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Adding a new skincare product to your routine usually brings about one of three main effects: It works amazingly well, breaks you out or is just meh – no bad reactions, but no positive changes either.

But before you toss out that product, consider this: Your skin may not be effectively absorbing or retaining the active ingredients of the new serum or cream you’re using. And because it isn’t absorbing all the important stuff that’s supposed to make it better, you don’t see any effects.

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Barbara Bui Paris Fall 15

That is the case that Japanese skincare brand Cosme Decorte is presenting with its blockbuster release this September, the Liposome Treatment Liquid. The product claims to better prepare your skin to absorb and retain moisture and nutrients from subsequent products applied in your skincare routine.

But what is it?  While it does fall into the category of the arguably “unnecessary” and often overlooked hydrating toner, the brand boasts some pretty impressive research that – I think – puts the product slightly ahead in the game.

You see, in a time where products compete to see which one best penetrates into the deepest layers of the skin – with great results, to boot – the Liposome Treatment Liquid does the exact opposite. It is designed to stay and work at the outermost layer of the skin; the layer that you see and touch every day.

According to Cosme Decorte, a person with a weakened skin barrier was less likely, if even at all, to respond and see the effects of a new skincare product as compared to one with a healthy skin barrier.

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This is where the Treatment Liposome Liquid comes in. It aims to restore the structure of the skin barrier to its healthiest state, so that you’re reaping the most benefits from your skincare routine. That is, better effects may show up within a shorter period of time.

The “science” was so convincing that I was eager to use it the very night I received it during the brand’s press conference in Tokyo. (No, really, toners aren’t usually that interesting.)

And because it works on the outermost layer of the skin, Cosme Decorte says that you see the change almost instantaneously – something I can vouch for after trying the product out for two weeks.

I applied the product by pressing – not patting – it into my skin with a cotton pad. The watery toner was absorbed quickly into my skin and other products that I layered over it seemed to absorb much faster, too.

In less than an hour, I was surprised to find that my skin looked more plump and lifted, minimising the look of my pores. It had also helped to keep my dry cheeks hydrated after a full workday, thanks to a unique Liposome delivery technology, which gradually releases ingredients into the skin to keep it constantly moisturised. While the product was not designed to alleviate dry or oily skin problems, I did notice a slight balancing of my combination skin, too.

The reason for this balancing effect? When the skin is brought to its ideal condition, there’s adequate moisture in the skin, allowing it to effectively regulate itself to prevent dryness and oiliness, says Cosme Decorte. 

There is however, one setback: The skin is likely to go back to its “weak” condition if you stop using the product. Researcher at Cosme Decorte’s parent company Kose Group’s Research Laboratory, Itsuki Miyachi, explains: “It is possible for your skin to go back to the condition it was in before. It will be exposed to external and internal aggressors again.”

“This product minimises fluctuations in the skin during its cycle, helping it to stay at its best condition for a longer period. It’s impossible for the skin to stay at its best all the time – there’s always ups and downs in a cycle,” she added.

Still, it is well worth the investment, and probably the only big one you’d have to make if you’re trying to keep your beauty budget low. The brand says that you don’t necessarily need to use a whole line of Cosme Decorte products with the Liposome Treatment Liquid. Using this as a cotton pad mask doesn’t really increase its efficacy either – you’re fine using it as a normal hydrating toner, which means it’ll probably last you three months or more. Sounds pretty good if you ask me.

Cosme Decorte Treatment Liposome Liquid, $157, is available at all Cosme Decorte counters.

Want more answers to the why and how of skincare? Here’s what pH levels actually mean to your skin, or how mixing certain products together causes dry skin.