REVIEW (Estee Lauder): Micro Essence

The Item

Estee Lauder Micro Essence .jpg

Estee Lauder: Micro Essence 150ml

Micro and mighty. This groundbreaking essence-in-lotion activates and strengthens skin’s foundation to reveal its youthful, angelic glow.

  • MICRO TARGETED: penetrates deeply and rapidly within skin’s surface to renew and rebalance.
  • MICRO NOURISHING: delivers a precise concentration of exclusive Micro-Nutrient Bio-Ferment to nourish and energise.
  • MICRO ACTIVE: Activates multiple natural pro-youth abilities to replenish skin.

Estee Lauder, 2016

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The Formulation

Water/Aqua/Eau, Bifida Ferment Lysate, PEG-75, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Pentylene Glycol, Lactobacillus Ferment, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Acetyl Glucosamine, Trehalose, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate, Triomethmine, Disodium EDTA, Phexoxyethanol

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The ‘Irritants’/ Comedogenic

  • Butylene Glycol (Mildly comedogenic): This ingredient is used in cosmetics for its multi-purpose properties. Butylene Glycol is mainly used as a solvent to decrease the viscosity of the product ( to make the product thinner instead of thicker), and a humectant (to help condition & hydrate the skin). In addition, Butylene Glycol  can also prevent cosmetics from drying out, and helps other ingredients penetrate into the skin.

rose-1093513_960_720 Mildly Comedogenic = The chances of this ingredient clogging your pores is not likely.

rose-1093513_960_720 Highly Comedogenic = A strong chance that this ingredient will clog your pores.


The ‘Stars

  • Bifida Ferment Lysate: This is the main  ingredient of Estee Lauder’s Micro Essence. Bifida Ferment Lysate is a probiotic, meaning that is has significant health benefits for it’s host. Additionally, studies done on probiotics and the effects it has on the skin has been extremely limited, and even more limited for topical/dermal applications (used on the skin). To date, there has only been one study done on Bifida Ferment Lysate being applied topically to the skin. This study shows that Bifida Ferment Lysate is beneficial to the skin having: anti-inflammatory properties, decreasing skin sensitivity to the environment ( to cold and hot weather), increasing the skin’s physical barrier ( and thus offers protection against external factors in the environment), smooth the texture of the skin, and alleviate dryness. However, even though Bifida Ferment Lysate improved the skin’s barrier, it did not improve the skin’s ability the recover after it’s barrier has been damaged.  Overall, the main property of Bifida Ferment Lysate is that it increases the skin’s physical barrier. (Source A)


  • Lactobacillus Ferment: This is another probiotic ingredient, and the research around Lactobacillus Ferment being applied topically to the skin is just as limited. Studies have shown that Lactobacillus Ferment does have skin benefits and when applied topically, Lactobacillus Ferment can help in acne prevention and treatment. Lactobacillus Ferment has anti – microbial properties, and can increase and repair the skin’s physical barrier, thus allowing lesions from acne to heal faster. Lactobacillus Ferment can also be used as an anti-aging ingredient, mainly, they offer protection from ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are just substances that form within the body from UV light (sun rays), and air pollution like smoking. The formation of ‘free radicals’ can damage the skin’s DNA/ Lipids/ Proteins/ Collagen, which are all needed in keeping the skin healthy and supple.  Lactobacillus Ferment may offer the protection against the implications of ‘free radicals’, but this is only in theory, and no studies have actually been conducted yet on Lactobacillus Ferment being applied topically on the skin.  Lactobacillus Ferment may also offer some prevention in ‘Photoaging‘ (damage from the sun!), but studies have only found this for Lactobacillus Ferment taken orally, and not topically. Overall, i would suggest that Lactobacillus Ferment main functions would be to  maintain and repair the skin’s barrier. (Source B)
  • gerbera-1346587_960_720Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile): This ingredient can be a potential acne irritant because Chamomile  is normally extracted as an oil, and then used in cosmetics. Chamomile oil then leaves a subtle flower aroma to the product, which can be sensitive to some people. However besides this tiny flaw, Chamomile is one of those super star ingredients. Chamomile contains antioxidants,  anti-inflammatory, skin – soothing, and conditioning properties. If we break this down simply, Chamomile can increase the penetration of ingredients into the skin, and since Chamomile has antioxidant properties, this means more antioxidants to nourish your skin deep down. Additionally being a conditioner, Chamomile can hydrate dehydrated skin. If we combine all of these effects just from one ingredient (anti – inflammatory/conditioning/ soothing/ penetration/ anti-oxidants), Chamomile is one of those botanical ingredients that can really rejuvenate the skin.
  • Betaine: The main functions of Betaine are its anti – irritant and humectant properties. Since Betaine is a humectant, it is able to retain a superior amounts of moisture for the skin, and thus making it more ‘plump’, and temporarily reduce the sign of wrinkles. Additionally being an anti – irritant, Betaine is not as likely to irritate your skin.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: If you ever see this ingredient in a product, its just a fancy way of saying hyaluronic acid. This ingredient can hold up to 1000x times of its moisture content, and sadly can only work topically to keep the skin hydrated (this only applies if sodium hyaluronate is not in a serum). This ingredient works best as a serum, so it can penetrate deep within your skin!  Always keep this in mind.
  • Caffeine: This is one of those ingredients where the research behind it is very contradicting. Some say that when caffeine is applied topically to the skin, this can reduce puffiness, while other studies say these claims are just speculative. What is known true about caffeine is that is does have anti – oxidant properties when applied orally or topically.


Product Review

Scent (4/5):  Describing a scent can be quite tricky, but the smell of this product leans away from the typical floral or medicated smells you would normally smell in skin care products, but instead smells a bit ‘mature’. Almost like a scent used by someone off older age.

Texture of the product(5/5):  The texture of this product is a no doubt a liquid, but it is not the same consistency as water, maybe slightly ‘thicker’. This is a positive characteristic of the product as really thin liquids  (similar to same consistency as water) in my experience, becomes messy and slides of the face. Additionally, the texture of the product is great for application and absorption in to the skin.

Application(5/5): This product absorbed into my skin amazingly, and within seconds. No mess, no sticky feeling/ residue, and my face was left feeling fresh.

Quality of product (5/5): The science behind this product has been limited, but the proof of how efficient this product is really comes from one’s own experience. Sometimes when you are using a skin care product you don’t really know if it has any effects, however, this micro essence is not one of those products. Within one week I could visibly tell a difference with the appearance of my skin. Not only was my skin softer, but it looked smoother. This product may not have faded my old acne scars, but you could defiantly tell that my skin was more healthy and plumper (which I attribute to the skin barrier ingredients). The quality of this product is really ‘up there’, and if you do decide to buy this product remember that this essence can last for up 4-5 months ( 2 drops a day, morning and night). If you do want to splurge from anything from the Estee Lauder skincare range, my best choices for you would be this Micro Essence, or their Night Repair Serum.

Overall Performance/ Effects:

The claims of this product is backed up by scientific research, but this research is very limited. I personally would say that the main functions of this product ( named in order) are:

  1. To hydrate the skin
  2. Maintain the skins physical barrier
  3. Provide anti – oxidants
  4. Has some anti – inflammatory properties

Duration of wear: 16/5/2016 – 8/10/2016 (2 drops a day, morning and night)

Repurchase: Yes. This product was one of the most expensive products that I owned, but it was also one of the most long lasting products. This serum lasted 2x longer than my normal serums/essence.

Overall rating: 4.8/5

Price: $120

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All products are purchased with my money. I am not sponsored to review any products, nor do i have affiliate links. All opinions are 100% honest, and written from my personal experience.

Irritants are flagged from skin care database: CosDNA

Cosmetic ingredients information was accessed from public domains (unless referenced in-text). More detailed information can be found on: TruthInAging &Paula’s Choice


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