How To Get Natural-Looking Glass Skin
8 minutes read
Data has spoken: most of us covet Korean-like glass skin complexion. A top survey revealed that up to 77% of skincare shoppers place a high value on achieving a natural appearance, smooth texture and healthy glowing skin.
The good thing is there’s no need for fancy tools and treatments to achieve glass skin.
“Glass skin is relatively easy to get if you are consistent with the basics. You don’t need a nine-step skincare regimen,” Celebrity dermatologist, Dr Karan Lal, tells Beauty Daily.
What is glass skin?
“Glass skin is translucent, textureless, poreless, and smooth,” says Dr Lal. But, he adds: “It’s filtered skin but in real life.”
The glass skin trend blew up on Instagram in 2017 thanks to Korean American make-up artist Ellie Choi who posted an immaculate result of her step-by-step skincare routine.
Her complexion? Skin as crystal clear as glass with a covetable sheen like when we drench ourselves with illuminating drops.
It wowed us all, and a hefty majority wanted the taste of it.
Why do Koreans have glass skin?
Glass skin is the ideal visage in Korea. “Asian skin types are known for their luminous, flawless, and translucent complexion,” says Dr Lal.
This reinforces the idea that Koreans celebrate natural-looking, youthful glow instead of Western beauty leaning towards matte, bolder or bronzy hue appeal.
He adds: “I think K-beauty is a very sophisticated form of skincare. It relies on consistency, multiple products, sun protection, and moisturisers, all of which are essential to a good skincare routine.”
Apart from its aesthetic appeal, a healthy glow also signifies one’s overall good health, and that’s a universal desire.
How can I get glass skin naturally?
Glass skin is at its healthiest and most reflective state with just the right amount of dewiness and luminosity. You can naturally achieve glass skin by cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, and protecting.
1. Double cleanse
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the first step to achieving glass skin is to double cleanse.
The first cleanse is dedicated to purging your face of make-up, SPF, excess sebum, and all sorts of dirt. The second cleanse is a follow-up, which provides a deeper clean down into the pores.
Start with your preferred first cleanser: micellar water, cleansing milk or oils.
Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager, swears by Total Cleansing Oil, £24.
She says: “It’s lightweight and not stripping. It dissolves the heaviest, long-wearing, and waterproof make-up and ensures your skin’s microbiota is happy and healthy.”
It saves you from rubbing your skin by giving you a gliding, smoother movement as you massage the oil on your skin. Follow this with a thorough and refreshing second cleanse with a creamy, foaming cleanser tailored to your skin type.
Next, exfoliate. The opposite of glass-smooth skin is dull ‘sandy’ skin. This typically occurs when you don’t get rid of the dry, dead skin cells.
Exfoliating is an essential step in your glass skin routine because when dead skin cells pile up, they prevent your skin from reflecting light and can give your face an ashy look.
Leslie Baumann, MD, dermatologist, and New York Times, best-selling author of The Skin Type Solution, explains: “Dull skin is skin that is not radiant because it doesn’t reflect light and glowing or glass skin happens when light reflects off of a smooth surface.”
So, to get the glass skin of your dreams, Dr Baumann recommends exfoliating.
Exfoliate once or twice a week. This ensures dead skin cells are shed to give way to newer cells, along with providing your hardworking actives and antioxidants with the route to go into the deeper layers of your skin. Also, balance your skin’s pH levels with a toner.
If you want a radiant and glowing complexion all-year-round, use Fresh Scrub, £ 26. This gel-cream exfoliant refines skin texture thanks to the two different-sized natural wood cellulose beads. In addition, the organic leaf of life helps boost skin’s natural hydration process.
However, be wary of over-exfoliating; you need to know your skin and note the reactions to specific techniques, products or gadgets.
An important add-on to your glass skin routine would be an essence. It’s ideal for those who want to drive hydration into the skin.
“Treatment essences are K-beauty innovation. It’s used to boost skin hydration levels. So when choosing a formula, a treatment essence with short and long-chain hyaluronic acid will be ideal because as it sits on the upper levels of the skin and gives you that plump-like, light reflective appearance,” McHale says.
Incorporating hyaluronic-infused Multi-Active Treatment Essence, £37, into your routine is a game-changer. It’s powered with hyaluronic acid complex to intensely hydrate the skin for up to eight hours. In addition, potent anti-ageing plant extracts like red jania, organic teasel, and ginseng preserve your skin’s youthful glow and visibly minimise the look of pores.
Don’t forget your actives and antioxidants such as retinol, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin C.
“Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid are a popular exfoliating ingredient that can be used to treat dull skin. AHAs can be found in masks, creams that are used overnight, or in toners,” Dr Baumann.
Beauty Flash Peel, £38 definitely deserves a spot in your glass skin routine.
This easy-to-use, 10-min leave-on peel is formulated with naturally exfoliating glycolic acid (AHA) and purifying and soothing salicylic acid (BHA) for highly effective yet gentle exfoliation—no rinse needed.
Both work together to remove dead skin cells, purify pores and target unwanted skin imperfections. Use two to three times a week for optimal results.
Dr Lal also strongly recommends using: “Moisturisers that contain ingredients such as snail mucin or hyaluronic acid, which are ultra-hydrating and provide a naturally dewy look over time.”
It’s worth exploring the Hydra Essential Range. It has the organic leaf of life, like hyaluronic acid, as its main ingredient. The moisturisers come in different textures: silky cream, rich cream and cooling gel that accommodates every skin type and is easily absorbed by the skin.
“Using a gentle retinoid or retinol is crucial to achieving poreless and textureless skin,” says Dr Lal.
For people who neither have the time nor inclination to commit to retinol’s strict skincare application, it is recommended to seek retinol alternatives.
It is worth checking out, the Super Restorative Range. The key ingredient of the range is an active plant ingredient called organic harungana. It is proven to work 40% more effectively than the far better-known retinol.
Retinols encourage your skin to turn over faster and generate healthier skin cells. If you want to know the hows and why’s of retinol, read here
“Lastly, vitamin C. Koreans are known for their clear skin and lack of pigmentation. Vitamin C is a great gentle ingredient that helps prevent and treat hyperpigmentation,” says Dr Lal.
Superfood turmeric is rich in vitamin C and is the hero ingredient in Clarins’ cult favourite Double Serum, £60, along with the mighty 21 powerful antioxidants working together to boost the skin’s five vital functions: hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection and regeneration.
Asian skincare starts with shunning the sun. McHale reminds us never to skip SPF: “Make sure you use suncare regularly; pigmentation will retract your skin from that flawless glass skin look”.
Using a board spectrum SPF 50 like the UV PLUS [5P] Anti-Pollution Translucent, £34, is excellent for daily SPF and pollution protection.
If you’re going all in with your glass skin look, you can enhance this with a touch of make-up. However, you must be strategic with your make-up textures and techniques.
Foundation-wise, McHale suggests using a hydrating, dewy, serum-based foundation like the Skin Illusion. “The second it looks like make-up, you’ve lost the impact of glass skin,” she says.
Skin Illusion Foundation, £33, has a bare-skin finish that enhances the complexion. It’s the perfect base for glass skin, giving you a beautiful glow without masking your natural beauty.
“If you want to add additional hydration to the skin, use a non-glittery, dewy highlighter. That’s quite hard to find, but our Universal Primer, £28.50, is good. A lot of highlighters on the market have a shimmer or glitter effect. It’s not a perfect fit for this look because it’s artificial by nature,” McHale says.
Lastly, be strategic in picking the right concealer. For the undereye, McHale recommends using a light-reflective concealer. A light-reflective concealer brightens the shadowy circles under the eyes.
“Using light reflective concealers like Instant Concealer, £23, for under the eyes is ideal.”
However, a light-reflective concealer is not good at concealing spots or camouflaging redness. McHale recommends to switch to a matte concealer.
“Any light reflection on the skin draws attention to imperfections. For spots, you would want to use matte concealer. Make sure you use it sparingly, so the overall effect is still dewy. Use it exactly where you need it with a small brush,” McHale advises.
We all know certain factors affect the state of our skin. Achieving healthy skin requires a 360-degree holistic skincare approach.
Understanding the role of a healthy gut, the impact of nutrition on the skin, managing stress levels, and skincare will. Read next: Adopt A Holistic Approach If You Want Healthier Skin