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2. Toner

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*Last update on 16 Feb 2019

Preparing // The must-do step

After cleansing you might want to prepare the canvas (= your face). After all, a canvas that has a little moisture will always works better than a dehydrated canvas.

Tonic, astrigents*, also known in Korea as: freshener / re-freshener / activating serum, skin softer, skin, booster, lotion. These are all different names for 1 product, in other words 'toner'.
   *avoid astringents (these contain a high percentage of witch hazel, or alcohol (20% -60%)). It will dry ouy your skin and will ultimately cause more breakouts.

Often a difference is made between a low pH toner and a hydrating toner. The difference is in its pH-balancing effect. A low pH toner brings your pH to neutral skin's condition, extra cleanses and moisturizes while hydrating toner focuses on hydrating the skin and not so much on the pH balancing effect. A hydrating toner is often called a lotion in Korea.

In this chapter we will mostly talk about the pH-balancing toners [low pH toner]!
Here in the west, the toning step is frequently skipped in daily routines, simply because we don't understand what a toner does. However this is a very important step in your daily routine which you absolutely should not skip!


4. (low) pH TONER

[right after you have washed your face (on a wet face)]

Use a toner to neutralize your pH-level, to remove the dirt and leftover cleansing products. // Toners in Korea have the effect to moisturize and prep your skin for the steps afterwards.

1) You can first pour the toner on the palm of your hands or on a cotton pad before applying it to face, then gently wipe the product with the cotton pad.
2) You can also pour it, especially the liquid ones, into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto your face, then pat it in or gently wipe it away with cotton pads.

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Why should we use it?

Keywords: refresh, pH, moisture, prep

Each time we wash our face we also damage our skin's top protective layer. A new protective layer will be formed after 30~40 minutes, in the meantime, your skin is extremely vulnerable. A toner is soothing to the skin and helps your skin to absorb moisture and nutrients better and faster. It's a prep for the steps you take afterwards.

* Think of a dry sponge: it will repel a thick layer of cream, while a wet sponge can absorb much better.

In Korea

Korean toners focuses on hydrating and strengthening the skin layer. They are gentle and protect the acid mantle. Often contains a lot of nutrients, humectants (such as Glycerin) and Ceramides (The oil in the epidermis, which is important to prevent skin dehydration, largely consists of several ceramides.).


Use a toner within 30 sec. after wash and dry of your face.. 

Method A - Cotton pads: wet a cotton pad with toner and gently pat/press on face, start with the dry areas such as cheeks and then sweep from the inside out and bottom to the top. This removes leftover dirt and cleansers, in addition, with the right cotton pad, you can exfoliate the skin in a very gentle way.
Method B - Spraybottle: spray on face and neck and gently pat till it's absorbed.

When using cotton pads, always start with the trouble areas and wipe from inside towards the outer of your face. 
*Trouble areas are often the cheeks, nose and forehead.

Does your skin feel damp / moisturized after applying the toner and it is not greasy / sticky? If yes, then you have done well!

Essence toner

As the name implies, these types of toners focus more on nourishing and hydrating the skin rather than balancing the pH level. // You can use an essence toner for the 7-skin method or DIY sheet mask as below in the video.

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Tip: in combination with the Pyunkang Yul cotton pads you can use make excellent DIY facial masks.


pH values are measured in a scale from 0 to 14.
0 (acidic) ------ 7 (neutral) ------ 14 (alkaline)

A value of 7 is referred as pH neutral. Tap water in the Netherlands is pretty much everywhere light to medium alkaline. Water with a pH-value below 7 is referred to as acid or acidic water, while water over 7 is referred to as alkaline or alkaline water.

A healthy skin is more towards acidic and usually has a value of 5,5. An overly acidic skin may feel irritated and is more likely to suffer from pimples and oily.

Products with a high alkaline (7+) can degrease the skin and can even dry out the skin and make it look dull.

If you have oily skin, choose for example a more alkaline (7+) cleanser and toner.
If you have a more dry skin, you will benefit more from acidic or neutral products (+/- 5,5)


Skin improvement is being patient! It is important to give a new skin care routine/product a trial period of at least 1 month since your skin will renew its cells each 28 days. In case you notice (a small) difference, please try another 2-3 months.  



1. Oil-based cleanser
2. Water based cleanser
3. Exfoliator
1. Cleansing
To remove make up, sunscreen, dirt, blackheads and dead skin cells.

4. Toner 2. Preparing
Balances pH-level, triple cleanses leftover dirt + face wash, hydrates + prepares your skin for the steps to follow.

5. Eye cream 3. Eye care
Thinner than regular face creams, to target gentle areas around your eyes, reduces dark circles and wrinkles.

6. Essence
7. SerumAmpoule
8. Sheet mask
4. Treatment / Boost
High concentration products to target & treat different concerns such as acne, dehydration, dull, pigmentation, fine lines, etc.

9. Moisturizer 5. Moisturizing
To seal in all the good stuff that you have just put on your face.

10. SPFspot treatmentsleeping mask 6. Special care

- day
- night
DAY - sun protection: Most effective step in the morning since it helps your skin to defense against all the harms from the sun 

NIGHT - spot treatment + sleeping packs: The cells in your body repairs themselves at night during your sleep, hence makes this the best moment to see maximum benefit of your (hydrating) products.


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