What is ‘Glass Skin’?
As a Korean skincare enthusiast, you may have recently heard the term ‘Glass Skin’. The clear, translucent, even and smooth properties of glass are a reflection of skin goals. To achieve glass skin is to achieve a complexion so clear that it resembles a sheet of glass. It is the ideal skin state, one of dewiness, clarity, evenness and youth.
How to achieve Glass Skin
A key attribute of glass skin is excellent hydration and moisturisation in order to give skin a plump and dewy glow. The Korean skincare routine utilises multiple layers that contribute such properties including toner, essence, sheet masks and serums. Clarity is another objective. Products that will fight and help prevent skin imperfections like acne and inflammation are important inclusions to overcome uneven tone, redness and blemishes.
Implementing the right routine
Clean your face properly
Clean skin is an imperative start to the routine, helping to rid the surface of dirt, excess sebum, makeup, sunscreen and general impurities to allow better penetration of the layers that follow.
Double cleansing is central to a Korean skincare routine. Try using an oil based first cleanser followed by a gentle second step foam or cream cleanser to achieve this. Excellent choices include the Beauty of Joseon Cleansing Balm followed by the Benton Honest Cleansing Foam.
Exfoliate dead skin cells
Choose between a scrub, peel or acid to slough away dead cells that can clog skin pores but make sure you only perform this step a few times a week so as not to overdo it, particularly if you are new to exfoliation or have sensitive or compromised skin. The Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner is a gentle acid toner that makes a great introduction to chemical exfoliation.
Toner, the first hit of hydration
The first layer of hydration is an important one. Korean toners focus on providing a pH balanced canvas upon which the rest of the routine is better accepted as well as delivering a solid initial hit of hydration. Popular, proven choices are JUMISO Helloskin Yes I Am Toner AHA 5% and the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner.
Both make ideal candidates for the 7 Skin Method, the process that involves layering up to seven (less is often sufficient) consecutive layers of toner to achieve plumpness through abundant hydration. This is especially beneficial for those with dry skin.
Essence, the classic Korean step
Essence sits between toner and serum in Korean skincare. It is generally more concentrated than toner in delivering dedicated benefits and less potent than a serum or ampoule. Try the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence with bee venom and 90% snail secretion filtrate to help repair acne scars and even skin tone. Alternatively, you can deliver essence in the form of a sheet mask for extra soothing and luxury. A great option is the Dr. Jart+ Soothing Hydra Solution mask that hydrates, soothes and calms sensitive, irritated and dehydrated skin with ingredients like aloe vera.
Serums and Ampoules for targeted treatments
Formulated to address particular skin concerns such as ageing, hydration, calming, texture and tone enhancement, serums and ampoules are highly concentrated treatments that help to nourish, calm and rejuvenate skin. For instance, the Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Serum is designed to reinforce the moisture barrier and provide intense moisture.
Lock it in with cream
Moisturisers are a nourishing last step, Korean ones are often formulated with botanical extracts for antioxidant strength and anti-inflammatory benefit. Ingredients such as centella asiatica and azulene are sometimes included for their calming and healing ability, a logical choice for treating blemish prone or uneven skin. Similarly, eye products can help eliminate flakiness, dark circles and puffiness.
The BEAUTY OF JOSEON Dynasty Cream is as luxurious and pampering as it sounds. It’s enriched with nourishing hanbang (traditional Korean herbal medicine) ingredients like ginseng and orchid extract to moisturise, brighten and tighten the skin. The formula also helps strengthen the moisture barrier so skin stays hydrated for longer.
The unique, slightly tacky texture absorbs quickly and leaves the skin with a dewy, bouncy finish.
For something a little different, try the Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel eye patches which are packed with vitamins and minerals to help detoxify skin and intensely hydrate the face, particularly useful for the sensitive areas around the eyes.
Add a little bit extra
Include a wash off or sleeping mask every now and then to boost your regular routine’s hydration goals. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen every day and nurture it by applying your skincare logically. If your skin is irritated, don’t exfoliate even if your schedule indicates you are due. Instead, substitute acids with more soothing products. Add that sheet mask, layer that soothing serum or snail essence… Learning to read your skin needs is vital when striving for and achieving better skin.
What to expect
Glass skin is skin perfection, a standard set higher than most of us can possibly achieve. However, with the help of dedicated products such as the excellent hydrating products and treatments discussed, we can certainly reduce imperfections and enhance natural skin radiance. Build your Korean skincare routine slowly and be patient. Don’t introduce a bunch of products at once as it’s then impossible to gauge which is working for your skin.
Furthermore, striving towards a flawless look takes time and consistency. Great skin needs commitment and perseverance. Products alone are not enough to achieve and retain better skin health either. Factors such as lifestyle, sleep, genetics, water intake and a good diet are reflected in our complexion.
The Take Away
It’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different and will respond in its own way to skincare products. Set yourself achievable goals and make it a personal challenge to improve your skin to a state that makes you happy.
More blog posts with skincare tips can be found below
All you need to know about Acne can be found here.
The importance of incorporating double cleansing into your skincare routine can be found here.
A review of the Neogen Green Tea Cleansing Stick can be found here.
An in-depth post detailing all 10 steps of the Korean skincare routine can be found here.