I am trying the 7 Skin Method, which is a technique to improve hydration by layering one’s hydrating toner 7 times. Originally I was concerned about wasting product quickly, but I learned from Joan Kim at KCON that you can actually just use a pea sized drop, and alternate between the T zone and the U zone, and this uses a reasonable amount of product to maximum benefit.
Huxley’s Extract It Toner was given to me in a deluxe sample size by Glow Recipe at their KCON panel. It smells nice, did its job, and did not cause irritation. It seems to be a one note toner in that it has one really significant characteristic, and that is cactus extract. This doesn’t fit in with my ingredient priorities, so I would not purchase a full version. $25-$35 online for 120ml at Crystal Cove, Style Korean, Glow Recipe, and OhLolly.
Pyunkang Yul’s Essence Toner is one I’ve been seeing recommended by many ladies with great skin, such as Gothamista, and a Berliner’s routine on IntoTheGloss. The cobalt bottle is beautiful, and the container is functionally well-designed, pouring out a perfect, clean drop every time with minimal effort. I scored this for $10 at StyleKorean sale at KCON. What a great deal. Light texture and absorbs very well. Like Huxley, this seems to be a one note product, focusing on Milk Vecht Root, a strong anti-aging root like ginseng. Since there are other specific ingredient that I am prioritizing now, I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing it. About $19 for 200ml at various shops online including StyleKorean, OhLolly, and Amazon.
Speaking of Pyunkang Yul, I was able to try samples of the multiple other products in this line. The Moisture Serum looks and feels like a light moisturizer. It absorbs well and I had no bad reaction from it. The Moisture Ampoule surprised me as it is a very thick and sticky gel. My hands were lightly sticking to my skin as I patted it on. According the Gothamista review, this is a sealant to be used last instead of how I used it. Regardless, I would not buy it because I did not like how it felt. The Moisture Cream was thick, more so than my usual moisturizers, but not problematic; it eventually absorbed. I also tried the ATO Cream from a tester and it felt very pleasant. I feel confident recommending this brand to friends with sensitive skin.
Hada Labo’s Shirojyun Lotion is the toner I used years before and appreciated even before realizing what a great set of ingredients it contains. It has arbutin and MAP vitamin c for brightening and hyaluronic acid as a humectant. Hada Labo does not do wrong in my book; I can always rely on it. But there are a lot of other brands I want to try before I have to come back to this steadfast product.
Other hydrating toners I want to try are: Etude House’s Soon Jung Relief Toner, which has centella and green tea; Benton’s Aloe BHA Toner, which has lots of aloe vera; Benton’s Snail Bee Skin, which has snail, green tea, peptides, aloe, allatonin; and Cezanne’s Skin Conditioner High Moist, which contains lots of ceramides, hylauronic acid, allatonin, aloe in a gargantuan 500ml bottle.