This article looks at the 7 Skin Method and whether it’s suitable for acne sufferers. I’m going to share my top tips on how to get the best results from the 7 Skin Method and also a few things you need to watch out for when using the 7 Skin Method for acne.
7 skin method for acne: what
So you’re probably thinking what the hell is this 7 Skin Method all about? Well, the 7 Skin Method is a Korean beauty trend that has been increasing in popularity with bloggers over the past 12 months and involves layering toners, essences or floral waters to increase hydration in the skin.
Despite this trend being crazy popular in recent months, I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago via my Insta friends Lisa from Frankly Lisa (she’s a total skin junkie and is always up-to-date with clean beauty gossip!)
7 skin method for acne: why ‘7 skin’?
In Korea, toners are called ‘skins’ so the 7 Skin Method basically means 7 toner method. This beauty technique originally started as a 3 Skin Method but clearly more is more when it comes to this particular technique as it’s now known as the 7 Skin Method – although some like to experiment with up to 15 layers of toner!
I’d already seen great improvement in my skin when I removed harsh acids from my routine and included 4 Roccoco Botanicals serums (Treatment Essence, Clarifying C Serum, Decongesting Porefection and Mandelic + Herbal Fusion), which at the time I thought was really excessive, I mean – who can afford to use 4 different serums every evening? But actually, I saw some real improvements in my skin in just a few weeks so perhaps the multi-application of serums everyday could benefit acne prone skin? It got me thinking about whether it was specific ‘acne fighting’ ingredients that were so effective, or just the fact that simply hydrating my skin with serums meant that I was supporting my skin barrier function rather than destroying it with acids and harsh exfoliators…?
but my skin is oily, not dehydrated?
Just because your skin is oily, it doesn’t mean it’s not dehydrated! In fact, your skin probably IS dehydrated if you have oily skin! Dehydrated skin hasn’t got anything to do with oil, it’s to do with lack of water in the skin. Whether your skin if dry, dull or oily – hydration will play an important role in improving the tone and texture of your skin.
Dry or flaky:
If your skin is dry and flaky it’s lacking in natural oils, fatty acids (aka lipids) AND water/moisture
If your skin is dull the you’re lacking ONLY water/moisture
If your skin is oily, then you have too many lipids but lack water/moisture to keep the balance and you skin will actually produce MORE oil to compensate. Eeekk.
If you’re over-using exfoliating ingredients (glycol acid, retinol, lactic acid, salicylic acid etc) you’re physically dehydrating your skin so you need to replace the moisture content.
7 skin method for acne: how can the 7 skin method help acne?
In a world where it’s common for acne skin care to be all about drying your skin out to reduce sebum production and using harsh acids to clear pores, it might be hard to understand how applying gentle floral water multiple times to the skin will have a big impact on acne. However, it’s so easy to get hooked on harsh products and super powered ingredients that claim dramatic results against acne, that we often forget about two really important factors when it comes to skin health, acne prevention and healing.
The 7 Skin Method allows your skin to absorb thin layers of hydrating toners/essences at a time which drastically improves hydration levels in the skin. Our skin needs to be adequately hydrated for it to look plump and glowy, it’s also really, really important for skin healing and reduced inflammation. Chemical peels, acid exfoliators and manual exfoliators all disrupt the skin barrier and generating inflammation in the skin. This inflammation and damaged skin barrier function means that spots will be bigger, redder and take a lot longer to heal. According to Rococco Botanicals, if you protect the skin barrier and give the skin what it needs to regenerate itself you can see results in just 2 weeks.
Increased blood circulation
The first thing I noticed after I first tried the 7 Skin Method was this warm, tingly feeling on my skin from the 5 minutes of continuous tapping my face had endured! Like most of us, I’m a bit of a lazy girl when it comes to my beauty routine. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never gone to sleep in my make up, but I do like to do it as quickly and effortlessly as possible, which often means I don’t give my skin the time it needs. The simple act of vigorously tapping layers of toner into my skin means increases blood flow to the area which promotes healthy cell renewal leading to faster healing of scars and pigmentation.
7 skin method for acne: the do’s
Depending on your skin type, you may be better off starting at 3 layers (instead of 6) for the first week or so. This allows your skin to acclimatise to its new routine – you may find you want to stick with the 3 layers for a little while longer. Trust your instinct and go with what works best for your skin! You may also find that your skin purges and those tiny bumps that were lurking underneath the skin come to a head – my skin started purging about 2 weeks after I started this method but quickly cleared. Thankfully the 7 Skin Method should keep breakouts much smaller and much less inflamed so don’t give and try it for at least 4 weeks.
Keep it ph balanced
Our skin is generally slightly acidic with a pH of between 4.5 and 5.5. At this level, its barrier function is most effective, harmful bacteria are inhibited, and beneficial bacteria are encouraged so using skin care products with similar levels of acidity maintains this pH level and helps to keep the skin balanced and healthy. Traditionally, toners were used to rebalance the skin pH after cleansing. Our grandparents would have likely used bar soap to cleanse their skin which would have been highly alkaline so a slightly acidic toner was often introduced to bring the pH back into balance. Nowadays, Cleanser formulations are much more intelligent and are already pH balanced so adding an acid toner (think Clarins, Clinique, Pixi etc) on top will make the skin too acidic and more prone to breakouts.
Look for mists containing green tea extract
Green Tea Extract is undeniably the best ingredient you can use on your skin if you suffer from acne. Green tea fights all three causes of acne: hormones, inflammation and bacteria making it one of the most studied and effective natural ingredients to fight acne. Studies have shown that Green Tea can cut sebum production by up to 60% and reduce acne count by 57%!
The studies that found topical Green Tea to be effective against acne all used a high concentration of Green Tea (2-3%) and it’s practically impossible to find beauty products with this high amount of Green Tea extract in so by using it in your 7 Skin Method you can layer up products that contain lower concentrations of Green Tea Extract to reach the desired potency. If you can’t find a suitable facial mist that contain Green Tea Extract you can always decant your favourite mist into a small 30ml spray bottle and add 15 drops of this alcohol-free Green Tea Extract! The reason I decant the product into smaller bottles is because by adding to a formula may alter the efficiency of the existing preservative system you so should use the made up product within 2 weeks just to be on the safe side.
7 skin method for acne: the don’ts
Avoid mists with alcohol
Stay away from toners, tonics and facial mists that contain alcohol, usually listed as ethanol, ethyl alcohol, methanol or isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol is a terrible ingredient in cosmetics and serves no benefit to the skin. It’s massively irritating, damage the skin barrier and leads to dryness and irritation which can result in the over production of sebum and breakouts.
Always avoid mists containing acids
Some tonics and facial mists contain isolated alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid to remove the surface layers of skin to reveal brighter skin and promote the production of collagen and elastin. These ingredients are fine if used responsibly but I’m seeing SO many people abusing the use of facial AHAs and using them as part of a poor skin care regime (yes, I’m looking at you girls who are still using cleansing wipes to remove make-up!) which is causing damage to the skin barrier, resulting in sore, irritated and super inflamed skin. As you are applying several layers of product it’s essential that you avoid ALL isolated AHA’s (ingredients such as Black Willow that contain small amounts of naturally occurring salicylic acid are fine unless you have ultra sensitive skin).
Don’t use cotton pads
Avoid using anything BUT your hands when performing the 7 Skin Method as cotton pads or sponges could be really abrasive when used repeatedly on the skin. They also absorb a lot of liquid so you end up wasting more product.
How do I apply the 7 skin method?
- After cleansing, spritz a fine layer of facial mist over your face and then lightly tap the product into your skin using an ‘up and out’ motion until your skin has absorbed all the product.
- Repeat this step another six times (7 layers of hydrating mist in total)
- Next apply your treatment serums as your skin will now be perfectly prepped for absorbing awesome skin clearing ingredients. Use the same tapping method for optimum absorption and circulation to the skin.
- Complete the 7 Skin Method by sealing and locking in that moisture with a non-comedogenic moisturiser or a couple of drops of organic Rosehip oil. For oily skin types, my absolute all-time favourite moisturiser is the OY! Cleansing Moisturiser.
7 skin method for acne prone skin
There’s no shortage of facial mists and toners on the market and the great thing about them is that they’re often safe for those with acne as they rarely contain heavy, comedogenic ingredients. However, the 7 Skin Method is an amazing opportunity to layer up and feed your skin some incredible acne fighting ingredients so when shopping for a facial mist, keep an eye out for these key acne fighting ingredients:
Aloe Vera – Reduces inflammation and speeds up healing of breakouts and acne scars.
Green Tea – As mentioned earlier, this is probably the most effective ingredient for acne.
Willow Bark – Anti-inflammatory and helps declogs pores thanks to naturally occurring salicylic acid *NOTE* it’s not an isolated acid so won’t have the same effect on skin barrier function like isolated acids ingredients do.
MSM – MSM is an excellent source of natural sulphur. Sulphur is vital for healthy, plump skin as it aids in the development of collagen and keratin.
Vitamin B3/Niacinimide – Vitamin B3 targets both acne and acne scarring and pigmentation reducing inflammation and blocking the build up of melanin in the surface of the skin.
Pre/Probiotics – Keeps the skin’s ecosystem cycle functioning smoothly, reducing skin irritations and strengthening biological defences and helping restructure and smooth the skin.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C can reduce inflammation to help clear acne, promote collagen formation to plump out scars and fade post acne marks and hyper pigmentation for smoother, clearer skin.
Hyaluronic Acid – Increases moisture in the skin to strengthen skin barrier function visibly diminish fines lines and wrinkles, improve dullness and speed up wound healing.
Marshmallow – Marshmallow Extract helps to protect hyaluronic acid on the skin, helping to maintain moisture levels to speed up the skins’ healing process.
Peptides – Contain powerful anti-oxidant properties to hydrate and smooth the skin. Stimulate elastin production essential for firm, supple skin, and can boost skin cell renewal
Trace Minerals – Copper helps the production of collagen. Silver effectively penetrates skin cells to kill bacteria and help to neutralise harmful sodium-fluoride found in the drinking water with which you wash your face. Magnesium helps to combat skin allergies and zinc is great for decreasing inflammation as it prevents bacterial infection.
Neem – Helps neutralise surface impurities and diminishes the appearance of blemishes and reduces oily sheen.
The best natural facial mists
Key ingredients: Green Tea, Vitamin B3/Niacinimide, Vitamin C
This antioxidant-rich toning mist will give your skin a well-deserved boost while simultaneously fighting off blemishes and minimising the occurrence of clogged pores and inflammation. This mist has my 3 favourite acne-fighting ingredients and the vitamin C will help fight clogged pores and congestion while Green Tea and Niacinamide will help reduce sebum production!
Key ingredients: Green Tea, Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid,
This is probably my favourite mist for both efficiency and value for money. It feels really moisturising on the skin – so much so that I don’t feel like my skin is tight or in desperate need of moisture after using it. It’s very much like the Green People Toning Hydrating Mist except with added acne fighting ingredients like Green Tea and Vitamin C.
Key ingredients: MSM
Ideal for ultra sensitive skin types, this 100% natural, botanical recipe contains MSM as well as beneficial antioxidants and soothing plant extracts.
Key ingredients: Green Tea, Vitamin B3/Niacinimide, Pre/Probiotics
Calms irritation with micronutrients that both encourage microbial diversity and restore balance. Also contains coconut water which has excellent hydrating properties.
Key ingredients: Aloe Vera, Marshmallow
Another formula that is excellent if your skin is more sensitive that most. Rich in soothing plant actives this facial mist offers intense hydration and protection thanks to Marshmallow extract.
Key ingredients: Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera
This facial toner promotes skin firmness and cell renewal with Tamarind Seed Extract and Hyaluronic acid, while healing minerals nourish skin.
Key ingredients: Aloe, Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides, Pre/Probiotics
An invigorating mist that delivers instant, soothing hydration to energise the skin. This unique blend is packed full of beneficial ingredients to replenish and refresh the skin and de-stress the mind.
Key ingredients: Vitamin C, Vitamin B3/Niacinimide
Perfect for British girls on a budget, this spray contains a blend of vitamins such as C, E, B3 and B5 to protect collagen, energise skin cells, even skin tone, reduce congestion and deeply moisturise the skin without the use of heavy oils.
Key ingredients: Copper, Silver, Zinc, Magnesium
This unscented mineral formula intensifies hydration keeping your face rejuvenated and restored. It is formulated with skin-friendly minerals that quickly absorb into the sub-vascular layer of the skin for deep hydration.
Key ingredients: Neem, Zinc, Copper, Manganese
This refreshing elixir delivers immediate hydration to dry, depleted skin. Organic Patagonian Seaweed, Dead Sea Salt, and Aloe Vera neutralise surface impurities and diminish the appearance of inflammation and redness on the surface of skin.
If you give the 7 Skin Method a go, let me know how you get on over on Instagram using #SkynApproved – I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this technique and quickly see impressive results in your skin! 🙂
Peace, Love & Clear Skin