Korean Beauty 6 years ago

DIY Lemon Soju Toner Pads

You guys would not believe the number of questions, comments and DM’s I’ve gotten about these Soju Toner Pads!

This has been a family skincare secret for YEARS now! A while back, I shared a YouTube video about them (watch it here!) but I realized that I never wrote an actual post about them.

So a little backstory- my mom aka Umma Lim is the most skincare obsessed woman I know… which is probably where I get my obsession from. If you remember from this post here, I have so many memories of watching her prep her skin for hours at a time. Now at 60 years young – her skin looks flawless!

These soju pads are something I grew up with in the household. My mom used them every night, and honestly I never thought anything of it because I assumed everyone else’s mom’s did the same thing (in different variations). I remember her mixing soju (which is Korean alcohol made with rice) and lemons every couple of months during my childhood.

Some people have expressed concerns about the level of alcohol, wondering if it would be too strong. However, the glycerin in addition to the soju actually cancels out any of the tightness that the alcohol might give. Plu,s the lemon brings in a ton of Vitamin C!

Here’s the recipe:


1 Cup of Korean Soju
1 Cup of Glycerin
Juice of 1 Lemon
Cotton Pads (I like these!)
Ziplock bag or Small Tupperware

*note- to make in larger quantities, you can up the ingredients! Umma Lim would recommend 2 bottles of soju, 4oz of glycerin and the juice of 5 lemons.


  1. Mix soju, glycerin, and lemon juice together in plastic bag or Tupperware.
  2. Add cotton pads, make sure they’re totally immersed.
  3. Wrap up the container to keep the pads in the dark.
  4. Keep at room temperature for 3 days.
  5. Store in the fridge for 1 month before using.

Umma Lim recommends keeping the pads in the fridge while you’re using them! She also says to use the pads on elbows, knees, and feet as well.

I’d recommend using them as a part of your nighttime skincare routine since Vitamin C can make your skin sensitive to the sun! (Speaking of sun, you guys are wearing sunscreen every day… right?) It’s good for all skin types, but especially for combination skin like I have. The toner pads help control the production of sebum in my pores, helps reduce their appearance in size and give my face an overall brightness!

You could also just use this recipe as a liquid toner and just pour it onto a cotton pad as opposed to soaking it, but I really like doing it this way. I think it’s more effective, plus letting the cotton pads soak for about a week in the solution in the fridge really helps! I love the cooling and refreshing sensation it leaves.

So are you guys going to try Umma Lim’s secret soju pads? Let me know in the comments below!

Photography by Drew Scott
Robe: Lunya