What you need:
- Japanese toner. Also known as lotion, toner is a critical step in Japanese skin care. Called keshosui (化粧水, “cosmetic water”) in Japanese, you can find it in every single brand of Japanese skin care. Even foreign brands such as Lancome and Chanel have toners (usually several types) marketed for Asia. Please be careful to pick a product that does not contain alcohol!
- Cotton that can be separated. These cotton pads were created so that they can be separated into thin sheets. Read on to understand why they need to be separated! Several brands carry this type of cotton. I like the ones from Muji and Hakugen the most.
My favorite brand of cotton for this technique
"Hakugen Mekuru Cotton Ookime"
(Hakugen separated cotton large size)
Here's what a pad looks like.
It is made up of thin sheets of cotton. This is critical to this technique!
Alternatively, you can separate cotton by yourself. I've found that the more expensive cotton works better for separating.
1. Dampen the cotton with distilled water and gently squeeze it out. Press the cotton between your hands instead of squeezing in a fist will help maintain the sheets of cotton.
2. Gently stretch out the cotton. This will help the cotton sheets adhere better to your skin.
3. Apply toner to the cotton. Make sure that the cotton gets wet, almost to the point of dripping.
4. Apply each sheet to the face. Here are some face charts to show you how I apply each sheet to my face. This can be adapted to your face shape.
(Yes, these face charts look ridiculous!)
Sheet 1 & 2
5. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes.
6. Remove the cotton and continue with your skin care routine
- Be careful not to leave the mask on too long. If the toner starts to evaporate, it may cause your skin to dry out
- You can modify this based on the shape of your face. This is how I apply the cotton sheets.
- Each brand of cotton will work differently. As I showed here, Hakugen has 5 sheets in each cotton pad. Muji has 4 sheets
- I find that dampening the sheets first makes you waste less toner, but you can skip step 1 if you want. Alternatively, you can just use distilled water for the entire process (This is also very popular in Japan). Make sure not to use tap water!
This has really, really changed my skin care routine! It has made my skin so much more supple and less prone to breakouts! I hope you enjoy it as well!