K-beauty is famous for its innovative approach to skin care, unusual ingredients and trendy packaging. But there's something else that can be added to the expanding list of popular K-beauty phenomena: Glass Skin. Glass skin is a certain look that's very popular in Asia, and it's a counterpart of the more matte look that's been idealized in the West for some time. And there has been a noticeable shift, as glass skin is gaining more and more popularity outside of Asia.
What is glass skin?
Glass skin is way of describing flawless, luminous skin that's so hydrated and clear that it has the appearance of 'glass'. You might be familiar with its predecessor, 'dewy' skin, a phrase related to glass skin as it also refers to skin that's intensely hydrated, smooth and plumped. Because glass skin contains so much moisture, it seems to have a healthy glow coming from within. The texture of glass skin is smooth, firmed, radiant and healthy. In Korea, glass skin is considered the ultimate skin goal among skin goals.
The way to achieve glass skin, is by following a skin care routine focused on hydration. Yes ladies: the key word here is hydration. Choose products with a light, watery texture that are formulated with humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerine, to draw moisture to your skin. Toners, essences and sheet masks are very effective when it comes to getting the radiant glass skin-look you're craving for!
Many skin care trends focus on certain hyped-up ingredients that promise fast results, but for achieving glass skin you'll need a consistent, multidimensional approach to skin care. In a nutshell, the glass skin routine relies on exfoliation, hydration (plus some more hydration, and some more..) and sun protection. Oh, and patience. ;)
To help you get on your way, we've put together a glass skin routine for you. Added bonus: all the products in this routine are cruelty free!
Cruelty free glass skin routine
|Heimish All Clean Balm||Huxley Cleansing Gel Be Clean Be Moist|
Start off with cleaning your skin gently yet effectively. Especially at night, it's important to remove dirt, grease and make up from your skin. Choose mild, hydrating and nourishing cleansers, so you won't risk stripping your skin from the important oils it needs to protect itself. Most oil cleansers or balms are fine to use as a first cleanse, but for who's still on the look-out for an excellent product, we recommend the All Clean Balm by Heimish. It's a buttery balm made with coconut oil and sea butter, that effortlessly melts away grime and dirt while nourishing and hydrating your skin at the same time.
The next step in your double cleansing ritual is a water based gel cleanser or foaming cleanser. It's best to use a cleanser without harsh surfactants, the most 'infamous' one being SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). SLS has the potency to irritate your skin, because it rids the skin of it's natural oils, leaving it dry, irritated and prone to redness and blemishes! After cleansing, your skin should feel soft and supple, not dry and patchy.
Tip: If your skin is very sensitive or very dry, try skipping cleansing in the mornings. Wash your face with water and go straight to toning.
|Klairs Youthful Glow Sugar Mask||Jumiso Yes, I Am Toner AHA 5%|
When we're talking about radiant and clear glass skin, we can't leave exfoliating out of the conversation. Physical exfoliants can help refine skin texture, and chemical exfoliants smoothe out your skin tone, fight acne and impurities and keep your pores clear. Don't overdo it, though. Exfoliating your skin twice or three times a week is enough to see good results, while minimizing the risk of irritation. It's better to start off gently, than risk irritating your skin and potentially impairing your skin barrier!
If you prefer a physical scrub in your routine, the Klairs Youthful Glow Mask is a lovely choice. It gently exfoliates your skin, but with a minimal risk of causing irritation. The combination of shea butter, jojoba oil and black sugar make your skin instantly feel baby soft and smooth.
|Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner||Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner|
Toners tend to be a little bit overlooked in skin care. But in glass skin routines, toners are the shining stars. Choose a formula aimed at optimizing your base hydration, with hydrating, plumping ingredients like galactomyces, propolis, snail or hyaluronic acid.
Tip: Do you want to amp up your hydrating game? Apply several layers of toner, like in the 7 Skin Method. It's not always necessary to apply seven layers - perhaps you feel two, three or four layers is enough. It's important to give your toner time to soak in between layers, otherwise you're just piling layers of product on top of your skin. Gently patting (not smacking) your skin is a good way to help absorb the product. If you're usually rushed in the morning, it's probably better to leave this method for your night time routine. ;)
|Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence||Huxley Oil Essence|
Essences are like watery sisters of serums. Texture-wise, they are somewhat like a combination of a serum and a toner, with high concentrations of beneficial ingredients and a runny, light consistency. Choosing the right serum can adress issues like aging and hyperpigmentation, and give a hydrating boost to your glass skin routine.
We'd like to put these two serums in the limelight: the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence and the Huxley Oil Essence. The Huxley Oil Essence contains 61% prickly pear oil, rich in vitamin E. It absorbs really well, without clogging pores or making your skin feel uncomfortably shiny or sticky.
Serum / Ampoule
|Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Mist Serum||Hyggee Natural Repair Serum|
Serums and ampoules generally contain the highest concentrations of multitasking, powerful ingredients. A good serum or ampoule will help to make your skin fee firm, enhance the smoothness and make pores less visible. A total no-brainer when it comes to achieving glass skin.
|COSRX Full Fit Propolis Light Cream||Huxley Cream Glow Awakening|
Of course, using a moisturizer is a crucial step in every glass skin routine. Are you aiming for luminous, radiant skin, lock in moisture with a light formula with antioxidants and nourishing, caring ingredients like Centella Asiatica, rose extracts, propolis or pearl extracts.
|iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Eye Cream|
Do you want to give some love to your eye area? Choose an eye cream that cares for the skin around your eyes. The iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Eye Cream is rich in sea buckthorn, propolis and a bunch of other antioxidants, to keep your eye area supple, smooth and soft. It's fine to apply the cream to other areas of your skin if you feel like it needs some extra care.
|I'm From Mugwort Sheet Mask||Mizon Joyful Time Snail Essence Mask|
Sheet masks are an effective, efficient way to restore, hydrate and moisturize your skin. They're also a great way to experiment with different essence-type products without having to dedicate to buying a full sized product. Some people aiming for glass skin use several sheet maskers a day (talk about dedication), but perhaps it's more realistic for most of you to use a sheet mask a few times a week.
|Lagom Cellus Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++|
Adequate, daily sun protection is a must in every skin care routine. The damaging effects of UVA and UVB are about the complete opposite of what you want if you're striving for flawless and youthful looking skin.
I want to end this post by addressing the fact that glass skin is a thing that can be achieved by everybody. There is no such thing as 'perfect skin', but a routine focused on hydration, exfoliation and sun protection is suitable for all skin types and skin tones. People with darker skin tones, who tend to be more prone to hyperpigmentation issues, can greatly benefit from a routine like this.
Have you tried some of the products in the routine? What are your thoughts on glass skin? Let us know!
XXX, LW Team