A.True Black Tea Essence

Product Name
A.True Real Black Tea True Active Essence

The Claim
A bottle of double-fermented True Active Essence acts by filling every single layer of the dermis and epidermis to improve the natural vital power of the skin and to restore its original rhythm.

Where does it fit in your routine?
This is called an essence but it’s kind of viscous, so I would follow the thin-to-thick rule. I apply this after essences and toners but before serums and creams.

Size and Price
The bottle contains 180ML of product. It is available on Cupidrop for $44. I received this bottle from 08L to review on Instagram, which I did here. Since then my thoughts have solidified a bit more so I thought I would post a more thorough review.

The essence is contained in a tall and narrow, burgandy colored, opaque, plastic bottle. The liquid is dispensed through a hole in the opening.

Every once in awhile, my girlfriends and I like to dress up, go to The London in West Hollywood, pretend to be fancy, and have high tea. To me, this essence captures that experience. This does not smell like your lush, earthy oolongs or herbaceous mountain greens (I’m still searching for something that does so hit me up with leads if you have any!), but it does smell like black tea with some floral and spice notes added, brewed with a generous amount of sugar. There’s just a whiff of perfume-yness, but the scent is subtle and not cloying.


Color and texture
This essence is more viscous than water but still very fluid. It’s got a slight, amber tone.

What’s in it? 

    Saccharomyces is the same type of yeast used in SK-II’s famed Facial Treatment Essence. One study done with saccharomyces cerevisiae extract on volunteers showed it to be effective in increasing short term skin moisture, have long term effects skin microrelief (skin structure), and brightness. In this ATrue essence, the saccharomyces is used to ferment black tea, which has astringent and antioxidant properties.
    Niacinamide is one of those ingredients that does a little bit of everything. It strengthens your skin’s barrier by reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL)increasing resistance to irritants such as SLS and the rate at which your skin syntheses barrier components, and with repeated daily application increases the thickness of the stratum corneum. It also has the potential to reduce the depth of wrinkles, especially when combined with other anti-aging agents such as kinetin, N-acetyl glucosamine, or palmitoyl pentapeptide, and has been shown as effective in treating hyperpigmentation.
    These are all humectants, meaning they are able to attract and hold water to help hydrate skin.

Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies butylene glycol (1) as a potential acne trigger.

Full Ingredients 
Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment(146,340mg), Butylene Glycol, Saccharide Isomerate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycereth-26, Niacinamide, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Dipropylene Glycol, Trehalose, Panthenol, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Maltodextrin, Propanediol, Capryric/capric triglyceride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Sorghum Bicolor Stalk Juice, Adenosine, Tromethamine, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Water, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance



Unfortunately, despite the saccharomyces and niacinamide content, I have not noticed any brightening effects from this product. I do have a lot of other products in my skincare collection that also brighten, so it’s possible that the effect is there but too subtle for me to notice.

In general, this essence does not hydrate or brighten as well as I expect from my first essences. It’s also thicker than I like my first essences to be, so I prefer to think of this and to use this as a toner instead. To that end, this essence performs quite satisfactory. When my skin needs an extra dose of moisture, this essence provides just enough without creating any excess heaviness or stickiness.

Example Routines with A.True Black Tea Essence

Routine 1 // Routine 2 // Routine 3

The Takeaway

Overall, I think this essence is better suited for someone interested in a more abbreviated routine, as it can function as a essence and hydrating toner in one. It’s also one of those products that you have to enjoy the experience of using it (ie texture, scent) to be worthwhile, especially given the cost. I’m glad I had a chance to try it, but I will not be repurchasing simply because there are other essences and toners I get more joy from using.

Rating: 3.4 / 5 Stars

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes but for a different platform. The opinions expressed are my own. This post does not contain any affiliate links. 

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