrysanthemum sinense flower ferment filtrate ~ for the hydrating base. Natural fermented organic flowers, rice and aloe vera with lactobacillus will give your skin rich nutrients, while natural fermentation divides nutrients into smaller particles to make your eyes look healthy, clean and younger

The packaging is absolutely  gorgeous ~ the essence is housed in a frosted glass container with a pump applicator.  It is decorated with designs of flowers in lavender and rustic looking Korean lettering .  It is really pretty and I love having this out to admire!  This eye essence has a lovely lavender/herbaceous scent to it and it is a soft white color when pumped out.  It looks like it would be thick and creamy, but once I start applying this on my skin, its texture is really lightweight and spreads easily across my skin, while quickly absorbing into my skin, leaving behind a very matte finish.

Ingredients of Note

  • Aloe Maculata ~ Whamisa has both the extract and the fermented extract of this South African species of aloe.  This aloe is also called “Common Soap Aloe” as its sap is used as soap.  It is also a natural and mild sun-block, helping give some protection to UV rays. However, this particular aloe species can be irritating to sensitive skin. 
  • Lactobacillus/Aloe Barbadensis Ferment Filtrate is  powerful moisturizer that doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily or greasy. It soothes, treats inflammation, helps speed up skin healing and also has a plethora of antioxidants ~ beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which help improve your skin’s firmness and keeps your skin moist and hydrated. It also contains over 75 different nutritious ingredients, including minerals, enzymes, amino acids, salicylic acid and much more.  The idea that it is fermented means that these nutrients will help penetrate your skin better
  • Camellia Sinensis (green tea) is an antioxidant to help combat free radicals and reverse skin damage as well as an anti-inflammatory
  • Camellia Japonica Seed Oil and Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil are powerful anti-aging oils as they contain antioxidant ingredients. They help product your skin from the damaging UV rays of the sun, as well as other environmental damages, and will result in radiant, glowing skin.
  • Titanium Dioxide is a mineral used to whiten your skin and also as a sunscreen as it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.  It is not a skin irritant, so it is safe to use around your eyes. 
  • Adenosine is yeast derived and is an anti-wrinkle and anti-inflammatory ingredient. 
  • Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Root Extract) helps soothes and calms the skin, while acting as an anti-inflammatory and also reduces hyper-pigmentation.


I tested this out on my hand as well, as I can tell the difference on my skin’s texture ~ where it is applied, I can feel that my skin is softer and smooth than the side where I didn’t apply it.   It increases my oil/moisture level by 50% which is promising, but it drops quickly within another minute down to around 16% ~ move fast to lock in the hydration!    One thing I will say is do not put too much on your skin at once ~ it will not absorb properly and you will see a layer of white lotion.  You can see that in the lower right hand swatch in the photo above. Just a little bit and if you need more, just layer it, letting the previous application absorb completely.  I noticed this around my laugh lines as I have a tenacity to put more eye product there and saw that the essence just sat on my lines (not an attractive look).   I think the white cast is due to the titanium dioxide, which is a UV protector, but it will leave a cast behind. I believe that the whitening claims might be from this ingredient as well ~ as it will brighten your eye area, but it would be temporary as titanium dioxide does not brighten or reduce dark circles and hyper-pigmentation on your skin permanently.   The licorice might be a brightening ingredient but it is pretty far down the list of ingredients and Whamisa is using it as a preservative ingredient.

I purchased mine from Beauty Box Korea, which has probably the lowest price for this eye essence I have seen.   It is about $29.00 USD for the 40 mL bottle at their site and it is authentic.  I have used Beauty Box Korea a couple of times now and have been quite pleased with their service.  Whamisa Organic Flowers does not contain parabens, synthetic/chemical preservatives,  artificial dyes or fragrances, petrochemicals, mineral oils, silicon, EDTA and is vegan.


 Certified Organically Grown Natural Preservative Natural Origin Ecocert

Ingredients: Aloe Maculata Leaf ExtractCetyl Alcohol, (-)-alpha-bisabolol, Lactobacillus/Maculata Aloe Leaf/Molasses Ferment FiltrateLactobacillus/Aloe Barbadensis Ferment Filtrate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Beeswax, Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate, Titanium Dioxide, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Seed Extract, Leonurus Sibiricus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Royal Jelly, Xanthan Gum, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot)  Adenosine, Fragrance  cosDNA.com analysis


The Face Shop Chia Seed Watery Eye & Spot Essence  I fell in love with TFS Chia Seed Watery Lotion (review here) a few months back and I purchased this lovely watery eye and spot essence from the same line.    There are 5 benefits, according to The Face Shop, in using their products with chia seeds ~ made with 100% chia seed extracts instead of water, uses the “fresh extraction” method to process the extracts within 24 hours after harvested, a moisture “HUG” system, made without 7 additives: parabens, benzophenone, artificial coloring, mineral oil, sulfate, animal-sourced materials and triethanolamine and it is dermatology tested. 

Description: An intensive essence exclusively for the eyes & spots. A chiffon-like soft spread and moisturization provide one-step care to dark circles around the eyes, liver spots and blemishes. Flawless care with moisture level-up around the eyes, Chia seed, which absorbs moisture 10 times its own weight, and pearl extract raise the level of moisture and provides care to troubled areas for flawless clarity. Contains 100% chia seeds water instead of water. Chia seeds water is extracted within 24 hours via the Fresh method, instead of water delivers the vitality of the highly pure chia seeds.

Ingredients of Note

  • Salvia Hispanica Seed (chia seed) is an ancient seed used by Aztec and Mayan civilizations and is considered a superfood, due to its rich store of nutrients and full of fiber and protein. Chia actually means “Strength” in Mayan, as they knew how important this food item was in their diet. Chia seeds can hold up to 10 times their weight in water and The Face Shop Chia Seed line only uses 100% chia seed extracts, not water, to formulate their skincare products. In skincare, the antioxidant rich seeds are used to help reduce wrinkles and hydrate. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, so it will help calm your skin as it is an anti-inflammatory. This eye & spot essence contains 61% chia seed extract.
  • Niacinamide is a powerful antioxidant that acts as an anti-inflammatory, improves your skin elasticity, enhance the skin barrier function and also it helps to even out skin tone and reduce hyper-pigmentation.  
  • Palmitic Acid is an emollient that helps support your skin’s barrier function and produces a smoother skin surface.
  • Betaine is superior for its intense moisturization and hydration properties, without the stickiness, and also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while attracting moisture (humectancy) and relieving skin irritation.
  • Pearl Powder helps nourish and moisturize your skin, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Due to its pearlescent properties, it will brighten your skin subtlety.
  • Panthenol helps cellular renewal and is an effective moisturizer. It is derived from plants and this ingredient comes from Vitamin B5. Panthenol is a natural humectant, which retains moisture and hydrates the skin. It also is a good lubricant on the skin, making skin look soft and smooth. It is also an anti-inflammatory
  • Arginine  is an amino acid that promotes healing and detoxes your skin. It also helps guard against the formation of wrinkles and loss of skin firmness.


This product comes in a very un-sexy plastic tube with a long nozzle applicator ~ this helps you to target any dry patches on your face easily.  I use this as an eye essence, but it is also marketed as a spot hydrating product for dry and rough skin on your face. The essence is very watery and has an opalescence to it, which I assume is due to the pearl powder  ~ but don’t worry, it doesn’t leave your face all glittery!   It smells beautiful ~ a fresh citrus herbal scent and it is light, so it is not overpowering.  This essence just melts into my skin as I apply and leaves “water dew” droplets on the surface of my skin before being completely absorbed.

Initially, when I tested out my oil/moisture level using my digital skin analyzer, it registered an increase of 49% oil and 50% moisture, which is the same levels as Whamisa.  However, I did another test 7 minutes after I applied ~ the essence was still registering a high level ~ 43% increase and only dropped a few percentage points.  This essence doesn’t drop that much in hydration as time goes by, unlike Whamisa.  This is a colorless product, so you won’t see an immediate brightening, but long term, it has that possibility due to the niacinamide ingredient. 

I have the sad feeling that The Face Shop might be discontinuing this, if they already haven’t.  The Face Shop totally redid the packaging for their Chia Seed line, and whereas most of the products came over in the new packaging, such as the lotion-now-renamed-emulsion, I do not see this product.  Perhaps they are still working on the packaging… You can still purchase this at a few places, such as Q-Depot, Amazon and Urban Outfitters Q-Depot has the best price at $18.95 for a 30 mL tube and they have lots of great deals, coupons and thousands of products.

Ingredients: salvia hispanica (chia) seed extract, glycerin, butylene glycol, alcohol denat, niacinamide,  palmitic acid, betaine, PEG-60 glyceryl isostearate, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, 1,2-hexanediol, panthenol, pearl powder, anthemis nobilis flower extract, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, carbomer,  glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, arginine, disodium EDTA, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) fruit extract, phenoxyethanol, fragrance  cosDNA.com analysis

Should I Use These?

It really is a personal preference.  If you are younger and do not have wrinkles or crepe-y skin around your eyes, an eye essence is perfect for you ~ it is hydrating and lightweight.  If you have the same concerns as I do, I find this is a great 1st step in prepping my eye area before using a normal eye cream. I feel that essences help prevent that “buildup” that you can get with eye cream ~ as my skin is now hydrated by the essence, I use a lighter hand when applying my eye cream, just dabbing around the areas that I feel need more moisture and protection.  I also like that since these are hydrating but fast absorbing, I can use them all over my eye area ~ the upper lid and all of my skin between my eyebrows and my upper lid (I have a lot of space there!)  I cannot do this with a traditional eye cream as my makeup will slide around and off my eye area.   This enables me to moisture and nourish my whole eye area, instead of just under my eye.   If you live in a hot, muggy area, essences would be a great replacement from heavy eye creams.  I don’t expect miracles using eye essences, not with the damage around my skin as it is, but I will continue to use them as I do feel that they give additional hydration and protection around my eyes

Which One?

Well, I have to say, despite the beautiful packaging and the lovely herbaceous scent, I couldn’t pick Whasmia.  It is beautiful and lovely, but The Face Shop Chia Seed was so much more hydrating and much more lightweight.  I did start using Whasmia first and I was pleased with it, but once I added The Face Shop into my skin care routine, I found that I reached for The Face Shop product all the time and had to force myself to use the Whasmia.  Whasmia is not a bad product at all, but seriously, The Face Shop kicked its behind in terms of hydration.  Of course, the ingredient list is important ~ TFS has alcohol in their product and it isn’t organic like Whasmia, so that can also factor in your decision as well.


Whasmia Organic Flowers Eye Essence
Pros Cons
UV protection Can produce a white cast if you use to much and settles into lines
Natural, organic fermented ingredients
The type of aloe that they are using is considered a skin irritant
Light lovely lavender-herbal scent Hydration is not long lasting
Beautiful packaging..but it is a con too Heavy glass bottle, could easily break
The Face Shop Chia Seed Watery Eye & Spot Essence
Pros Cons
Water bomb that lasts ~ this has staying power with hydration Contains alcohol denat and  dimethicone
Lovely light citrus fresh scent
Might be discontinued
Multi-purpose product
Absorbs quickly without issues  
Easy to carry tube  

I will continue to use up the Whasmia and keep the pretty bottle, but I won’t repurchase it at this point and time.  I will repurchase The Face Shop Chia Seed Watery Eye & Spot Essence and I hope it will not be discontinued ~  I will be disappointed if they discontinue this and I have emailed TFS to see what the future plans are for this product.  In the meantime, I am purchasing a couple more of these, in case they have retired this item and then be on the lookout for another product that is similar to this.

Do you use eye essences?  Have you tried Whasmia or The Face Shop Eye Essences?  Do you have any recommendations for other brands?  I would love to know ~ let me know in the comments below🙂


[ blog post contains affiliate links ]

This post is part of the Asian Beauty Link Party! The theme of this week’s post is “New” and this is one of my newer posts!!

4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Essences: Whamisa and The Face Shop

  1. I have the Whamisa and I’m totally underwhelmed with it. I also bought their fermented flower oil and it isn’t anything special for me. I totally bought into the hype but I just don’t really get it. Their masks are good but I don’t think they live up to the price here in the US. I want to try the TFS now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree – so far the products I have used are okay, but not for that price point. I did purchase a cream & cleanser around the same time as this essence, so I will use those in the fall, but after that, I have the feeling this is it for me & Whamisa…
      I totally love TFS product!! I purchased a couple more as backup ~ I hope they will continue to make it but just in case!


  2. I need a separate essence for eyes now?! Oi…actually the Face Shop one sounds lovely. I’m currently using Hada Labo Lotion or Melty Wink Double Eyelid Essence (which is just a thinner Hada Labo) on my upper lids and use regular face essences under my eyes. –Angela

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha! Yep, now more products for your face! It looks like you already use an essence on the upper lids, which is great ~ I never really bothered before to moisturize my eye lids, because eye creams caused my eyeshadow to slide off my already oily lids…


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