Finally understanding Son and Park Beauty Water
I was looking at my skincare basket the other day and noticed my lone Son and Park Beauty Water. It had gone with a previous routine of mine, of which its comrades had already fallen. I told myself I'd be chill about replacing my steps piecemeal as they got used up, but I ended up going with a lighter routine while waiting because I didn't want to break up my replacement routine. This awkward limbo in between two skincare sets always stresses me out, tell me I'm not alone??!
Anyway, after a couple of weeks of this hell, I figured out the best compromise is to find sample sachet equivalents of whatever dies first in my current routine. Ha! I'm so smart.
Back to the point: Son and Park Beauty Water. I think it's highly prone to being misunderstood. The label Beauty Water doesn't clarify anything. If I recall correctly, there are facial mists labelled as beauty water, and that's completely useless compared to S&P. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I've tried using it as a micelle water, and yet S&P failed at that. I've needed multiple runs of product-soaked cotton to take off foundation and it just felt like that wasn't what it was meant for. Finally, I ended up using it as a refresher or post-cleanse, pre-hydration toner without really being sure why.
What shed light to me was this post by cosmetic chemist Stephen Alain Ko - thanks, Den, for sharing this! You can view the full post here, but what I've taken away is that S&P Beauty Water seems to sit in the middle of the spectrum of cleansing waters and beauty/hydrating waters. It has minimal surfactant content, which may explain why it failed in completely removing my makeup... yet it also has a lot of humectants that may counterbalance any potential irritation from using typical micelle water alone.
My best use of S&P Beauty Water has been as a waterless prep when my face is not too dirty to begin with. I thought it was just for my skin type or even just my imagination, but Stephen's breakdown above does strengthen my experience.
Say I've just woken up, and don't feel like doing a foam cleanse in the morning. I love S&P to take out the minimal dirt accumulated over my sleep and any remaining skincare. I end up using it as a mild, waterless cleanser + skincare prep. Any other micelle water would still necessitate a foam cleanse or even just a splash of water as most brands leave me feeling itchy.
And yet I couldn't peg it down as just some watery moisturizer, since it does have cleansing capabilities. Now, I finally get it: since S&P's cleansing power is limited, I can use it for a truly waterless routine if and only if my face is not too dirty. Other times I've made the most of S&P is when I've built up some oil but am not wearing makeup yet; or when I have extremely faded BB cream and want to refresh before retouching. In these instances, I use S&P before makeup and it improves my complexion in terms of texture and brightness!
I've been keeping the free mini gift that came with the full size in my pro kit. I think it's a great addition to my prep and makes a lot of sense in a MUA routine, as clients will likely not be wearing makeup anyway. Not only does it work great without water, it also looks sleek AF.
How have you guys been using Son and Park Beauty Water?