Another day, another new skin care term. This time we’re explaining skin booster. What are they and how do you use them?
One of the product categories that originated from Korea and has been making waves in the skincare world is the skin booster. With so many steps and new product categories out there, it’s hard to figure out what goes where and how you incorporate it into your routine. Here’s the quick breakdown on boosters and how they can amp up your skin care routine.
What exactly is a skin booster?
The original Korean “skin booster” is considered a more powerful, effective toner that allows the rest of your skin care products to absorb better, which enhances the overall effectiveness of your routine. Typical toners are designed to set your pH balance and hydrate, but a skin booster does all of that plus preps your skin by clearing away dead skin cells. A skin booster enhances the absorption of the next step in your routine, which is typically a treatment product or a moisturizer.
What can you expect when you incorporate a booster into your skin care routine?
In Korea, the texture of boosters is very lightweight and watery, similar to Korean essences and toners, so they’re great to use after cleansing and to layer on before treatment steps and/or a moisturizer. After incorporating it into your routine, you will see clearer, brighter, and more supple skin. But the best part is that you’ll have just combined a few steps into one!
Why were boosters created in Korea?
Korean cosmetic companies felt there was a need for more multi-tasking, layerable products that help enhance the next step in your routine. You can use a skin booster in place of toner and essence or even a toner and exfoliator, condensing your routine and maximizing the effectiveness of the steps that remain in your routine!
How are boosters evolving?
To add to the confusion, many cosmetic brands started using the word interchangeably with other products that are designed to enhance the next step. For example, the Lancome Cils Booster is an eyelash primer that maximizes the result of your mascara that is applied next. As more and more companies use the term “boosters” to describe their product, the origin and meaning of the Korean booster is becoming blurred.
An example of a true Korean booster is the Missha Misa Geum Sul First Essence Booster. It’s a lightweight liquid that comes in a gel texture and uses fermented ingredients to fully prep skin to absorb the ingredients of the following products in the routine. You use it right before you apply your actual essence or after your toner if you use a toner that you wipe off with a cotton pad.
Are American boosters the same as Korean boosters?
Not really. Outside of Korea it is used as a general marketing term for serums and other targeted treatment products, and less as a nod to the actual functionality of Korean boosters.