essence,  Missha

Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence

the claim

Made with 100% Irish Moss Extract, a type of Red Algae that strengthens the skin’s defense and combats external stimuli that might harm it, the Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and powerfully antioxidant to promote youthful and healthy skin.
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence

the ingredients

Chondrus Crispus Extract (Irish Moss Extract)
Both CosDNA and EWG return an ideal rating for this single ingredient essence.
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence Analysis
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence Ingredients

the science

Red Algae is a nutrient and vitamin rich seaweed promoting healthy skin. It’s slowly fermented at 36.5°C for 100 days to increase the potency of it’s natural antioxidant strength. Antioxidants (zeaxanthin, lutein) shield skin from damaging airborne pollutants, protecting against the onset of premature ageing. Containing a compound known as Carrageenan, defense against environmental stressors is enhanced as it forms a flexible film on skin which can also help to heal sensitive or acne prone skin.
The natural polysaccharides, peptides and amino acids in red algae also help skin to stay well hydrated and plump for a more youthful appearance.

the packaging

Just like all the other essences from this brand, the red algae variety is elegantly presented in a heavy, sturdy deep red tinted glass bottle with dropper opening and screw top lid. It’s nicely packaged in a matching both with internal support keeping the product safe from breakage and leakage.
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence Packaging

the application

At the first step of skincare, take an adequate amount and apply to face for absorption.

the cost

The Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence costs USD$39 at the time of publishing.
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence

the availability

The essence is available at reputable Korean beauty stores including Yes Style and Style Korean.

the expiry

The Missha essence has a shelf life of 2 years and must be used within 12 months of opening.
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence ExpirationMissha Red Algae Treatment Essence Shelf Life

the performance

Firstly, let’s start with the packaging. This bottle is super sleek and sophisticated and the red colour is distinctive and eye catching. The entire Missha red algae set of products (essence, serum, cream and lotion) has similar packaging for instant identification, consistent with other lines such as the Mugwort. The bottle is heavy, made of red tinted glass with a screw top lid and dropper opening that’s protected with a stopper when new to prevent spillage. I simply love Missha’s signature presentation.
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence
The essence is runny and lightweight although somewhat denser than water, a little thicker than the brand’s iconic First Treatment Essence. It retains a lovely red tinge which is a natural colour, nothing added to the single ingredient formula to enhance appearance. It has a nice silky slip but it’s not slippery.
The product comes out easily and in a well controlled way, each drop separately dispensed with a shake of the bottle (enabling the following photo to be taken without loss of product). The liquid has the slightest scent, a little floral but very subtle and short lived, so won’t irritate sensitive noses. On that note, the formula is not diluted so only comprises fermented red algae extract, ingredient resources including CosDNA and EWG giving it an ideal safety rating.
Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence Texture
The promised antioxidant activity of this essence is what lured me to purchase it. I’ve used a few products with algae in the past and have had positive outcomes. At an age where fine lines are evident, I’m always searching for products that are antioxidant rich to ward off cell damage and the inevitable ageing process. Add to that the hydration it offers and it’s a perfect fit for my skin.
Missha suggests applying this as the first step in the routine, categorising this as a First Treatment Essence. Initially I used this after a watery toner, following the general principles of texture sequence, lightest to most dense. After following the recommended application guidelines, I found the results to be similar.
This essence absorbs into the skin effortlessly and completely in seconds. A slight tackiness dissipates quickly with a little pat leaving no noticeable residue. I usually apply a couple of layers before moving onto toner and serum. It doesn’t wow me with hydration, but it’s definitely there, more noticeable with a second or third skin. I hoped for long term results promised by the antioxidant content, skin protection and strengthening to help resist lines, but I got more that I anticipated.
I didn’t find much benefit using the First Treatment Essence so wasn’t sure what to expect. I was surprised to find that my skin actually felt stronger after using this twice daily for around a month. It’s simply more resilient, looks healthier, benefits that are accompanied by a pleasing glow. This essence exceeded my expectations.

the conclusion

Due the simplicity of its composition and the universal benefits of antioxidant agents and hydration, I would have no hesitation recommending the Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence. It adds the first step of hydration to please all skin types, hence preparing the face for better acceptance of the products that follow while working away in the background to strengthen for a more youthful appearance. Antioxidant rich, it delivers a great aging defense.
This is definitely my favourite Missha essence so far. Looking forward to trying their much loved mugwort version (Artemisia Treatment) next.

the summary

Pros Cons
Simple, single ingredient safe formula Only available online for Australians
Beautiful, hygienic packaging A little pricey
Nice application and quick absorption Expected more hydration
Adds a light layer of hydration  
More resilient skin  
Glowing skin  
Antioxidant rich for environmental protection  


the references

Chondrus crispus (algae) extract Paula’s Choice Skincare
Missha Website
Skincare with Healing Properties: Benefits of Seaweed for Skin Repair Herbal Dynamics Beauty



the disclaimer

Please read in context with my disclaimer.


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