In this part of the Skincare Series, I’ll be discussing the benefits of facial toner & essence. This step is actually one of the most important parts of a great skincare regimen. However, it can sometimes be forgotten or overlooked. Here is a rundown on the benefits of facial toner & essence and how you use them…
Facial Toner – I’ll start with toner as this is the next step after cleansing your skin. After cleansing, the pH balance of your skin can get disturbed. When this happens, your skin needs to work extra hard to restore the balance which can result in unwanted oil. A facial toner helps to restore the skin’s balance quickly. Having a balanced pH level means your skin is less prone to oiliness and infection, which in turn creates a more vibrant and smoother appearance.
Facial toners also tighten pores allowing fewer oils and toxins to settle into the skin. This helps to prevent acne, reduces facial blemishes you may already have, and works to prevent future breakouts. And last but not least, facial toners provide hydration to your skin, which is essential in maintaining elasticity, smoothness, moisture and a more youthful appearance. Proper skin hydration provides an effective base for the application of other facial cosmetics.
Luckily, we Westerners have been using toners for quite a long time which makes it easy to shop for this product at your preferred beauty counter or local pharmacy. My advice is to NOT purchase a toner that has an alcohol base and works as an astringent. The toner you choose is meant to nourish your skin and balance the pH levels. Try to find one with natural ingredients like Amore Pacific Treatment Toner. This is my all time favorite and I will likely never use another. Amore Pacific is favored for its concentrated, botanical-infused ingredients. Their toner is a nutrient-rich, soothing formula that works for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It helps to calm and prime the skin to receive further treatment. It also comes in a large bottle that will easily last you 6 months.
How to use: Toner can be applied by hand or with a cotton round/ball. I personally use my hands to apply as I feel cotton applicators are a waste of product. Pour a small amount onto the center of your palm, rub your hands together, then gently press and tap the product into your face and neck. Never rub as this creates too much tension on delicate skin areas. I recommend tapping because it enhances absorption. This can be done both morning and night. If you don’t want to use toner twice a day, then just use it in the morning after cleansing or rinsing your face with water.
Facial Essence – This is an age old necessity in Korean beauty. Although the Asian culture typically has a clear understanding of Essence and its uses, the rest of the world is still a bit confused on what it actually is and why we should be incorporating it into our skincare regimen. So let’s clear that up right now, shall we? Essence is an extremely concentrated formula that treats skin on a cellular level. Many argue that you’ll see more results from Essence than any other product. It can do wonders for your complexion! And…Essence is largely compatible for every skin type!
But still the question remains, what is Essence? Is it a toner? Is it a serum? Well…neither really. It’s the step in your skincare routine that happens in between toner and serum. Essences have highly concentrated antioxidants, vitamins, organic acids, and sometimes fermented probiotics, all for the purpose of enhancing your skin from the inside out. Specifically targeting fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone while helping the skin to better absorb your serum and moisturizer. Think of Essence as a skin regenerator. With continued use, you will definitely look more youthful. For me personally, I find that I wear less makeup than ever before due to a smoother complexion with the continued use of Essence.
If you are just starting out with toners and/or essence, my advice is to begin this journey by first incorporating a toner into your regimen. Essence can come later when you develop a more steady routine and feel that you’re ready to take your skincare to the next level. Also, keep in mind that essences can be very expensive and hard to come by. They have just started to become more widely available outside the Asian countries. The skincare company SK-II was first on the market in the U.S. and many other countries. Now, just within the past year, other skincare companies have started to follow suit with this incredible product. Sephora now offers a variety of essences with different price points. I personally use SK-II Facial Treatment Essence as it is made up of 90% Pitera which is a clear liquid rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. I will discuss more in depth on Pitera in Part 3 of this series on “Serums”.
How to use: After cleansing your skin, apply toner to rebalance your pH levels which will prep your skin to receive Essence. Don’t be deceived by the watery consistency of essences as they are packed with nutrients and moisture that your skin will literally drink up. Follow the same application steps as your toner. Pour a small amount onto the center of your palm, rub your hands together, then gently press/tap the product into your face and neck. Follow with Serum which I will be discussing in the next series.
If you’d like to try the products I use, below are two direct links to purchase online. Otherwise, visit your local beauty counter, pharmacy or Sephora.com to choose a toner and essence that is right for you. Would love to hear from you so please leave any questions or comments you have in the below “comments” section!
Be Forever Young! xoxo