Glowing skin: The Korean 7 skin method

One of my favourite things about Korean skincare is the post-facial (minus the facial) glow you can achieve with K-beauty products and methods. The 7 skin method is no exception. It has a simple concept – layer a toner or an essence onto your skin 7 times. This intense hydration gives way to a plump, soft, radiant complexion. It may sound easy enough, and it is, but there are a few things to consider before diving right in.

You don’t have to do the full 7

7 layers can sometimes be too much, depending on what toner or essence you are using. Toners with a thinner consistency are more easily layered up. If you are using an essence with a slightly more viscous texture, you could opt for 3 – 5 layers. Smooth on as many as feels beneficial and comfortable to you. Just ensure that you allow enough time in between each layer, for the product to adequately absorb into your skin. Giving your face a gentle pat after you apply a layer can help too. Emphasis on the gentle.

Pick the right viscosity for your skin type

The Korean 7 skin method works best if the toner or essence you’re using is suited to your skin type / condition. There are so many different consistencies out there. Those who have oily skin may prefer to use a more watery toner, as opposed to someone with dry skin, who may choose to use a thicker formula. Even though my skin is oily, I do favour essences and toner essences because I have dehydrated skin. Experiment!

Check the ingredients

The product you use ideally needs to consist of a gentle, fragrance-free formula. If you’re applying multiple layers of a toner that contains synthetic fragrance and astringents such as alcohol, your skin can very quickly dry out or become irritated. Kind of like your mum does when you say you’re almost ready but haven’t even showered or put on deodorant yet. Make sure that the product is also labelled as hydrating – toners can often be exfoliators or contain active ingredients that may not be suitable for daily use.

My 7 skin favourites

I love love love using Beauty of Joseon’s Ginseng Essence Water for this method. This one I could layer 20 times over. I often soak a few cotton pads in this essence toner and let them sit on my face for 5 – 10 minutes as a make-shift face mask. The bright radiance I get from leaving this on is insane. The Pure Lotus’ Jeju Lotus Leaf Essence is also a go-to of mine for a more subtle glowy finish (but it does contain natural fragrance for those with sensitive skin). The most viscous essence I have been using lately is Tiam’s Snail & Azulene Water Essence. Like most other snail extract products, this one is slightly sticky and tacky. I bought it to try it out, as I’ve used snail filtrate in the past but had been unconvinced. This one is great, and it only takes 2 – 3 layers for me to get the same effect that 7 layers of the aforementioned products give. These essences do all have very different textures, but surprisingly, all of them work for this Korean 7 skin method.

If you think that 7 layers of product is a lot… you would be right. It is. But in my opinion, it’s actually worth it – especially if you have dehydrated skin. Hydration truly does transform skin.


Kait x

Cover photo by Monstera