Korean Trick

Blog about Korean cosmetics, reviews and articles

Hydrating Toners

Today, let’s talk about hydration. The subject is, of course, very broad, but we will not ramble on.
Let’s start with the fact that water enters skin from within. Because the skin is well protected by its outer layer and lipid barrier, it is quite difficult to penetrate it with moisture from the outside. Our skin loses moisture under the effects of the environment.
In a healthy, young person, up to ⅓ of the epidermis is made up of water. This level of hydration results in great appearance of skin, quick healing of any injuries, and absence of hypersensitivity.

The dermis also contains water, where it is retained by our own hyaluronic acid. 
When a lot of moisture evaporates from the surface of the skin, the epidermis replenishes it from this layer. If there is no deficit in hyaluronic acid in the dermis (a real deficit very rarely occurs before the age of 60-65), then the skin looks firm and supple. With temporary deficit, the skin tone becomes dull and the skin slightly sags, which resolves when the protective barrier is normalized.

To maintain skin’s firmness, elasticity, smoothness, and to prevent the appearance of wrinkles for as long as possible, one should maintain the appropriate amount of moisture in all layers of the skin:

  • Drink appropriate amount of water.
  • Support active microcirculation in the skin (use vasoconstrictive and stimulating agents, microcurrent procedures, massage).
  • Support skin’s protective functions, use protective treatments, avoid damaging effects of various factors, when possible.
  • Use products containing moisture retaining ingredients.

Don’t leave, we are finally at the cosmetics topic 🙂
Cosmetic products contain two types of hydrating components: moisture retaining (humectant) and moisture locking (occlusive). The first attract moisture and retain it. The second form a skin barrier. For good skin hydration, they have to be layered – humectants are applied to moist skin, and then, without waiting for full absorption, they get locked in with occlusives. Depending on the skin type, we choose the ingredients of the moisturizing cream: oily skin needs more water retaining components, dry skin needs a lot of the locking ones. If it’s cold outside or you are constantly in an air conditioned environment, then you should opt for a cream containing more occlusives.

Most frequently used humectants:

sodium hyaluronate; hyaluronic acid; sodium PCA; sodium lactate; lactic acid; glycerin; propylene glycol; butylene glycol; pentylene glycol; propanediol;  hexanediol;  urea;  sorbitol;  betaine;  amino acids; glucosamines;  hydrolyzed proteins/wheat protein; hydrolyzed collagen; hydrolyzed elastin; algae; beta glucan; colloidal oatmeal; honey; ceramides; phospholipids.

Most frequently used occlusives:
oil(olive oil, argan oil и т.д.); shea butter; cocoa butter; emu oil; mink oil; lanolin; triglycerides; benzoates; myristates; palmitates; stearates; cetyl alcohol; cetearyl alcohol; stearyl alcohol; dimethicone; cyclomethicone; isopropyl palmitate; isopropyl isostearate; castor oil; glyceryl stearate; jojoba oil; propylene glycol; tocopherol; cholesterol.

In the summer, my area is very humid (up to 90%), so I gladly use toners and serums with hyaluronic acid.
Here we will talk about toners, of which I currently have two.

The first – one of the best sellers from the Japanese brand Rohto Hada Labo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist.

Lotion Moist

This particular is presented as a toner (in japanese tradition – lotion) for dry skin. I had a trial size for oily skin, and I did not see a big difference between the two.
The soft plastic 170ml bottle contains liquid, slightly sticky toner. I pour some in my hand then apply with fingers on moist, clean face (if I have doubts about hydration levels or water quality, then I spray a mist as well), then over that a serum, emulsion and sunscreen in the morning or cream in the evening. I really like this toner. In my climate conditions, it provides A+ hydration (high humidity, not hot, seldom air conditioning and only at work). It contains several forms of hyaluronic acid, part of which penetrate the skin due to molecule size and not just form a film on the surface. Also contains glycerin, which attracts and retains moisture.

Lotion Moist

You can order the toner on eBay or Amazon.

This is a great base treatment, which provides exactly what it’s meant to. I do not risk using such products in the winter, because we have central heating, which dries out the air. I’m afraid that I will attain the opposite effect of the one I want.

Ingredients for Rohto Hada Labo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium succinate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, PPG-10 METHYL GLUCOSE ETHER, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic acid.

The second: another best seller, but by Korean brand Holika Holika 3 seconds starter Hyaluronic Acid.


The 3 second starter series started a myth that, after cleansing, you absolutely must apply something to the skin within 3 seconds, otherwise it will be a total nightmare 🙂

Of course, that is a myth, there is no need to break cosmic speeds. Calmly apply the product to a moist face after cleansing, and proceed with your routine.
A hard plastic 150ml bottle with a great dispensing pump contains fairly thick liquid, which is very pleasant to apply to the face. This toner on my skin is absolutely not sticky, unlike the previous one, which does create slight stickiness (which quickly dissipates). Again, works great as a moisturizing treatment.


You can order the starter on eBay or Amazon.

The ingredients do contain alcohol, but the product doesn’t smell like it, and glycerin. In addition, the toner contains extracts of various parts of the lotus (moisturizes, soothes the skin, improves the color and turgor of the skin); Portolac extract (soothes, softens and moisturizes the skin, anti-inflammatory agent); blueberry extract (soothes, strengthens blood vessels, antioxidant); extract of an orange (moisturizes, tones); lemon extract (tones, anti-inflammatory); extract of a mountainess (healing, anti-inflammatory); extract of tricolor violet (anti-inflammatory agent). 
Toner contains 2 kinds of natural AHA acids: sugar cane extract and sugar maple extract. The toner’s ph is not suitable for acids, so they practically do not exfoliate anything, but only moisturize and slightly improve the texture of the skin.

Ingredients for Holika Holika 3 seconds starter Hyaluronic Acid: Water, Ethanol, Glycerin, glyceryl cocoate acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer , Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Lotus Extract, Lotus Leaf Extract, Lotus root extract, Lotus Seed Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Glycereth-26, PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Blueberry Fruit, Sugar Cane Extract, Sugar Maple Extract, Orange Extract, Citrus Limon Fruit Extract, Carbomer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Triethanol amine, glacial Water , phospholipid , Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Imperatoria ostruthium Extract , Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract, Polysorbate 80, Platinum Powder, Methylparaben, Fragrance.

I like both of the toners very much, and re-purchase is entirely possible (although not anytime soon, they are very economical). People with allergic tendencies should be careful when using Holika Holika toner, because it contains a large amount of plant extracts. But because of that, it not only moisturizes the skin, but also helps with inflammation (of course, not alone).

Daria Bobkova

Daria Bobkova

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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February


By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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