Over the last few weeks, I introduced on my Instagram (#sarahglowtips) the concept of layering an essence toner 3-4 times with the goal of maximizing skin hydration. I’ve been using this method myself for nearly a year, particularly when I am feeling travel-weary, and have fallen in love with how well it works to renew and refresh dehydrated and tired skin.
Now, as we all know, Korean skincare gurus love taking things to the next level. Since earlier this summer, I’ve been tracking a trend called the “7 Skin Method”, which is effectively a hyper-charged take on the same theme. This trend has been just blowing up in Korea over the past few months and I wanted to share it with you guys!
I can be quite obsessive when I’m completely hooked on either a product or a routine that makes a difference on my complicated, combination skin. You might have already noticed this with my rave review over the Artichoke Power Essence or the Aqua Water Rubber Mask (wait for my review on this!). I was already a huge fan of my abbreviated “3 Skin Method”, so was excited to see how effective upgrading to 7 layers would be. Naturally, I tried it during my vacation in New Zealand, a region of the world that experiences drastic swings in climates and temperatures, and where my skin felt the tightest every night – a perfect testing ground!
So, what is the ‘7 Skin Method’?
In a nutshell, this is a skincare regimen where 7 layers of your toner are patted on and layered in succession. (Interesting note: ‘skin’ and ‘toner’ are the same word in Korean.) The idea behind the 7 layers is that the moisture level of skin can be increased in an efficient and effective way without the heaviness or greasiness that may come from traditional creams and oils. It’s also a great way to hydrate all skin types, providing the optimal balance of hydration and skin’s natural oils with a subtle dewy glow and firmer skin.
One of my favorite Korean YouTube creators is Da Yeoung Kim, and I think of all of her skincare videos are ‘must watch’s. She recently vlogged about the 7 Skin Method, joining other outlets such as Powder Room in singing its virtues.
Which ‘skin’ should I use?
The importance of finding your toner with a suitable ingredient list is magnified as you are using the formula on your skin over multiple layers. I recommend using an essence toner, which is a key category in K-beauty. Traditionally, it serves as the first leave-on step after facial cleansing, used to jumpstart the skincare routine with a very watery, yet viscous formula that infuses hydration. Avoid toners with alcohol, as they will dry out the skin or potentially cause irritation if layered more than once.
My favorite essence toner and our very first official ‘Glow Gamechanger’ is Whamisa’s Organic Flower Deep Rich Essence Toner. I’ve been personally using this beautiful blend of botanical extracts with cushiony and bouncy texture for the 7 Skin method (as well as my 3-Skin Method). It’s not only great for applying with your hands to pat into the skin, but can also be used with cotton pads to wipe away. This formula goes beyond balancing skin’s pH level and replenishes the moisture loss that takes place immediately after cleansing.
Some of our other favorite toners to use include Blossom Jeju’s Camellia Soombi Essence Toner and Blithe’s series of Treatment Essences, all of which have that ‘bouncy’ and ‘cushiony’ texture for equal parts hydration and nourishment.
How do I apply the ‘skin’?
Use no more than a dime’s width of the product when poured onto your palm. An excess amount will not only waste the product but not allow the gentle and effective patting to take place.
The most common application method is to wipe the skin with a cotton pad drenched in ‘skin’ or toner first, and patting with hands for the rest of the 6 steps.
I personally like to gently rub my two hands, increase the temperature and press the skin to complete each step.
Allow at most 3 minutes in between each step. I’m too impatient to even wait 3 minutes. I keep patting until my skin is no longer wet, but slightly moist from the ‘skin’ layer. This usually takes 2 minutes max.
While the full process took a little longer than normal, I absolutely fell in love with how my skin felt after. I had a dewy glow that looked lit from within. My skin felt tighter, plumper and bouncier. I couldn’t stop pressing my cheeks with my fingertips – they felt like a plush yet firm cushion, soft like a baby’s bottom. Also my skin felt healthier than ever. Do you know that feeling of being ‘fit’ after working out for a few months? There’s definitely that “Wow I got it!” moment as your body feels lighter, tighter, and more energized. My cheeks felt this way. I felt like I didn’t need a moisturizer after.
What do you apply after the 7 Skin method is complete?
I tried a few options.
1) I didn’t apply anything and went straight to sunscreen + makeup. It was wonderful. My skin was that hydrated and makeup-ready.
2) In drier weather, I used an oil-based moisturizer, Whamisa’s Water Cream with Natto, to complete the routine and this helped my hydration last all day long. I loved how my makeup looked good even at 5pm!
3) At night, I used Whamisa’s Water Cream with Natto, but also an eye cream and I woke up with brighter skin the next day.
The 7 Skin method WORKS. If you’re a skincare junkie and willing to try anything to maximize the products or the few minutes of your day, I definitely recommend it. Would I continue doing the 7 steps? Maybe not always. And when compared to my original 3 Skin method, the difference is noticeable but not drastic. I suggest giving the 3 Skin method a go and customizing the process by adding incremental layers yourself until you find your personal equilibrium – especially important if you have sensitive skin.
Love to hear about your 7 Skin or 3 Skin experiences! Share your experience with us in the comments below or on our Instagram, and I’d love to gift my favorite Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner!
Get your glow on!
EDIT: Giveaway has ended and winners have been contacted! Thank you all for sharing your amazing stories – it’s so great to hear how effective this has been on your skin! Keep sharing your stories below because we love to read them!