As your go-to source for beauty trends, we've got the low-down on whether the latest skincare "must-haves" should play a part in your daily routine, or if they should simply roll out with the tide. Today, we take a look at the so-called "miracle water" that's been saturating our social media feeds. What exactly is it, how are you supposed to use it and will it really transform your skin? For the skeptical, the curious and the uninitiated, we have the answers.
Are you ready to take the plunge? Here is everything you need to know about miracle water:
What is miracle water?
The latest cult beauty product from Korea, miracle water might have a name that provokes a skeptically raised brow, but it has some of the beauty industry's biggest names singing its praises. Why? Because loyal fans claim that it is able to cleanse, exfoliate, tone and hydrate the skin all at once. Just imagine how much space you could free up in your bathroom vanity.
What's in miracle water? As the name suggests, mainly pH-neutral water, which already means it's an ally for sensitive skin types. Added to that are all sorts of different active ingredients and natural extracts such as rose, lavender or papaya, depending on the brand. The texture is similar to that of a non-alcohol-based toner, and lighter than a serum. It's thanks to this ultra-light formula that the miracle water is able to penetrate deeper into the skin than an oil- or cream-based moisturizer.
Why use miracle water?
Most miracle waters have a short list of ingredients, so not only is it a serious time-saver, but it also offers a kinder, more natural alternative to abrasive products. Compare it to almost any drugstore moisturizer, cleanser or toner, and you'll see how many chemicals you've been applying to your skin morning and night.
This simplicity is another reason miracle water can be a lifesaver for sensitive skin, which can quickly get clogged up and reactive when bombarded with a variety of harsh chemicals every day. It can also be great for refreshing your skin without smudging your makeup on hot days when faced with city pollution or while traveling.
How to use miracle water
You can either dump your cleanser, toner and moisturizer all at once and replace with a sweep of miracle water using a cotton pad, or – and this is probably wiser so as not to throw your skin off-kilter – replace just one or two of your usual products with miracle water, blotting your face dry with a tissue before applying your day or night cream. Some fans of prefer keeping to their regular beauty routine, instead using the water as a spritz for instant hydration throughout the day.
What brands should you shop?
The miracle water that shoals of beauty blogger are raving about right now is the Cate Blanchett-endorsed SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, which contains the company's long-esteemed secret weapon ingredient, pitera, a yeast extract whose exact formula is kept under lock-and-key by parent company Proctor and Gamble. But the price, a cool $180, is likely to leave most budgets parched, even if Cate does have the most flawless complexion that even an Instagram filter can't recreate.
The Miracle Water 3-in-1 Glow Tonic from U.S. brand It Cosmetics is a more affordable alternative at $38, or (when talking Korean beauty trends, go Korean) Son & Park's Beauty Water, which comes in at a refreshing $30.
Alternatively, if you're simply looking for a water-based cleanser that also gently hydrates the skin, opt for a micellar solution like Lancôme's Micellar Cleansing Water, or the hypoallergenic Physiological Micellar Solution by La Roche-Posay. True, they might not be Korean brands, but the French are pretty hot when it comes to skincare, too.
what other k-beauty products are there?
With their skincare routine steps approaching double figures, the Koreans do not take beauty lightly. From the country that blessed us with BB cream comes a wealth of game-changing products such as cushion foundation that provides ultra-subtle buildable coverage, lip powder that transforms into long-lasting lipstick on application and cleansing sticks – the jury's still out on this one, so let us know your thoughts.