Korean skincare has been one of the hottest topics in the beauty industry for the last few years, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Why has K-beauty become so popular? It all comes down to their groundbreaking formulas, innovative packaging, and their dedication to using natural, botanical ingredients. Korean skincare brands have introduced us to some crazy, but surprisingly effective, ingredients like bee venom and snail slime. And they’ve gotten us totally obsessed with essences, ampoules, and sheet masks. And now, the latest buzzword to add to your ever-growing Korean skincare vocabulary is “glass skin.”
What is Glass Skin?
When it comes to K-beauty, the term glass skin is used to describe skin that is even-toned, extremely smooth, and so lustrous and flawless that it looks like glass. It’s simply a way to describe a certain type of complexion that is highly desired in Korea. It’s a bit like dewy skin, but glass skin has a lit-from-within, ageless glow that makes it appear almost translucent.
How do Korean Women Get Glass Skin?
Korean women achieve the glass skin look with extreme dedication and commitment to a multi-faceted skincare routine. To get skin that truly looks like glass, it must be perfectly smooth. There’s no room for any bumps, dark spots, or roughness. The best products for the Korean glass skin look are extremely hydrating, providing the skin with a youthful, lustrous, and moist appearance that captures and reflects the light. At the same time, glass skin must also be plump and firm with good elasticity.
In order to achieve this fairy-tale-like complexion, you will need to be meticulous with your skincare routine. Most Korean follow several steps each day to get this look, including, cleansing, toning, exfoliating, moisturizing, and more. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are key ingredients for combating dehydrated skin, and they’re often layered into the routine for best results. The staples of the routine also include essences, sheet masks, and sleep masks.
A Step-by-Step Routine for Glass Skin
1. Double Cleansing
The first, and possibly the most important, step in any K-beauty skincare routine is the double cleanse. It’s an absolute must if you want to achieve the glass skin look. Every trace of makeup, dirt, oil, and sunscreen must be removed from the skin each night to keep it clear and supple while preventing acne and uneven texture.
Start your nightly cleansing routine by using an oil-based cleanser to melt away makeup, and then follow it up with a water-based formula to remove any residual residue. In the morning, a gentle, water-based cleanser may be all that’s needed, unless you have very oily skin.
Exfoliating is essential for achieving a clear, ultra-smooth, glass skin complexion, but don’t overdo it. Exfoliate two or three times a week, right after cleansing for optimum results. Steer clear of physical exfoliators that can be damaging to the skin. Instead, go for one of the gentle exfoliants made by K-beauty brands. They rely on fruit extracts and botanical acids that dissolve the dead skin cells away and unclog the pores without any harsh scrubbing or scratching on the skin.
Alcohol-based, harsh toners that dry out the skin are a thing of the past, and they’re definitely not recommended in a glass skin routine. Instead, Korean skincare toners are formulated with gentle ingredients like green tea, ginseng, and floral waters that rehydrate and balance the pH of your skin after cleansing. They are absolutely crucial for helping the active ingredients in the upcoming treatments to be absorbed more easily. When following a glass skin routine, Korean women often follow the 7-skin method of applying toner. This method gives the plump, youthful, and dewy complexion that is the trademark of glass skin.
Essences are one of the most unique and innovative products in a Korean skincare routine. They’re a lot like serums, but they have a thin, almost water-like consistency that allows them to be absorbed instantly. Essences contain targeted active ingredients that treat major skin concerns while providing supreme hydration, which is crucial for the glass skin look.
5. Serums and Ampoules
Ampoules and serums are the heavy-hitters in a Korean skincare routine. These highly-concentrated products are formulated with active ingredients that provide extreme nourishment, boost collagen production, and fight the signs of aging. Some formulations also include ingredients that are beneficial for evening out the skin tone and minimizing the pores. In Korea, it’s a common practice to layer serums based on how the skin feels and looks on a particular day.
As you probably already guessed, moisturizer is crucial for achieving the glass skin look. Lightweight formulas are great for the daytime. At night, choose a heavier formula that will keep moisture from escaping your skink while you sleep. Look for a moisturizer that contains antioxidants, ceramides, hydrating ingredients, and nourishing botanical extracts. Korean women love Gotu kola in their nighttime moisturizers because it heals and restores moisture while you sleep.
7. Eye Cream
The eye area is extremely delicate and it’s usually the first area that shows aging on the face. Using an eye cream that prevents puffiness, smooths fine lines, and treats dark circles is essential for a glass skin routine.
Hopefully, you are already using a sunscreen every day. Protecting the skin from sun damage is a crucial step in a glass skin routine. Fine lines, hyperpigmentation, redness, and dark spots are definitely not part of the glass skin look.
Sheet masks and sleep masks are both used in Korean skincare. They provide highly effective and super-concentrated active ingredients that target skin damage, soothe irritated skin, and provide that all-important hydration that’s necessary for the glass skin look.
Is Achieving the Glass Skin Look Difficult?
Achieving glass skin really isn’t difficult, but If you want to get the flawless and ethereal look of Korean glass skin, you will need to be committed to following a good skincare routine. You won’t get this look by taking shortcuts. And, don’t forget that exercise, sleep, and diet all play a role in how your skin looks from day to day.
Written by Donna M.