Dehydration isn’t just the domain of people who have dry skin. It’s a far more common struggle than most realise, where symptoms include anything from tightness, over-production of sebum, to recurrent flakiness. While dehydration is most often the result of poor skincare habits, your diet, the weather, stress and frequent travelling are all contributing factors.

Over in Korea, the skincare trailblazers have created something called the 7 skin method to counteract dehydration. The method involves applying a toner seven times, patting on your face successively for maximum hydration. This may sound excessive, but hear us out.

When you apply thin, watery toners or essences, and cap it at one layer, your skin isn’t reaping as much benefits as you’d think. Most of the product evaporates even before your skin’s had the time to quench its thirst.

The 7 skin method was popularised by how much it was able to hydrate the skin, without the heaviness or greasiness associated with multiple layers of emollients. Packing on the toner also leaves your skin balanced, replenishes any moisture loss that has occurred, and primes your skin for the absorption of more product after. By patting on the toner, you’re aiding your skin’s intake of the product while ensuring that less is vaporised into thin air.

Despite the daunting prospect of seven whole layers, it takes far less time than doing a sheet mask would. All you have to do after cleansing and applying your active treatments is to pat your face slightly dry and begin layering on the toner.

Start off with the driest areas of your face, and move towards the oiliest. You only need a small, 20-cent coin-sized amount of toner each time. Use your bare hands, as cotton pads can be abrasive. Once you reach seven, you’re sorted. Finish off with a moisturiser to seal it all in. If you’re pressed for time, you can even cut it down to just three layers.

Try to avoid toners with astringent ingredients, like alcohol, as they can be counter-productive and further dry out the skin. Ideally, you want something gentle and moisturising. Here are our top toner picks to ace the 7 skin method.