I’ve been pretty lucky in these now grown-up years of my life to have pretty well-behaved skin. I went through a few rough patches in my adolescence with eczema, and then adult acne—which is a cruel joke, by the way—to graduate to what I have now, which is mostly normal but kind of combination (depending on the season) and sensitive skin.
Basically, I know that my pores like to collect gunk, but my skin has a tendency for dryness if not properly hydrated, so finding skin care products that balance those two out can be tough.
Going the full-on all natural route didn’t really do much for me other than break me out—I don’t care what anyone says, washing my face with coconut oil was probably one of the dumbest things I could’ve done. So I split the difference and went the mostly-natural but also very thoughtfully formulated route. Which is where these two Caolion products come into the picture.
I live for a good toner. If you’re like I was a few years ago, thinking, “Toner? Pfft, who needs it,” seriously when you find a good one, it’s life-changing—or skin-changing, rather. Caolion’s Freshly Skin (ps. “Skin” is basically another word for toners in Korean skin care) is a hydrating toner that makes my face feel super fresh after my double-cleanse.
The very faint eucalyptus scent gives it a bit of a zing too—I know lots of people don’t prefer scents in their products, but I like ones that give the user experience a little boost without making me want to gag. This toner’s main thing is all about clearing out your pores and getting rid of excess sebum while hydrating with Unshiu oil (it’s from Jeju island apparently). It’s also formulated with prunus mume, pomegranate, and fig—plenty of fruity antioxidants abound! Antioxidants are great for repairing environmental skin damage, or what I like to call “the consequences of going outside.” After tapping this toner on, my skin feels clean but still soft and not at all tight or dried up.
After my essence (it changes a lot, but right now I'm on that Banila Co It Radient Diamond Brightening Essence), I like to use Caolion’s Freshly Lotion, the “step 2” to this series. The lotion is actually super light. It has a light milky consistency so it doesn’t feel very heavy at all, but my skin always feels plenty hydrated with this one. I like the balance of those two—light texture, mucho moisture. I try not to overload my face with heavy moisturizers because I’d rather layer on more products with good ingredients and the heavier the product, the less effective whatever you layer on top it can be.
So while I may sometimes top this lotion with a face oil or heavier moisturizer, most of the time I can apply this and just either go with SPF (Missha's Mild Essence Sun Milk is my go-to!) then makeup, or straight to bed. The same antioxidant ingredients in the toner are also in this lotion, so I’m getting a double dose of brightening and cell-repairing ingredients, woohoo!
It’s never been a set skin care routine for me for my best complexion, but the gentler the better is what I’m realizing. This toner and lotion are as gentle as they come and my skin is pretty happy with them. It really makes me wonder what it’d be like if I actually started eating more fruit, other than just slathering its antioxidants on my skin...
Sable Yong is a beauty writer and editor as well as Soko Glam's Senior Digital Content Manager. She lives in Brooklyn where she enjoys eating bread and playing music (not at the same time) when she isn't hoarding beauty products. Sable has never once #wokeuplikethis, but that's okay otherwise she'd probably be out of a job. Follow @sabletoothtigre for snaps of her life.