We’ve all had our fair share of good and bad skin days. Some days our skin can look gorgeous and radiant, whereas others it just looks dull and tired. Whether it’s due to a pesky breakout, an overly oily complexion, stubborn wrinkles, or dry skin that just won’t quit, it can feel next to impossible to find a solution when your skin isn’t looking its best.
And, even though you have over a zillion products to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the right ones for your skin. To make matters worse, no matter how many products you actually bring home and try, none of them hit all of the marks.
This is especially true with moisturizers - some can be too thick and feel heavy on the skin, while others are too thin and don’t perform how they say they will.
With this in mind, have you ever tried emulsion skincare products? They might just be the not-so-secret Korean skincare solution that you’ve been looking for! Emulsions are a happy medium between a serum and a moisturizer that combine their super lightweight texture with ultra-hydrating, skin-loving ingredients to revitalize the skin and encourage other beauty products and treatments to work their magic.
And, at Taut we love to combine our collagen luxury skincare products with this K-beauty essential!
Want to know what the best part is? You don’t need to have an 18-step Korean Beauty skin care routine to get started. So, here’s everything you need to know about emulsions - the fancy-sounding, but completely approachable, product that should be on every woman’s top-shelf.
What Is Emulsion Skincare?
Ok, don’t panic. You won’t have to go flipping through your notes from high school chemistry class to figure out the basics of an emulsion. In fact, if you’ve ever thrown together a homemade vinaigrette for your salad, you're already on your way to knowing exactly what an emulsion is!
In the simplest terms, an emulsion is created when two liquids that wouldn’t naturally mix together are combined to create one product. In a vinaigrette, these two liquids are oil and vinegar. At first, they don’t want to have anything to do with each other. But, once you get your whisk out and whip them into shape, you’re left with an opaque, cream-like dressing.
Although they aren’t nearly as delicious as a well-dressed salad, emulsions are created using the same method. Most facial emulsion formulas are developed by blending a little bit of oil with some water to achieve their unique gel-like, milky consistency.
Where Do Emulsions Come From?
Are you wondering how you’ve never heard of this mystical skincare step before now? That’s probably because emulsions are the brainchild of the South Korean beauty, or “K-beauty”, market.
You’ve probably seen an increasing number of K-beauty products taking over the shelves of the most popular skincare retailers and plastered on the covers of your favorite beauty and lifestyle magazines. So, what makes K-beauty products stand out among the rest? The answer: Ground-breaking skincare technology and innovation.
There are a lot of K-beauty products on the market. We’re talking essences, creams, emulsions, serums, ampoules, and everything in between. And, what drives these companies to create cutting-edge products is one simple truth: Koreans take their skincare very seriously.
Of course, everyone wants to have gorgeous skin! But, for many Korean women, settling for smooth and flawless skin isn’t good enough. Their main goal is to achieve what is known as ‘glass skin,’ meaning that their face looks so perfect it appears glowing, radiant, and practically poreless.
But, ‘glass skin’ rarely comes naturally. To reach this level of skin-nirvana, many things need to be done to it, which is one of the main reasons why Korean women are notorious for the number of steps in their skin care routines. And of course, one of these steps is an emulsion that promotes hydration.
Nowadays, emulsions have become so well-known that Korean companies aren’t the only ones creating these futuristic skincare concoctions. Some of your favorite skin care brands and experts sell their own twist on these popular formulas because they have seen all of the benefits that an emulsion can bring to a wide range of skin types.
What Are the Benefits of Emulsions?
Emulsions are an essential step in K-beauty skin care routines because of their quick-absorbing, incredibly lightweight, and fully-hydrating properties. They’re able to sink into the layers of the dermis where the skin needs more moisture, instead of sitting on top of the skin like most heavy facial creams.
Water-based emulsions have the power to:
- Increase skin hydration without clogging pores (non-comedogenic)
- Prevent Transepidermal Water Loss
- Protect the skin barrier
- Treat acne and skin dryness (with ingredients like Hyaluronic acid or Salicylic acid)
Ready to hop on the emulsion skincare train? We thought so. Let's take a deeper dive into it all:
Emulsions and Transepidermal Water Loss
The magic of emulsions doesn’t stop at providing the skin with moisture. Water-based emulsions help to lock in hydration that already exists in your skin and prevent Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). Basically, TEWL is an overly-complicated way of saying that your skin loses some of its water content. What happens during TEWL is the water that’s naturally found in the dermis layer of your skin, passes through the last layer of your skin (the epidermis), and evaporates.
Although TEWL is a normal process that happens all over the body to control how much water is in your skin, too much of it and you’ll end up with a dull, dehydrated look (and no one wants that). After all, we love plump and glowing skin!
Luckily, TEWL is no match for an emulsion - especially when its formula features a humectant ingredient, like hyaluronic acid. When you use emulsions, they trap moisture and create a barrier over your skin that doesn’t let water molecules escape, leaving the skin instantly hydrated and refreshed.
Of course, if you’re looking to take care of TEWL at the source, you have another option. Yes, you can use a cream or a serum to stop TEWL in its tracks, too. But, sometimes these steps are not enough. You can avoid things like extra-hot water in the shower, strong ingredients in serums, ampoules, and essences, dry environments with little humidity, and face washes with drying ingredients to prevent TEWL.
But, when an emulsion, serum, or any of these other tips just won’t cut it, it’s possible that your skin needs an extra boost of moisture from within. Supplements like our Taut Hydrate Vegan Supplement give dehydrated skin an extra dose of moisture to plump your skin from the inside-out.
Although it’s designed to work all over your body, and not just your face, the skin-BFF ingredients work synergistically to plump and super-hydrate your skin, improve firmness and smoothness while also visibly reducing imperfections. Plant-derived hyaluronic acid, a moisture magnet, and grape seed extract, a skin-protecting agent, are combined in this high-potency supplement to combat moisture loss and increase suppleness leaving you with glamorous, glowing skin.
Plus, Hyaluronic acid acts as a nourishing agent to keep collagen limber and pliable, filling out the free spaces between the collagen and elastin fibers, keeping your skin looking young, full, moist, and radiant.
Who Can Use an Emulsion?
You might think that an emulsion cream that works for all skin types is too good to be true. We know the feeling. With such a wide array of moisturizers, serums, ampoules and everything in between to choose from it can feel impossible to find the right combination for your skin type. Even stepping into your favorite beauty store can feel discouraging and overwhelming at times.
No matter how much we’re told that hydration is essential to maintaining healthy and radiant skin, it can feel like like we’ll never find the perfect formula to solve all of our skin woes - especially for people who have oily or dry skin types.
But, rest assured, the right facial cream for all skin types is out there. And, one of the best steps you can take to treat your skin issues at the source is incorporating a moisturizer, like an emulsion, into your daily beauty routine.
Emulsions and Oily Skin
If you have an oily skin type, you know how difficult it can be to deal with, especially when the weather is hot and humid. Not only can having constantly oily skin be frustrating, but fighting breakouts feels like a full-time job. After all, oily skin and pimples go hand in hand because of all of the excess sebum. But, whether you are constantly struggling to control your acne or only suffer from breakouts once a month, we’ll be honest with you - what your skin needs is proper hydration.
Ok, we get that the last thing you want to do if you have an oily skin type is apply another product and risk feeling like you have yet another pimple coming on. It may even seem counterintuitive to add a product that contains oil when the issue that you’re dealing with is super oily skin.
Not only that, but you know better than anyone else that not all products can be trusted! Some products claim that they are perfect for people with oily skin, but all they do is clog your pores. And, others are filled with ingredients like fragrance and fillers that do nothing but harm your skin. This can make it tempting to leave the moisturizing step out of your skincare regimen altogether to avoid further aggravating existing skin issues.
Now, hear us out. Your skin needs hydration. It may sound crazy, but leaving a moisturizer or emulsion out of your skincare regimen can make your skin even more oily and acne-prone. This is because your skin creates oil, known as sebum, to protect the dermis layers of your skin and keep them hydrated and plump. When you strip your skin of its natural oil, your skin makes up for it by creating excess sebum, which ends up making matters worse.
But, women with oily skin can use emulsions to treat their acne-prone skin. The best emulsion for face issues caused by oily skin is generally a water-based formula. An emulsion for oily skin lets the skin breathe. As we’ve discussed before, emulsions don’t sit on top of the skin like normal, rich moisturizing creams. Instead, they sink into the skin, providing a substantial amount of hydration without creating an unwelcome, thick layer over your pores.
Emulsions and Combination Skin
When your skin can’t decide whether it’s oily or dry, you might fall into the combination skin type camp. You may, too, have acne-prone skin, just like our oily-skinned friends. However, the main difference between combination and oily skin types is where the oil is located on your face. If you have combination skin, you’ll notice that your forehead, nose, and chin (T-zone) are much more oily than your cheeks. You might even have overly dry skin on your cheeks.
This skin type can sometimes feel hard to take care of. After all, no one has time to apply two different types of moisturizer to their face several times a day! What makes a face emulsion stand out from your run of the mill moisturizer is its buildability. Its formula is so lightweight that it absorbs quickly and lets the skin breathe, which is great for combination skin because one, two, or even three applications of it won’t put you on the verge of a breakout.
We know that any product that prevents a breakout is a dream come true for people with combination or acne-prone skin. For women with this skin type, look out for water-based emulsions specifically formulated for acne-prone skin.
Emulsions and Dry Skin
If you have dry, sensitive skin and you’re prone to a red, flaky dermis, the days of applying (and reapplying) your heaviest moisturizing face cream are coming to an end. In fact, often people with dry or sensitive skin are surprised to find out that it’s not the amount of product that you apply, but the type of product that you use. That’s why choosing a skin emulsion with ultra-hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, can act as a moisture lock for dry skin types.
Seriously, adding an emulsion step to your beauty routine can work wonders for dry and sensitive skin types by keeping moisture in its place and protecting the skin barrier, especially in cold or dry weather.
More helpful reading: Dry skin remedies.
Emulsions and Mature Skin
Women with a mature skin type know how important it is to have a moisturizing emulsion face cream or serum as one of their primary skincare routine steps. Mature skin types also know that facial creams which promise to firm, tighten, and fight signs of aging get extra points! After all, it’s no secret that experts recommend using a moisturizing cream to keep wrinkles at bay in the long-term. The number one reason being: As we age, our dermis loses the ability to keep itself hydrated.
Even though creams, emulsions, and lotions might not turn back the hands of time on their own, they can help moisturize, build collagen, and boost the effects of a serum with anti-aging ingredients.
Clearly, it’s important to use a moisturizing emulsion or serum at least once a day. And, although you may not want to add any extra steps to your routine, water-based emulsion formulas can provide that extra hydration boost that your typical cold cream can’t.
Ingredients To Look Out For in Emulsions
While searching for the best water-based emulsion to add to your skincare regimen, you may run into formulas with a few strange and even downright crazy ingredients. Although each of these ingredients provides benefits in its own right, to get the hydration you deserve, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for emulsions with humectant ingredients.
The best emulsion skin care products feature humectants to protect the skin barrier and properly replenish and lock-in moisture for the long run. Humectants are important because they trap moisture and invite water naturally found in the air into the layers of your dermis. Some of the most common humectants that you’ll find in an emulsion are:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Glycerol or Glycerin
- Xylitol, Erythritol, and Sorbitol
Although products like serums and essences have formulas that also feature some of these ingredients, an emulsion has the added benefit of its unique texture. Its cream-like texture helps to keep humectants in place for optimal moisture protection.
More helpful reading:
Can Emulsions Replace a Moisturizer?
Well, yes and no. It all depends on your skin type and the other steps in your skincare routine. As you’ve already read, women with just about any skin type can use an emulsion for skin issues, especially people with oily skin who are looking for a non-clogging option.
Moisturizing cream, on the other hand, is rich and heavy, which isn’t ideal when the goal is to layer everything but the kitchen sink onto your skin. However, don’t replace your moisturizer with an emulsion just yet. Each one has its own benefits.
A thick moisturizing cream is helpful when it comes to preventing skin issues on the face and body, soothing dry skin, creating a protective layer on top of the skin barrier, treating wrinkles, and of course, providing hydration. And, it can be the perfect two-in-one step to include more SPF in your morning routine.
Although emulsions can be used on their own, you can think of them as a way to give your moisturizer an upgrade, especially on days that your skin is feeling dull or just needs some extra hydration.
Is an Emulsion Different From a Serum?
Emulsions seem like the solution to almost everything, right? Actually, in order to treat certain skin care issues or imperfections, you might need something a little bit more powerful, like a serum.
The formulas in serums and ampoules (for those sticking to a Korean skincare routine) can be better solutions for dark spots, uneven skin tone, and any other skin care problems you’re trying to tackle.
But wait, what are ampoules? Well, they’re another popular Korean skin care essential that, like a serum, has a highly concentrated formula that provides the skin with a specific active ingredient (or multiple). Ampoules are generally seen as slightly stronger than serums, while both are considerably more concentrated than emulsions.
At the end of the day, emulsions won’t be as effective at providing rapid results as serums or ampoules, but in the long-term, you will notice a gradual improvement in your skin overall.
You may also notice a difference in texture between serums, ampoules, and emulsions. While most serums and ampoules have a liquidy, oily texture, emulsions have a thicker, cream-like one. This makes all the difference when you apply them to the skin since the sequence of steps in a Korean skincare routine is usually determined by the consistency and formula of each skincare product.
It sounds complicated but trust us, there’s an easy way to tell when you should apply each product. Generally speaking, serums and other skincare products are layered from thinnest to thickest consistency, which means that serums are almost always applied before emulsions.
How to Integrate A Skin Care Emulsion Into Your Routine
Needless to say, getting set up with a new Korean skincare product can feel intimidating. With all of the different types of products available like creams, emulsions, ampoules, BB creams, and essences to choose from, it’s easy to feel lost. This is especially true when a cream mentions ingredients like ‘snail mucin,’ ‘bee venom,’ and ‘horse oil.’
It becomes even more intimidating when you find out that a typical K-beauty skincare routine can have up to 18 steps! Who has time for that, right?
Ok, so you might not be adopting a full K-beauty skincare routine, but you still want to include an emulsion step in your daily regimen. As we’ve discussed earlier, the secret to K-beauty is in the application process. So, it’s important to keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how many steps you have, but it does matter when you apply each step.
Step 1: Wash With the Double-Cleanse Method
Before you go ahead and let all of the goodness of a skincare emulsion sink into your skin, you’ll want it to have the perfect environment to get to work. After all, you want to make the most of this super-hydrating, holy-grail beauty product.
At the end of a long day, your face and body are covered in pollution, sweat, grime - need we continue? In order for an emulsion to be fully absorbed, you’ll want to make sure all of the impurities on the surface of your skin are thoroughly rinsed off. Any sort of dirt or residue can clog your pores and cause blackheads and breakouts.
If you want the full K-beauty experience, you’ll want to start out with the double-cleanse method. Ok, you caught us - step one consists of two steps. You’ll begin with an oil-based cleanser which will help loosen up and break down pollutants on the skin. Then, you’ll follow up with a gel, foam, or cream cleanser (experts now recommend cream cleansers as a gentle, hydrating solution for cleansing sensitive skin). Now, your skin should be sparkling clean!
Step 2: Prepare With Toners and Essences
After you’ve double-cleansed, you’ll want to get started on step two right away. To understand why, you can think of your skin as a sponge. If a sponge is dry and stiff, water won’t sink into it right away. But, if a sponge is already a little bit wet, it becomes much more pliable and has an easier time soaking up water.
So, for maximum absorption, Korean skincare experts apply toners and essences right after cleansing. Toners and essences help prepare the skin for the next step (hint: it involves serums and ampoules).
Toners and essences can seem like the same thing, but each one provides its own benefits for the skin. While toners act to hydrate and neutralize the skin, essences prepare the surface for step three.
Step 3: Treat With Ampoules and Serums
For us, step three is essential because we love a good serum. Serums and ampoules provide a hearty dose of anti-aging ingredients, like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol, and collagen to help keep the skin looking its best. A serum like our Taut Recovery Serum is for anyone who wants to achieve firmer, more hydrated skin.
This serum treats imperfections at the source and is perfect for just about any skin type. It’s formulated with seven powerful botanical herbal extracts with proven antioxidant & anti-inflammatory properties to help repair the skin from stress and environmental damages.
By incorporating a serum like this into your skincare routine, you can enhance your skin’s radiance, reduce fine lines, and enjoy a plump, youthful appearance. Best of all, this serum leaves you with a natural, flawless appearance so you won’t have to rely on your foundation or BB cream to mask any imperfections.
Step 4: Moisturize With an Emulsion
Finally, it’s time to apply your emulsion. Since this step acts as a moisture lock to keep hydration in its place, it’s best to apply it while your skin is still hydrated from your serum. When you use an emulsion, the gel-like consistency works to seal in the formulas from your serums and ampoules and bring in extra hydration to brighten and tone the skin. You’ll only need a pump or two to get the job done.
Step 5: Add Any Finishing Touches
Once step four is complete, you can put the finishing touches on your skin by following up with a spot treatment, eye cream, moisturizer, or another face cream.
Treatments, Sheet Masks, and Emulsions
We all have those days (or years) when our skin just needs a pick-me-up. Especially since, as we age, we’re exposed to environmental factors like stress and pollution, which cause the collagen in our skin to break down. This leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging to form and set up shop on our skin.
But, here’s some good news: Treatments like serums and sheet masks help to revive our skin by penetrating into the deepest layers of the dermis and building up our natural collagen.
Here’s even more good news: Emulsions can enhance the benefits of your skin treatment by providing a layer of protection that locks skin-loving ingredients into place.
For those of us who are dealing with tired or dehydrated skin, choosing a mask with the right ingredients and even better formulas will make the biggest difference to creating the hydrated, toned, and bright skin that we’re longing for. You’ll want to look for products that are specifically formulated to target sagging, dull-looking skin, like our luxurious Taut Collagen Mask.
Age-fighting ingredients like hydrolyzed marine collagen, hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin C, work together to deliver instant skin rejuvenation and 'red carpet' radiance. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to notice the full benefits of the mask’s nutrient-rich essence. When incorporated into a regular skincare regimen, you can reverse years and years of skin damage, leaving behind a glowing complexion.
Emulsions and Sunscreen
If you care even a little bit about your skin, you know how important it is to wear (and reapply!) sunscreen. And no, your vitamin C serum won’t cut it. We’re talking about year-round sun protection, ladies! Not just when the sun is out.
Similar to sunscreen, emulsions can and should be used throughout the year in order for you to receive all of their benefits. As we’ve said before, emulsions are ideal in both hot and humid weather, and cold and dry environments.
If you plan on using both your emulsion and your SPF in the morning, you’ll want to put your emulsion on first. Applying your sunscreen last means that you’ll get the most skin protection, without sacrificing any of the precious hydrating properties from your emulsion.
And, since emulsions are literally made for layering, you can apply and reapply your sunscreen without worrying about your emulsion being wiped away.
Test An Emulsion on Your Skin
There’s nothing better than feeling the excitement of opening the beautiful packaging of a new skincare product and the suspense before applying it to your freshly washed skin. But, wait a minute.
Before starting any new moisturizing creams, it’s a good idea to test a small amount of it on your skin before applying it to your whole face. In the beauty world, this is called a patch test.
Just because a moisturizer or emulsion is meant for sensitive skin or claims that it’s “gentle,” it could still cause a reaction. Patch testing is simple and can prevent irritation, breakouts, and redness. Simply go about your normal skin care routine and apply a small amount of product to a freshly washed part of your skin.
Then, make sure to give it a few minutes. You’ll notice after it has spent some time on your skin whether or not it agrees with you.
Boost Skin Hydration With the Right Products
The bottom line is, having hydration-supporting beauty products, like emulsions, in your skincare routine is an essential step to maintaining luminous, youthful, and gorgeous skin, no matter what your skin type.
If you’re ready to up your skin’s hydration levels and manifest the glowing, radiant complexion you’ve always dreamed of, the time is now. Since we know how important it is to keep your skin hydrated and healthy, we’ve put together our three most effective, synergistic, and natural products in one convenient bundle. To support and protect your skin from the outside in and inside out we’re proud to present our Ms. Magnifique Transformation Program.
This bundle includes our best-selling Taut Premium Collagen Advanced Formula Drink, made from the highest-quality ingredients to provide our customers with the best results, on their face and body. By combining Marine Hydrolyzed Collagen sourced from wild-caught red snapper in the Indian ocean with plant-sourced hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, vitamin C, and other skin-boosting ingredients, this unique formula transforms your skin at a cellular level to create a youthful, luminous, and fuller appearance while visibly reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and acne scars.
From this bundle, you’ll also be able to enjoy the benefits of Taut Bright, which works to fight cell damage and degeneration from inside the body. This go-to product fades age spots, improves uneven skin tone, and treats hyperpigmentation. Its seven key ingredients glutathione, L-cysteine, olive leaf extract, artichoke leaf extract, grape seed extract, alpha-lipoic acid, and vitamin C, control the excess production of aging pigments from within, to detoxify the liver and nourish the skin. This proprietary formula is designed to deliver fairer, flawless, and brighter skin.
And, to give your face instant radiance and a show-stopping glow, we’ve included our Taut Collagen Mask. This miraculous face mask tones, hydrates, and brightens in under 20 minutes by delivering nano-sized hydrolyzed collagen molecules deep into your dermis layer. Each mask is infused with collagen, hyaluronic acid, squalene, and vitamin C to give you red carpet-worthy radiance in no time.
Get to know more about our program benefits and make the most of your skincare routine by contacting us today!