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The secret behind glass skin: What it is and how to get it

Korean skincare has been a hot topic over the past few years, and the beauty world’s love for all things related to Korean / K-Beauty products shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Korean skincare brands like April Skin have become known for their ground-breaking formulations featuring botanical ingredients in gorgeous packaging. K-Beauty also introduced us to unusual ingredients like snail mucin and bee venom. And, it got us obsessed with luxurious products like sheet masks, ampoules, and essences. And now, the latest word to add to your ever-growing K-Beauty vocabulary is glass skin.

What exactly is glass skin?

Glass skin is simply a K-Beauty term for lustrous, exceptionally smooth, even-toned skin that so flawlessly perfect it looks like it’s made of glass. It’s an elegant and straightforward way to describe a specific type of desirable complexion. We’ve all heard of dewy skin or honey skin, but glass skin is skin that’s been so intensely moisturized it almost looks translucent. It’s skin that has a lit-from-within, youthful glow.

Korean women have some of the best skin in the world, and most stick to an eight to ten-step skincare routine to beautify their skin

How is glass skin achieved?

While you can achieve visible results with certain products and skin care trends, achieving the glass skin look requires commitment and a dedicated, multi-dimensional Korean skincare routine. For skin that looks like glass, it must be impeccably smooth, without any rough texture, dark spots, or bumps. It needs to be ultra hydrated both inside and out to give it a lustrous, moist, youthful appearance that reflects and captures the light. It must also look firm, elastic, and plump.

So, how does one achieve this dream-like, coveted complexion? You must be meticulous with your skin care. It starts with cleanser, hydrating toner, ampoules and serums, exfoliating, and intense moisturization, but it doesn’t end there. You must incorporate humectants to combat dehydration, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, often layering them to achieve the best results. Korean skincare staples like sheet masks, sleep masks, and essences are essential hydrators for glass skin.

The step-by-step glass skin regimen

1.) Double Cleansing

Double cleansing is a critical step in any Korean skincare routine, and it’s absolutely essential for glass skin. Removing every trace of dirt, oil, makeup, and sunscreen will keep skin clear and supple while preventing breakouts and uneven texture. Start with an oil-based cleanser first, and then follow up with a gentle, water-based cleansing cream or gel.

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2.) Exfoliating

Exfoliating should be done two or three times a week after cleansing. You will never achieve an ultra-smooth, clear complexion if you don’t exfoliate. Avoid physical exfoliators that can scratch and damage the skin. Instead, go for exfoliators that rely on botanical and fruit extracts to dissolve away dead skin cells and unclog pores without scrubbing or tugging.

3.) Toner

Gone are the days of harsh, alcohol-based toners that dry out the skin. Korean skincare toners are totally different. K-Beauty brands formulate their toners with hydrating ingredients like floral waters, ginseng, and green tea. These toners are meant to be the first step in rehydrating the skin and balancing its pH after cleansing. They also help the upcoming treatments to be absorbed more readily. In the glass skin routine, toner is applied in seven layers to achieve ultra-hydration, which is known as the 7 Skin Method. The result is the plum, dewy, youthful skin that every woman craves.

4.) Essence

Essences are unique to Korean skincare. Although they are similar to serums, they usually have a watery consistency, and they’re not as concentrated. Essences are chosen to target specific skin concerns, such as redness or hyperpigmentation, while also providing mega hydration, which is what the glass skin regimen is all about.

In Korea, “glass skin” is a skin goal that stands for poreless, luminous, translucent skin – just like glass

5.) Serums and Ampoules

Serums and ampoules are packed with highly-concentrated, active ingredients. They are formulated to provide intense nourishment, promote collagen production, and reverse other signs of aging. Some formulations are also designed to even out skin tone and minimize the appearance of pores. It’s common for Korean women to layer their serums based on how their skin looks and feels on a daily basis. For intense moisture, choose products with ceramides, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. To firm the skin and boost collagen production, seek out serums that contain vitamin C or retinoids.

6.) Moisturizer

When you’re trying to achieve the luminescent glass skin look, moisturizer is crucial. It’s fine to stick to lightweight formulas during the day, but don’t skip them entirely. At night, choose a formula that’s a little heavier to prevent moisture from escaping while you sleep. Seek out formulations with antioxidants, hydrating ingredients, and nourishing botanicals. Gotu kola is an ingredient that is highly sought-after in a nighttime moisturizer because of its barrier-restoring, anti-aging, and healing properties.

7.) Eye Cream

The eye area requires special care in a glass skin regimen because it’s prone to puffiness, fine lines, and dark circles. Choose an eye cream that nourishes the fragile eye area and targets your particular concerns.

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8.) Sunscreen

By now, we all know that we should be using sunscreen every day, and it’s an essential step in a glass skin routine. Sun damage causes dark spots, redness, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines… definitely not part of the glass skin look.

9.) Masks

Masks generally fall into one of two categories in Korean skin care: sheet masks and sleep masks. Both types incorporate highly-effective, concentrated ingredients that repair damaged skin, soothe irritation, and provide intense hydration.

Is it hard to achieve the glass skin look?

If you want to achieve the ethereal, flawless look of glass skin, you’re going to have to invest a good bit of time and effort. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to achieving this look. Korean skin care revolves around the philosophy of commitment and consistency in a skin care regimen. This look is achievable only if you place your focus on building a reliable, consistent daily skincare routine. And, don’t forget that diet, sleep, and exercise all play an essential role in how your skin looks from day to day.

When it comes down to it, glass skin is really just another way of describing the youthful, healthy, clear skin we’re all striving for.