Toners, Mists, and Essences

I have dry, sensitive, rosacea-afflicted skin, and I’ve spent a lot of money on products that promised not to irritate it. But as any of the know-it-all dermatologists I’ve gone to will tell you, rosacea hates everything, here, wash your face with Cetaphil, and slather it in Vanicream. Which, I will go ahead and say, weren’t made of magic and didn’t really work that well for me.

I don’t want to jinx (that IS how you spell it, so why does it look weird?) it, but I have the clearest skin I’ve had in years with a routine that relies heavily on Korean and Japanese beauty products and The Ordinary.

Korean beauty’s 10-step face routine is a lot of steps I imagine I’m doing in all my little rituals but am definitely not.

A toner balances your skin’s pH levels, and essence is a toner/serum hybrid. Why use both? Because self-care routines are the best, and we’re all obsessed with them together


Toners are most necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin—not a skin problem I have, but I freely admit I occasionally use toner to avoid washing my face… In my defense, I shower every other day and hate washing my face on the days I don’t. Is that an “in my defense” or a “full disclosure”…

Sometimes I feel a little weird about snail things. My stomach just doesn’t want to think about it. And then other times, my stomach is fine with it. Despite how my stomach might be feeling, Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner is great. It’s very gentle and moisturizing and not at all slimy. Just don’t think about the snail and bee part.

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Just don’t think about it too hard

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner works fine. It wasn’t like I could feel that it was doing anything impressive, but it didn’t irritate my skin, and I can appreciate anything that doesn’t irritate my skin.

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Good enough to keep using

SON & PARK Beauty Water does something magical, and I don’t know what it is. It’s the plainest bottle. And smells like nothing. And somehow smooths out your face, and makes it feel SO clean. It’s an ideal product for someone who is refusing to wash their face. Whoever that person might be.


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How are you magic

At first I was like: Ok, why is this everyone’s favorite thing. It’s fine. And then I kept using it and changed my mind and decided it was also my favorite.

Apparently everyone else in the world knows to use something for a while before making a decision about whether it’s amazing or not. But I find I am usually not that person. Results NOW, I say! In case someone else also practices severe impatience, maybe keep using this for a minute, and then decide how you feel.


Since essence is the “heart of the Korean skincare routine” there was no choice but to get on that train.

Another snail and bee item. Once again, I encourage just not thinking about it. Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence is an excellent essence. And snail really does work. It just does. And I guess bee venom works too…


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Snails AND bees

According to the Internet, snail moisturizes your skin (just don’t let your stomach think too hard about it) and also promotes cell regeneration. And bee venom is anti-inflammatory (how?!!?) and anti-bacterial.

It has no scent, which I greatly appreciate as my face tends to NOT appreciate scent of any kind. And it’s very gentle. As an aside, I’m fairly allergic to bee stings, and this does not irritate me. But that’s just one person’s experience.

SKIN INC. Pure Serum-Mist is an unreasonably expensive $55. But I just really love a mist. I got this on sale or I would have never gotten it. But now I feel like I might keep buying it, dammit. What is it about spraying something into your face that’s so pleasing? I don’t know. It just is.

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Now you’re stuck buying me, mwuahaha

I can’t encourage anyone to buy this because $55; I won’t discourage anyone either. It’s moisturizing, light, and cool, and it feels great. And I feel like if I’m stuck buying a $55 bottle of water, other people should be too.

What is CAUDALIE Grape Water? Mist? Essence? Toner? Who can never be sure. It’s an awesome fancy grape purse-fitting product to spray yourself and your friends with when out on a patio having grape wine time. I know because that’s how I first experienced it, and it was very satisfying and refreshing.


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So fancy. Let’s have more grape wine and grape spray.



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