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7 Layers of Toner: How This K-Beauty Secret Transforms Your Skin

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Why exactly toner?

Why 7 layers?

How to apply the method on your skin in 5 steps?

When to do this routine?

In the past few years, Korean skincare (also known as K-beauty) has become a benchmark for beautiful and healthy skin. And not just for Koreans.

The different K-beauty skincare routines are famous for their effects of leaving your skin flawless, glowing, vibrant, and fresh, preventing skin damage, such as dryness, dehydration, pore congestion, breakouts, or redness. What is more, they can make your skin look beautiful even without any makeup on.

And recently, a new Korean trend appeared, which promised to do wonders to thirsty, dry, mature and dehydrated skin: Applying seven layers of toner. (It’s not surprising since Korean beauty is all about layering different products)

This sounds pretty weird and monotonous, moreover, many people who have tried this method claim it to be expensive and time-consuming. But is it worth the try?

Let’s figure this out in the following article!

Why exactly toner?

Did you know that in Korean, toner” is the same as “skin”? Well, there are two types of skin toners: Humectant and Astringent. [1] For the 7-Layer-of-Toner method, specialist suggest to reach to the humectant because it can be suitable for dry, dehydrated and mature skin types, and this K-beauty secret is all about hydration and moisture balance. [2]

It’s important to choose a product, which contains no alcohols, fragrances, or formaldehyde , as those ingredients can dry and irritate your skin, as well as reduce the beneficial effect of this Korean routine.

Basically, humectant toner can act like very powerful and quickly-absorbing water, which can have a couple of additional and simultaneous effects (depending on the other ingredients in the product):

  • Gives rich hydration instantly
  • Removes dead cells from the epidermis (the top skin layer)
  • Balances skin PH (to get rid of product residues, pollutants, and irritators)

This way, the toner itself not only prepares the skin for absorbing other products (such as moisturizer and serum) but can also give a hydration hit to the epidermis, which diminishes the skin’s thirst and decreases its need for other moisturizing products. [3]

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Why 7 layers?

In fact, 7 is the maximum level of toner layer you could apply at once. And that is if your skin is dull, very dehydrated, and lacks glow and vibrancy.

Depending on your own skin needs, you could apply from 2 to 7 consecutive layers of toner.

The more you apply, the more hydro boosts you give your skin cells.

How to apply the method on your skin in 5 steps?

Step 1

One crucial thing to do before you start applying the toner is to exfoliate your face with a gentle buffing powder or face brush. Don’t use scrubs with big particles, as those aren’t made for your face but for the body. They can be too aggressive and abrasive, causing microdamage and destroying your healthy skin barrier.

Exfoliation is not necessarily an everyday process. You can do it every other day, every 3rd day or twice a week, depending on your skincare routine. Just don’t miss to get rid of those dead skin cells before you start with the 7-layers-of-toner process.

Learn more about exfoliation as part of the basic skincare routine!

Step 2

Once you have exfoliated, cleanse your skin with water or mild product to get rid of any residue from the exfoliation. Or, if you didn’t exfoliate, this step will ensure that your skin and pores are clean enough and ready to absorb the toner.

Step 3

Start applying the toner.

If your product is in a spray bottle, spray the face one time from a 20-centimeter distance. This way, you will ensure a thin and even layer of toner. Be careful with the eye area, as you don’t want the toner to irritate your eyes.


If your product is in a regular package, take a cotton ball or a makeup removing tampon and put a small amount of the toner (it shouldn’t be soaking wet). Apply with a gentle patting motion, and don’t forget the areas around the nose, eyes, and chin (as they are more difficultly reachable.)

Step 4…

Wait for the product to be absorbed, as the time depends on your particular skin. You will know that you can proceed when your face feels dry enough.

Repeat Step 3 a couple of times, taking into account your skin’s needs. If your skin is very dehydrated, 7 layers are a great choice, however, if your skin is normal to dry, it’s better to stop at the 2nd or 3rd layer of toner.

Related: What make up to use to enhance your skin undertone?

When to do this routine?

It’s great to do this treatment every night before bed. As you go, you will see that your skin starts requiring less and less product with every passing day (as the toner satisfied its thirst).

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