how to get glass skin

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Much like the ever-evolving trends in fashion and design, the beauty and skincare worlds have also seen fluctuations in what’s considered the “ideal” look. My middle school era was defined by completely matte, oil-free faces, but those times are long behind us. The emergence of brands like Glossier promoted dewy and moist-looking skin, and the mega-highlighter makeup trend had everyone glowing from the tip of their nose to the top of their cheekbones. But if I had to call out a specific skincare and makeup movement that’s grabbed the attention of modern-day audiences, it would definitely be the glass skin trend.

What is glass skin?

This Korean skincare trend aims to achieve a poreless, luminous, and clear skin — almost like a reflective piece of glass, as the name implies. Your first instinct after hearing this might be to say “ok but aren’t some people just lucky enough to be born with beautiful skin? Is this even a realistic goal?” And I’ll admit, that was my first thought as well; but even as someone who struggles with large pores and oily skin, I’m pleased to say that following this routine has significantly improved the appearance and texture of my skin, with or without makeup. Don’t let preconceived notions of skincare stop you from trying it for yourself!

How to get glass skin

The path toward glass skin is twofold: adjusting your everyday makeup and skincare routines. While the makeup steps are obviously optional, they ensure that the flawless skin you get from your skincare routine is maintained. Here are the tips and tricks I recommend that you try.

Your glass skin skincare routine

First, it’s time for a skin detox. My main goal with these skincare steps is to leave you with poreless, clear, and (most importantly) healthy-looking skin.

  • Double cleanse
  • I’ve become a loyalist to the art of the double cleanse: start by using something like micellar water to remove the surface level of dirt, grime and makeup from your skin, and then follow up with a gentle cleansing cream. This dual process of washing your face ensures a thorough, refreshing clean, and a great starting point toward the glass skin of your dreams.


  • Exfoliate
  • Two or three times a week, add an exfoliant into your skincare routine — especially for those of us with oilier skin, weekly exfoliation lets you scrub through dead skin cells for a brighter, smoother complexion.

  • Tone
  • Now that your skin has been properly cleansed, it’s time to use a hydrating toner. Toner helps to wipe away any residual dirt, oil, or dead skin cells, improving the texture of your skin.

  • Hydrate with serums
  • The next step in a glass skin beauty routine is to ensure moisture is locked into your skin. A hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid works with your moisturizer to keep your skin at the optimal level of hydration — additionally, this concentrate is also great to help treat fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of dehydration in your skin. To learn more about what it can do for your skin, be sure to read our blog post on how to use hyaluronic acid and its benefits

  • Moisturize
  • Illuminated, glowing skin needs the right moisturizer to keep it hydrated and happy. Look for one that’s lightweight and wearable, to ensure that you’re moisturizing without adding any unwanted grease to your skin.

  • Apply an eye cream
  • Different areas of your face need targeted care — if you’re noticing that your under-eye area is looking dry or patchy, apply nourishing eye cream as the final step of your glass skin beauty routine.


    Your glass skin makeup routine

    So now your skin should be prepped, primed, and cared for well enough that you won’t need to wear makeup; but if you’re interested, this complimentary glass skin K-beauty makeup routine ensures that all of your hard work won’t go to waste. Instead, your skin will look luminous, smooth, and beautiful.

  • Prime
  • The right primer will keep your skin looking dewy and fresh, minus the annoyance of feeling your foundation slip and slide all over your face. 

  • Apply foundation
    Foundation is a personal choice, depending on how much coverage you feel you need for your skin type and texture. I’m personally a big fan of The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation — it’s lightweight with even coverage and leaves my skin looking fresh and dewy. Regardless of what you pick, avoid anything with a matte finish as a general rule — this will be counterproductive to all of the glow work we’ve put in so far!
  • Highlight
  • Finally, we’re adding an extra illuminating glow to your skin. If it works well with your foundation, you can try mixing in a liquid highlighter to save yourself an additional step. But if you’re dusting highlighter on after foundation, the key is to focus on correct placement: focus on the high points of your face, like the tops of your cheekbones, the peak of your brow bone, and bridge of your nose. 

    Additional ways to get glass skin

    You know the old cliche — beauty starts from the inside out. Make sure you have the strongest inner foundation to achieve glass skin by following these lifestyle tips:

    • Stay hydrated: you can apply all of the moisturizers and hydrating serums you want, but nothing makes your skin look dull and dry more than forgetting to drink water during the day.
    • Get enough sleep: another way to help your skin look its best is by making sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. Those eight hours of rest will help you start your day with skin that looks vibrant (and has way less under-eye baggage).
    • Combat stress: there is a strong correlation between stress and skin. The release of stress hormones can lead to unwanted side effects over time, such as increased oil production, inflammation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Try to practice stress-relieving activities to keep your skin in the best condition possible.
    • Remove your makeup before bed: this is a good practice in general, but especially when you’re trying to minimize your pores and achieve clear, smooth skin. Make sure that your bedtime routine always involves removing your makeup (and then double cleansing, if possible).
    • Eat a healthy diet: you are what you eat! There’s no set diet that will guarantee you get flawless skin, but there are some foods that are good to avoid eating too often. Things like greasy fried foods increase the chance of giving you oily skin, which often leads to breakouts from congestion. And on the path toward glass skin, you want to start with the clearest skin foundation possible.


    So while initially, the idea of glass skin might have seemed unrealistic, achieving this look really relies on adjusting your skincare and makeup routine. Make sure you’re cleansing and exfoliating your skin, keeping it hydrated, and looking for makeup products that help to smooth and illuminate your facial features. And in everyday life, try to drink enough water, keep yourself well-rested, and eat well to fuel yourself from the inside out. This Korean skincare technique is one beauty trend that I hope to see continued for a very long time — so less of a trend, and more of a new, very glowy way of taking care of ourselves.

    By Lauren Hannel, staff contributor

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