Everything You Should Know About “Glass Skin”

If you’ve never heard the term “glass skin,” don’t be embarrassed. The idea has only just begun to enter the American beauty scene, having come from Korean skin care products and practices. As k-beauty products continue to pervade American culture, terms and ideals like this star bubbling to the surface of our social media feeds. 

So, what is “glass skin”? It’s an easy term to comprehend. The phrase describes exceptionally smooth, even-toned and lustrous skin so flawless it looks like glass. Remember when everyone was using the terms “honey” and “dewy” to describe faces? It’s the new, hip term for that. Glass skin aims for an intensely moisturized surface that appears to be almost transparent in complexion. Think youthful, glowing, and naturally lit.  

How do I Get Glass Skin? 

Like a lot of k-beauty routines, this one is far from simple. Achieving the sought-after glass-like complexion requires a consistent routine that includes cleanser, toner, serum, an exfoliator, and a moisturizer. Intense, constant hydration is at the core of a glass skin regimen, so you’ll want to opt for watery products with humectants and hyaluronic acid or glycerin. Here’s a brief, step-by-step guide for you to follow. 

  1. Double cleanse. Start with a cleansing oil or micellar water for the first cleanse, then follow up with a foam wash or cream cleanser. 
  2. Exfoliate. Choose between a chemical exfoliator or a physical one, like those with crushed walnut or jojoba beads, but don’t overdo it. Exfoliating two to three times weekly is the sweet spot. 
  3. Tone. Find a k-beauty toner with moisture-enhancing ingredients, like ginseng and floral water. Apply up to seven layers of the toner. 
  4. Use an essence. These less-concentrated types of serums are lightweight and watery, and they’re designed to address pigmentation and redness while delivering a ton of hydration. 
  5. Serum. This concentrated product provides firmness, minimizes pores, and evens out skin ton. Look for one with moisture-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid or vitamin E. 
  6. Moisturize. Look for something with botanical extracts, which can be powerful hydrators.  
  7. Eye cream. The skin covering and surrounding your eyes is among the most delicate on your body. Take care of it by adding an eye cream or serum for added moisture. 
  8. Mask. This is a great way to soothe tired skin and repair damage while locking in and replenishing moisture. 

Repeat this routine each morning and evening. I told you it was intense.  

It’s Not Easy to Achieve 

It’s easy to forget that the images on social media hash-tagged “glass_skin” are often airbrushed or otherwise altered to make the subject appear clearer and cleaner than in real life. There is no shortcut to achieving flawless, ethereal-looking skin. Like most Korean beauty trends, this requires consistency and commitment to the skin care regimen. Plus, adding sleep, a healthy diet, and regular exercise are crucial to improving your skin’s health.  

That said, there is no harm in trying out trends, especially something like this. Sure, it’s probably more intense than you’re used to, but I’m a huge supporter or skin care trends than make us slow down and actually examine our routines and features. If you want to try this, don’t get discouraged after a few weeks. Stick it out and see what happens!