“The molecules of PHAs are much larger and therefore cannot penetrate as deeply as AHAs and BHAs; they work exclusively on the surface, without disturbing the deeper delicate layers,” New York City board-certified dermatologist Patricia Wexler previously told Allure.
And, aside from acids, this toner has soothing, antioxidant-rich watermelon extract (of course) and a cactus water base that helps your skin retain moisture. Toner-masking also works well with more watery toners, like Acwell’s Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner, since the thinner texture spreads out more easily on a pad (or anywhere else, like your hand).
Depending on what your skin concerns are, you can also substitute the toner for a hydrating essence, like Missha’s Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence (which is shown in the GIF) or Peach & Lily’s Wild Dew Essence. Three main types of essences are: brightening (with vitamin C), firming (with peptides), and redness-reducing (with niacinamide), but they all help the rest of your skin-care routine work and absorb better.
You can count TWICE’s Mina among the fans of a mini essence face mask, who recently posted this masking snap on Instagram, using a Best of Beauty Award-winning Estée Lauder Micro Essence Treatment Lotion (TWICE members are brand ambassadors for Estée Lauder Korea).
It feels very relatable to see a popular K-pop idol like Mina taking masking selfies — it’s a classic “celebrities are just like us” moment. Never mind that Mina looks much more graceful posing with her mini face masks.
In the end, we’re all just trying to achieve tighter-looking pores and chase that post-masking glow. And for me, instead of quickly going through each step and launching straight into bed, toner-masking is a lovely way to slow down and unwind during my skin-care routine.
Looking for more skin-care tips/hacks? Keep reading:
And now watch 100 years of face masks: