K-beauty has been on every beauty enthusiast’s radar for a while now, and our fascination with the trend shows no sign of going away any time soon. With its innovative ingredients, groundbreaking formulas, and gorgeous packaging, it’s no wonder Korean skincare and makeup are flooding the Instagram feeds of beauty lovers everywhere.
And now, thanks to K-beauty, there’s a skin trend we're ready to try. It’s called glass skin, and it’s all about skin that’s so poreless, reflective, and glossy that it actually looks like it’s made of glass.
We’re talking skin that’s so impeccably smooth and intensely moisturised, it’s almost transparent. But, how can you possibly make that happen in real life?
Well, you’ll need to be meticulous about keeping your skin cleansed, balanced, exfoliated, and most importantly, super hydrated. Here’s the secret behind glass skin and how you can get it for yourself.
What does it take to get glass skin?
Getting glass skin really isn’t as impossible as it sounds. It’s really about achieving your healthiest, most youthful skin ever. And, healthy skin is skin that’s nurtured, balanced, hydrated, and protected.
If you really want glass skin, all it takes is some major dedication and a consistent Korean skincare routine.
Where most skincare trends promise instant results with certain products, glass skin requires a dedicated, daily skin care regimen to get the skin as smooth as possible over time- without any texture or visible pores.
The skin must stay ultra-hydrated to create a moist, lustrous appearance. And, glass skin should also be plump, firm, and extremely youthful-looking.
According to this glass skin guide from Peach & Lily, intense hydration is the core of this routine, so look for thin, layerable humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid in your essences, serums, and treatments. Toners, exfoliators, and sheet masks also play a starring role in this regimen.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve skin that’s so healthy, it looks like glass.
It starts with the double cleanse
By now we’ve all heard of the double cleanse, and it is key for achieving the glass skin look. A clean canvas is essential for getting skin smooth and minimizing pores. Start the routine with an oil cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup, and then use a gentle, foaming cleanser to remove any remaining residue without stripping the skin.
Exfoliation is key
You can’t get clear, ultra-smooth skin without exfoliating regularly. Whether you use a physical exfoliator (a gentle scrub) or a chemical one (glycolic or lactic acid), you’ll want to exfoliate two or three times a week. This step is crucial for removing dead skin cells that clog the pores and make it look dull.
You need a toner to balance the skin
Toss out your harsh, drying alcohol-based toner and look for a Korean toner that’s formulated with hydrating ingredients like green tea and botanical waters. A good toner balances the skin and allows your other products to absorb more easily. Try the “7 Skin Method” (apply up to seven layers of a hydrating toner to your skin) to get the intense hydration and plumpness that are key to the glass skin look.
Don’t underestimate the value of a good sheet mask
Sheet masks are some of the most beloved products in a Korean glass skin routine because they can make an immediate difference in the way your skin looks and feels. Keep a variety of masks on hand so you can address issues as they come up.
Sheet masks are fine to use every day, just once a week, or you can save them just for special occasions… it’s really up to you. If you don’t have time for a sheet mask during the day, try an overnight sleeping mask in place of moisturiser to nurture your skin while you sleep.
Bring in an essence for even more hydration
Essences are a lot like serums, but they’re more lightweight and have a thinner consistency. Their job is to address skin concerns like redness and hyperpigmentation while delivering extreme moisture and hydration.
Use serums to target specific skincare goals
Serums are the heavy hitters of a Korean skincare routine because they’re super-concentrated with active ingredients that nourish the skin and target skin issues. Feel free to layer two or more serums on days when your skin needs some extra TLC.
Seal it all in with moisturiser
For the glass skin look, you want a lightweight moisturizer that packs a lot of moisture to get that luminescent appearance. Prioritize antioxidants, hydrators, and botanical extracts that nurture the skin and seal in moisture.
Pamper the eye area
Dry skin and under eye puffiness aren’t cute anytime, and they certainly don’t work for the glass skin look. Choose a hydrating eye cream that nourishes this delicate area. It’s okay if it’s a bit thicker than your all-over moisturizer because they under eyes tend to be drier than the rest of the face.
Protect with SPF
SPF should be the last step in your morning skincare routine every single day. If you’re looking to streamline your routine, choose a Korean BB or CC cream that has sunscreen built right into the formula.
Nobody said it would be easy, but it will be worth it
Hopefully, all of those gorgeous glass skin photos in your Instagram feed are all the motivation you need to commit to a Korean skincare regimen. Keep in mind that there aren’t any shortcuts to achieving this look, you’ll have to be dedicated and consistent with your skincare.
Of course, diet, exercise, and lifestyle also play a role in how your skin looks every day, so it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. At the end of the day, the secret to glass skin is really all about achieving your healthiest skin possible, and you can’t do that if you’re eating a poor diet, not getting enough sleep, or leading an unhealthy lifestyle in general.