Glass skin, a term that originates from the Korean beauty world, signifies skin that appears almost translucent, like a pane of glass. Think of it as the ultimate dewy, luminous and flawlessly smooth complexion. Every beauty enthusiast craves it, but is it achievable for all skin types? Absolutely! Whether you have oily, dry, acne-prone or ageing skin attaining glass skin is within reach. Here’s your guide to the best skincare routine and glass skin treatments as well as how to tailor these protocols to your specific skin type.
What is Glass Skin?
This a term that refers to skin that appears exceptionally smooth, poreless, translucent and luminous. It’s more than just a dewy or hydrated look, but rather a skin texture and clarity that seems almost ethereal. This sought-after complexion radiates health and youth, suggesting skin that’s well-hydrated, free from noticeable blemishes and lit from within.
Glass skin is a beauty concept that originated from South Korea, a nation renowned for its advanced skincare solutions. It embodies the Korean beauty philosophy; that skin should be nurtured and cared for, not masked or temporarily altered. True beauty is believed to emanate from a foundation of good health, and glass skin is a glowing testament to this.
Can Anyone Really Get Glass Skin?
Contrary to what some may believe, glass skin isn’t the result of a single product or a miraculous overnight treatment. Instead, it’s a reflection of a dedicated skincare regimen and a holistic approach to health. Obtaining glass skin means investing time in actively treating skin problems, nourishing and protecting your skin from external factors. This is combined with maintaining hydration and consuming a balanced diet.
Of course its certainly easier to achieve glass skin if you have young, normal skin that is naturally free of any acne or blemishes. However, this doesn’t mean that people with dull, ageing, hyperpigmented or even acne prone skin can’t benefit from glass skin treatments and achieve optically flawless appearing skin (eventually). It will just take more time, a lot of effort and patience.
The Glass Skin Routine
First and foremost, glass skin is about achieving a healthy, hydrated, and blemish-free complexion. It isn’t about masking imperfections but nurturing the skin to its healthiest state. This is why you need to ensure that you are helping your skin be its best. This means staying well hydrated, eating a healthy diet and exercising. You should also avoid habits that damage the skin like smoking, excess alcohol and sun damage. The best glass skin routine will include a balance of hydrating, treating and protective products. Here are the 10 daily steps you need for glass skin and how to tailor them for each skin type.
Step 1: Cleanse
Start your day by gently cleansing away the natural oils and cellular debris that accumulate on your skin and any remnants of overnight skincare. Use a cleansing jelly or lotion if you have normal, dry or ageing skin. If you have oily, combination or acne-prone skin opt for a hydrating foaming cleanser.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Use an acid exfoliant as a toner to clear away dead cells, built up keratin and sebaceous filaments as well as smooth skin and unclog pores. Use a BHA containing product if you have oily, combination or acne-prone skin. If you have normal, dry or ageing skin, use an AHA product. For sensitive skin look for products with PHA or lactic acid.
Step 3: Treat
Use a serum to hydrate your skin and Vitamin C to brighten and provide anti-oxidant protection regardless of your skin type. In this step you’ll also add any additional products to target specific concerns like dark spots, acne, texture and wrinkles. If you have a problem with hyperpigmentation, add alpha arbutin or kojic acid in this step. If active acne breakouts are a concern, add benzoyl peroxide spot treatment in this step before the serums. For texture, scarring or wrinkles, you can add azelaic acid in this step.
Step 4: Moisturise
Hydrate your skin and lock-in moisture for a dewy complexion. This step also helps protect and maintain your skin barrier. For oily, combination or acne-prone skin, opt for a light moisturising lotion. For large pores, oily or acne-prone skin, look for a product that contains niacinamide. If you have dry or ageing skin, look for a moisturising cream. Follow up with a face oil if you have dry or mature skin.
Step 5: Protect
Use a hydrating sheer broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from sun damage. In general, chemical sunscreen will help protect your kin and avoid the matte and grey/white cast appearance of most physical sunscreens. If you can only use physical sunscreens due to sensitive skin, look for a hydrating lotion.
Step 1: Double Cleanse
This technique is another gift from Korean skincare. Double cleansing is vital to get a pristine canvas and maximise absorption of the rest of your skincare. Start with an oil-based cleanser. This will dissolve makeup, SPF and sebum on the skin’s surface. Regardless of your skin type, this method won’t clog your pores or make your skin feel overly oily. Examples of oil based cleansers include cleansing balms, jellies, oils or milks. Follow with a water-based cleanser. This can be a gel, foam, or cream cleanser depending on your skin type. Its job is to wash away any remaining residue and impurities from the first cleanse.
Step 2: Treat
In this step you should use a retinoid to clear and smooth skin, even out your complexion and treat or prevent skin ageing. Again, if you have specific skin concerns like acne or hyperpigmentation, this is the step to use additional products that actively treat this. For acne, you can use benzoyl peroxide spot treatment if needed before the retinoid. For hyperpigmentation, use a pigment suppressor like arbutin or kojic acid serum after your retinoid.
Step 3: Hydrating serums
Well hydrated skin is key to achieving glass skin. Use a hydrating serum containing humectants like glycerol, hyaluronic or polyglutamic acid.
Step 4: Moisturising Night Cream
A rich night moisturising night cream or leave-on mask will smooth your and seal-in moisture. Look for products containing ceramides to help achieve this. If you have dry or ageing skin, also look for occlusive ingredients like petrolatum to prevent trans-epidermal water loss.
Step 5: Eye Cream
This step is optional but recommended if you have dry skin or fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. It will help plump up and smooth the skin in this area.
Prescription Skincare Products for Glass Skin
If you have specific skin concerns like acne, scarring, hyperpigmentation or ageing skin, then you might need to add more potent prescription skincare products to help tackle these. Prescription retinoids like Tretinoin and Adapalene speed up cell turnover and increase collagen production. This helps smooth the skin, treat acne, reduce scarring and fade dark spots. Tretinoin can also minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plump and firm up the skin as well as reduce skin ageing. If you have severe acne that is resistant to topical treatments, you might need to consider seeing a dermatologist to discuss whether a course of oral Isotretinoin (roaccutane) is an option for you.
For severe hyperpigmentation and scarring, you might also want to consider with Hydroquinone either alone or alongside Tretinoin. Hydroquinone is a powerful prescription-only pigment suppressor that can help treat moderate to severe hyperpigmentation and melasma. It can also be used in combination with Tretinoin to treat acne scars.
Professional Skin Treatments for Glass Skin
Professional glass skin treatments can help speed up or enhance your results. This is especially the case if you have an existing skin concern. Luckily, there are various aesthetic glass skin treatments that will help augment and accelerate your journey to glass skin.
Chemical peels and laser skin treatments offer deep exfoliation to reveal a fresh layer of skin underneath. These treatments are is great if you have active acne, texture, scarring, wrinkles or uneven skin tone. Microneedling and injectable skin boosters like Profhilo are also a fantastic option if you have problems with skin texture or wrinkles. These treatments increase collagen and elastin production by your skin to give smoother, plumper and tighter skin.
Glass skin is more than just a fleeting beauty trend. If done correctly it’s a celebration of one’s commitment to skincare and a testament to the beauty of healthy skin. Whilst it might seem daunting to achieve, with the right skincare products, glass skin treatments and commitment; glass skin can be within anyone’s reach. just remember that this is a journey and everyone’s skin will respond differently. Don’t be disheartened if it takes time and don’t be afraid of consulting with a skin professional if you need help with underlying skin problems.
At City Skin clinic, we are passionate about personalised skincare. Our virtual skin clinic offers safe and effective products like Tretinoin and Hydroquinone to treat skin conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma and skin ageing. Book a virtual consultation with one of our doctors today. The journey towards great skin starts here.