A little over a week ago, I was letting YouTube play in the background when this video came on - I immediately dropped what I was doing and closely watched. One of my favorite YouTubers, Renee from Gothamista, collaborated with Sarah from Glow Recipe to demonstrate the 7-Skin Method, a skincare technique commonly used in Korea. The name comes from the process of patting on seven layers of your toner/essence ("skin" and "toner" are the same word in Korean, according to Glow Recipe). It seemed totally high-maintenance and a little unnecessary at first, but K-beauty has never steered me wrong, so I decided to try it.
The idea with this method is that you want to use a simple, hydrating toner. Acid toners and toners containing high levels (or any, really) of denatured alcohol or other actives should be off-limits, or at least limited to just a layer or two. You can use the same toner for all seven layers, or you can change it up depending on how your skin is feeling. It's said that it provides such an increase to the skin's moisture levels without having to use heavy or greasy creams. It's a great way to hydrate and firm the skin and should work for all skin types. It's of course always encouraged to find what's best for your skin - you might not need all seven layers, or you could need even more.
You want to use something watery in texture so that you're not overloading your skin. My favorites to use have been the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner and the Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Toner - they're fairly thin and watery, but have just a slightly higher viscosity that makes them perfect for this method. I take a dime size amount for my first layer and then 1-2 drops for all subsequent layers, patting them in until it feels like they've soaked in, but my skin isn't completely dry. It sounds like it will make a skincare routine last ages, but it hasn't added too much time to mine - maybe the five to seven minutes it normally takes gets bumped up to ten.
Doing this almost every morning and night for the past week has legitimately changed my skin. I must have been experiencing much more intense dehydration than I thought, because patting in the extra layers on toner has left my skin feeling so healthy and nourished. My skin looks and feels firmer and bouncier and has a dewy, but not greasy, glow afterward. I haven't felt the need to slather my skin in heavy oils and creams before I go to bed either, and I still wake up with moisturized, glowing, and bright skin. Since my skin is dehydrated and I'm in quite a dry environment at the moment, I follow up with a hydrating serum (like this one from Glossier or this one from Klairs), and a cream (usually this one from Dr. Jart+ or this one from CosRX at night, and this one from Glossier in the morning). And this could be down to a few other changes I've been making, but I haven't had one breakout since I started using the 7-Skin Method.
I mentioned that I love using the Klairs and Mizon toners above, but here are some other products that have been working well with this method:
I always start with at least four layers of the original two toners mentioned and then will use these for the last three or so layers - for some reason I don't like using these products for all seven layers quite as much as using those other two toners - the Klairs and Mizon just have such a perfect consistency!
Have you tried the 7 Skin Method?
Renee from Gothamista also made a helpful video of her favorite hydrating toners as a followup to her video on this method here.