what is a toner anyway?

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the one skincare item that always confuses me is toner. i have read so many times that it is one of the most important skincare steps in your regiment. but what exactly is a toner? what is its purpose?

a toner is used after cleansing and supposed to remove remnants from your cleanser while preparing your skin to effectively absorb your essence/serum and moisturizer.

After doing some research, this is what I found out:

  • you should use toner after cleansing, because even with the gentlest cleanser your skin needs to be replenished with what has been rinsed away (you are not only washing away to sebum and dirt on your skin but also your skin’s natural moisture)
  • a toner can quickly and efficiently provide your skin with antioxidants, soothing agents, and hydrating ingredients
  • therefore can toner enhance your skin’s surface, providing it what it needs to look fresher, smoother, and hydrated
  • it can also serve to remove any last traces of makeup your cleanser might not have gotten to
  • toners are a secret weapon in keeping your skin looking healthy, young and beautiful
  • using a toner is very important for people with oily and acne-prone skin, as they make sure that your skin is probably cleansed and prepped for the following essence/serum
  • furthermore toners shrink your pores, after having washed your face with lukewarm water your pores are open. not only is this an opportunity for the toner to work as a deep cleanser but it will also close the pores again

besides the right essence/serum to tackle your specific skin concern, toner is the one step that will change their effectiveness. charlotte cho, the founder of sokoglamtheklog and author of the little book of skincare once made a comparison that has truly changed my approach in my skincare routine. your skin acts like a sponge, when it is try it is not possible for it to absorb whatever you put on it. but if it is wet the absorption is very easy and more effectively. a toner acts exactly like that, it is a product that besides the already explained advantages as a product itself also enhances the effectiveness of the products you put on your skin afterwards. i am hoping to get my hands on one of the most popular toners and probably one of the best known korean skincare products, the beauty water by son&park.

 

lena sophie

 

picture is not mine – found on google
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what is a toner anyway?

not yet christmas

 

the weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter and winter has finally come upon us. it’s time to get out those comfy blankets, boil some tea and put on some music. december is one of my favourite months of the year. it is cold enough for it to be okay to go to uni in your most comfortable a warming sweater. it is dark enough for it to be okay to be in bed by 6pm watching your favourite movie or kdrama. and it is definitely okay to start listening to christmas songs all day long.

but unfortunately it isn’t december just yet. so to get you in that pre-december state mood of feeling comfy and cozy here is my “not yet christmas playlist”.

1 kwon ji ha and sam kim (권진아 샘김) – for now (여기까지)

2 paul kim (폴킴) – wanna love you

3 paul kim (폴킴) – rain (비)

4 paul kim (폴킴) – 편지

5 moon moon (문문) – contrail (비행운)

6 moon moon (문문) – 맘

7 dean (딘) – D (half moon)

8 dean (딘) – 넘어와

9 kwon ji ha (권진아) – the end (끝)

10 sam kim (샘김) – touch my body

11 sam kim (샘김) – mama don’t worry

12 zion t (자이언티) – eat (꺼내 먹어요)

13 zion t (자이언티) – two melodies (뻔한 멜로디)

14 zion t (자이언티) – yanghwa BRDG (양화대교)

15 IU (아이유) – palette (팔레트)

 

lena sophie

 

pictures are not mind – found on google
not yet christmas

COSRX AHA 7 WHITEHEAD POWER LIQUID

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about cosrx

cosrx is a korean skincare brand whose main focus lies on the ingredients of a product. products are developed to fight blemished skin and other skin problems. apart from other korean skincare brands which market their products mostly by cute packaging, cosrx is more concerned with what is in them.

brand concept

“impressive cosmetics with sincerity”

“we try not to control nature. we try to fill our cosmetics with nature.”

“by approaching customers’ skin patterns and troubles scientifically, we categorized our data into seasons, steps, components, formulations, cycles, weathers, and so on.”

learn more on cosrx.co.kr

 

aha 7 whitehead power liquid

the aha 7 whitehead power liquid is an essence and the packaging calls it a “savior for skin without control of whitehead and sebum”. Cosrx describes its features as follows: “clears off old dead skin cell inside the pores and works with vitamin, whiteners and natural moisturizer as treatment, to manage dead skin cell without stimulation, to help with management of skin making it healthier and more vital.”

 

ingredients and their purpose

pyrus malus (apple) fruit water: is water that has been distilled from apples. it vitalizes and nourishes the skin with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. with a lower PH value than regular water, apple fruit water has a closer affinity to skin’s own PH balance,  thereby enhancing the moisturizing and soothing properties. apple fruit water also stimulates the growth of keratin in the outer layers of the skin and therefore strengthens the skin’s ability to retain moisture and protect it from outside damage.

butylene glycol: is a chemically produced solvent which is hygroscopic. butylene glycol allows the skin the lock in moisture more sufficiently and it therefore appears more plumper and smoother.

glycolic acid: is a chemical peel which is used to improve the skin’s appearance and texture. it reduces wrinkles, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and improves many other skin conditions. glycolic acid reacts with the upper layer of the skin and acts as a chemical exfoliator exposing live skin cells.

niacinamide: induces the production of ceramide and cholesterole – both of them are part of the horny layer (natural skin barrier) which is responsible for protecting the skin from drying out. it also reduces sebum production, is antiphlogistic/antibacterial and moisturizing.

sodium hydroxide:  is used to stabilize the PH value to a skinfriendly level.

1,2-hexanediol: has moisturizing features

panthenol: is moisturizing, it enhances wound healing and prevents skin irritation by stimulating the energy metabolism and the ideal nourishment of the skin cell.

sodium hyaluronate: reduces irritations and protects the skin from pollution, it also keeps the skin from loosing all its natural moisture.

xanathan gum: moisturizes and protects the skin from dehydration.

ethyl hexanediol: is used as a solvent for manufacturing cosmetics

 

my review

this is one of the few products which showed an immediate improvement in my skin. i was so surprised by the effect it had after having used it for only a couple of times. the regular use of the cosrx aha 7 whitehead power liquid allowed me to clear my skin from whiteheads and to control new ones from popping up. as it is quite a strong essence i only use it at night and make sure to generously moisturize my skin. to make sure my skin is protected during the day after having used the essence the night before, i apply sunscreen in the morning and use no further exfoliators. the cosrx aha 7 whitehead power liquid has truly become a holy grail in my night-time skincare routine and has totally changed the appearance of my skin.

 

lena-sophie

 

picture is not mine – found on cosrx.co.kr
COSRX AHA 7 WHITEHEAD POWER LIQUID

korean skin care

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skin care. one of the most fascinating and obsessing things in my life. ever since that first spot started to appear on my skin I was determined to get rid of it as fast as I could. the teenager that I was, I had absolutely no idea what to do. I followed what felt like the right thing to do, get the alcohol based skin care product and “burn” those imperfections away. that’s exactly what I did. unfortunately, it didn’t work. what a surprise? not only didn’t the products “burn” away any of my impurities but it completely dried out my skin to the point where it started to bleed.

shocked from damaging my skin and seeing no improvement while trying every product the drugstore had to offer, I started to give up and to accept the fact that I had and probably always will have a bad skin. That’s how I ended up slathering makeup on my face to hide everything that made me feel uncomfortable and I couldn’t get rid of otherwise.

two years ago, I discovered the world of kpop – since then I have been hooked. When watching a bunch of kpop music videos or kdramas you can’t help but notice that all the artists have perfect looking skin: no impurities, no discolouration, no dryness and seemingly not even pores. which of course made me curios. that’s when the 10 step korean skin care came into my life. having no idea what a 10 step korean skin care routine would look like there was no way around on doing the research.

the little book of skin care is my partner in crime when tackling the broad and confusing topic of skin care. it helped me understand the purpose of a product and how it can change the condition of my skin. having read it, it changed my perspective on my skin immensely. the skin is the biggest organ of our body, it is a safety barrier that protects us from everything harmful and is therefore exposed to a lot of toxic factors. such as pollution and UV rays. my skin is precious to me and something I am willing to put effort and time into to make sure it stays healthy.

charlotte cho is a board-certified esthetician behind the beauty product selling website Soko Glam and the blog The Klog. she published her book “the little book of skin care” in 2015 and changed people’s mindset about skin care and introduced the intriguing and actually working approach of the korean skin care and products.

“the little book of skin care (…) guides you through the celebrated korean ten-step skin care routine –  and far beyond –  for the clearest and most radiant skin of your life, with step-by-step tutorials, skin care tips, advice on products at all price levels, and exclusive interviews with beauty experts around the world. (…) with the knowledge of an expert and voice of a trusted friend, charlotte’s personal tour through korean beauty culture will help you find joy in the everyday beauty routines that will transform your skin.”

if you don’t know anything about the korean skin care approach and you are totally confused of this thing called “washing your face” I highly suggest you to have a look at this book.

sokoglam.com     theklog.co     the little book of skin care

lena-sophie

PICTURES (TOP TWO) ARE NOT MINE – FOUND ON TUMBLR
korean skin care

university // the struggle was real

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long time no see. the last couple of weeks have been crazy. I started my first year at uni this october and it hasn´t been easy. not only wasn´t I sure of what to expect from my studies but I didn´t have a place to stay at. thankfully everything turned for the better and I am living in a nice apartment together with my friend.

uni started with me having to book a hotel the weekend before I had to leave and this continued a couple of weeks after as well. let me tell you, living in hotels and rented apartments and having to return home every weekend, when you are living almost 2 hours away isn´t the nicest and easiest thing that I have done or had to do in my life. now that I am actually living in the city where I am going to university to, uni life can finally begin. that being studying, studying and let´s not forget to mention studying.

as you probably already guessed from the picture I am studying korean and combined with that linguistics. I´ve always been interested in languages, how people communicate, how languages started to exist, how they have developed  and how they are changing. so linguistics turned out to be the right subject for me to study. that being said the language that I am most interested in is korean. studying korean language as well as history and culture may seem a little strange for you and you may also ask yourself “how come someone wants to study korean? this is so not the go to subject to study”. well let me tell you at my university it actually is quite common, since in total we are over a 100 students. since I can remember asian culture was always something I was very keen on finding out more about it. everything starting with my fathers interest in asian culture, especially japanese culture I couldn´t resist its charm. it wasn´t until 2014 that I started to be more interested in korean culture, lifestyle, language and food. the whole “thing” of course started with KPOP and the whole korean entertainment industry. so here I am turning my interest into a possible career and I am absolutely loving it.

so stay tuned if you wanna find out more about korea and my life at uni.

lena-sophie

university // the struggle was real