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2. Toner

*Last update on 25 July 2017

You might have come across the Korean 10-steps routine while you were researching on Korean trends, Korean beauty secrets, etc. It probably have shocked you, and when you looked at the steps it probably confused you even more.

But we think that once you get the idea behind all these steps, you will find it much more logic and thus more easier to apply it to your own routine. That is why Haru has decoded them and simplified these steps.




1. Makeup remover

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, double cleanses left-over dirt + face wash, moisturizes + 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, Serum

7. Ampoule

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.


Toner, tonic, astrigents*, in Korea also called: freshener / re-freshener / activating serum, skin softer, skin, booster, lotion
*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.

A difference can be made between a low pH toner and a hydrating toner. The difference lies in the pH balancing effect thereof. A low pH Toner brings your pH to neutral skin's condition, double cleanses and moisturizes while hydrating toner focuses on hydrating the skin and not on the pH balancing effect. A hydrating toner is often called a lotion in Korea.

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


Step 2 Toning and dubble cleansing - preparation

After cleaning, you will start to prepare your canvas, which is your face in this case. A moisturized canvas always works better than a canvas that is dried up.


[right after you have washed your face, dap your skin dry with a towel]

Use a toner to neutralize your pH-level, to remove the dirt and leftover cleansing product. Toners in Korea also have a moisturizing effect, so it helps you to moisture and prep your skin for the next steps.

1.) You can first put the toner in the palms of your hands or cotton pads before putting it on your face, then gently wipe it away with cotton pads.
2.) You can also pour the toner, especially the watery once, into a spray bottle and spray it on your face, then gently wipe it away with cotton pads.

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 makes your skin absorb moisture 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 (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 - Directly on cottonpads: wet the cottonpad with toner and gently pat/press on face, start with dry zones.
Method B - Spraybottle: spray on face and neck, and gently pat to let is absorb.

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.

After applying toner/freshner touch to check whether your skin is damp/moisturized and if it is not greasy / sticky, If this is the case, then you did a good job.

Tip: combined with cottonpads you can use a toner as a instant emergency DIY facial mask.


pH-values are measured in a scale of 0 to 14.
A value of 7.0 is referred to as pH-neutral. Tap water in the Netherlands is pretty much everywhere light to medium alkaline.

Water with a pH-value below 7.0 is referred to as an acid or acidic water, while water over the pH-value 7.0 is referred to as alkaline or alkaline water.

Alkaline Water means that there is water with a pH (acidity) of the above 7.0. Alkaline degreases and skin can make it extremely dry and dull.

Healthy skin is more towards acidic and usually has a value of 5.5.
An overly acidic skin may feel irritated and often suffer from pimples and has a greasy feel.

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. 

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