Korea taught me many things, but I never truly got on board with the 11-step skincare regime. Mostly because I am lazy, but also because toners, emulsions and moisturisors tend to make my skin do funky things. And by funky, I mean anywhere from woooo new spots wooo to hideous, hideous flaky reactions. Sensitive skin problems, amirite?
But now that I'm getting older (go on, laugh. Laugh at me), I'm learning that perhaps the super cheap base products aren't the ones, and I won't touch off-the-shelf skincare with a 10 foot barge pole. Your skin needs to be invested in. It's not great to keep throwing super cheap, easily produced chemicals at it, and I wish 14-16 year old me had understood that. It's been a battle to get things even remotely good, and then in the last two weeks it's like everything has suddenly clicked into place and my skin is ace.
And I've narrowed it down to the fact that, oh hey, I have a routine now. An actual skincare regime that doesn't necessarily have 11 steps, but it has all the necessary bits, including a Toner* and an Emulsion*. And they don't break me out. Score.
The actual routine is a post for another day, but I really really wanted to talk about the IASO Purifying Toner* and Purifying Emulsion* on their own, as I honestly get so frustrated with moisturisors and toners stripping my skin and breaking me out. And these two do neither. Hand on heart, they do neither. They just do their jobs and make my skin feel smooth, refreshed and purified.
IASO, by the way, is one of the high-end Korean skincare brands. It's up their with Laneige and Sulhwasoo if you're wanting a comparison. So I was actually a little bit honoured that they wanted to send some products to me for review.
- 180ml, gel-type emulsion, uses a pump to dispense the product, can be used day or night, and is advertised for oily & combination skin types
- 180ml, uses a pump to dispense the product, can be used day or night, and is advertised for oily & combination skin types
directions for use:
use after toner or serum. apply desired amount and apply evenly on the face,
use after cleanser, apply desired amount and apply evenly on the face
Both the toner and the emulsion help to control excess sebum and clarify the skin using botanical extracts devised from Siso, Aloe Vera gel and DPG-K2 for the Emulsion, and Mugwart, Aloe Vera gel and DPG-K2 for the Toner.
|one pump of the Purifying Emulsion|
|one pump of the Purifying Toner... I promise.|
A pump of both these products is enough for your whole face, and considering you get a sizable amount of product for your money, these two bottles are going to last you a really long time. Which is hardly a bad thing, as the packaging is so darn gorgeous. Sturdy, beautiful and practical. On the subject of packaging, each product comes with a little pump stopper, so you don't have to worry about product exploding during transit - I've had that happen before and as much as I liked the smell of my citrus body scrub, getting it out of my clothes was something else. Oh, both these products carry a light scent too, but it isn't overpowering or off putting, it's just refreshing and slightly... there.
Application wise, I'll use the toner after my skin has air dried from cleansing, and I'll use a single pump in my palm, rub my hands together so the product applies more evenly to my face. Then I'll make sure I've covered the skin in light patting motions. Patting is the key to good skin I swear.
Once the Toner has soaked in, I'll pop a single pump of the emulsion onto the 2nd joint of the fingers on one hand, and then use my fingers to dab the product in a cross shape on my face: one dot on the forehead, one on the chin and two on the cheeks. Then I'll smooth the product in and pat dry.
Both the Emulsion and the Toner live up to their non-sticky and lightweight claims, and I do feel that my skin is refreshed after use. The results I've seen so far from two weeks of using morning and evening have really been quite something. My skin is so smooth, I'm hardly having to wear any base makeup, other than concealer to get rid of my under eye baggage, and the compliments have been really lovely.
Oh, and my mum actually saying that my skin has improved, when she was suggesting I go on medication to sort it up until I left for uni, is ace.
As IASO is a high-end skincare brand, the products aren't cheap, but for the amount of product you get and the amount you need to use, these will be sitting on your shelf doing wonders for a while.
The Purifying Toner* retails at $39 / £25.47
The Purifying Emulsion* retails at $42 / £27.47
IASO were also kind enough to generate a discount code for me to give to you all, too! MISSFII will get you 15% off any order made on their website, which is a pretty decent saving, if you ask me.
*These products have been gifted for review, but all opinions are my own