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Recipe to Get Skincare to Absorb Better

Did you know that the surface layers of skin, also called the stratum corneum, is anywhere between 9~11 layers? Cosmetic brands aren’t allowed to speak about penetration beyond these surface layers, so if you are seeing claims like ‘reproduces collagen’, an action that takes place in the dermis beyond the stratum corneum, note that this is actually against FTC regulations. Regardless, penetration of products and actives – even within the multiple surface layers of skin – is paramount for your skincare routine to work as effectively as possible.


It’s not just flowers that have layers upon layers…

In Korea, women believe that application of skincare is as important, perhaps even more important than the products that you use. A well known application technique is called ‘patting’. Many of us are familiar with brands such as La Mer, Clarins or Hada Labo, that also recommend to gently pat in serum or moisturizer to aid absorption.

The secret to ‘patting’ in Korea? It starts before you apply any products. After using a facial cleanser and rinsing with cold water, leave skin wet without towel-drying. Using your finger tips, gently pat in the leftover moisture on face until it is absorbed and skin is moist but not dripping. The gentle patting motion is repeated after applying products (toner or softener, serum and moisturizer) but is briefer than the amount of patting done before applying product.

In a recent article, Singles (one of our favorite Korean magazines) did a quick consumer test to show the benefits of patting after cleansing. While the test was done on a small subset of women and was not meant to be a highly rigorous study, the panel showed remarkable double digit improvement in hydration levels with a corneometer after ‘patting’.

We also spoke with Hye-jung Jung, the head of JHJ Parapam’s esthetics, who says, “I practice patting not only when I give my clients a facial, but I always recommend they do the same at home before and after applying products to help tone the skin and boost absorption. Even if you have an expensive cream, if you aren’t taking the time to apply it properly, you probably won’t see the results you expect.”


The lovely Ms. Jung

As we love to try new things, the whole Glow Recipe team attempted ‘patting’ for a week, every night. Our verdict? We see ‘patting’ as an investment – it takes a little more time and honestly, a lot of discipline everyday to stand in front of the mirror and get it done. But we unanimously thought our skin looked a little brighter and more supple. Considering that there’s no cost, we’re sold. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Get your glow on,
The Glow Recipe Team

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