You may have heard of the “glass skin” trend but have been unsure what it means. Before you break out your mom’s Baccarat collection, find out what glass skin means. There is no actual glass used in the creation of “glass skin.” Its namesake has everything to do with the glassy, luminous finish your complexion takes on after following a sophisticated skincare routine, that originated in K-Beauty. “Glass skin describes smooth, even-toned, luminous skin,” explains Philadelphia-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele J. Farber.
How best to achieve “glass skin”?
K beauty fanatics are well aware that a complete skincare routine could mean following more than a dozen steps. In this case, it takes 10 steps to achieve glass skin. “The approach to glass skin is a routine with a gentle cleanser, regular exfoliation, and hydrating serums and moisturizers,” explains Dr. Farber. In other words, the glass skin look is not about faking it with makeup and highlighters, but about taking the time and effort that goes into a complete and well executed skincare regimen. “A healthy, balanced lifestyle with adequate sleep, healthy diet, and exercise, is also encouraged as part of maintaining glass skin,” says Dr. Farber.
The skincare steps for glass skin
Lucky for you, we are going to break down the exact steps you need, along with specific skincare product recommendations to get glass skin. “Regimens for achieving glass skin recommend serums with hyaluronic acid, peptides, antioxidants, and fatty acids to hydrate and protect the skin,” says Dr. Farber. “Collagen supporting peptides and potent hydrating nutrients reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while brightening age spots.” Here are the steps to follow for that coveted “glass skin” complexion.
Step 1: Double-Cleanse
A proper cleanse is the first step in getting “glass skin.” Removing makeup is essential in clearing a path for active ingredients in your products to do their thing. With clean, dry hands, apply a small amount of Makeup Melt balm to your hand and warm between your fingers. Once you feel it starting to melt, apply to your dry face, and begin to gently massage in circular motions all over your face. If you have eye makeup on, lightly massage the eye area until the makeup starts to break down. Then gently remove with warm, damp cloth. Next, Apply Cleansing Gel all over dry face and neck and massage for one to two minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Step 2: Exfoliate
A daily exfoliation practice helps to remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, healthier skin below. Use the 5x power peel directly after cleansing. These gentle exfoliating pads contain glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid as well as soothing aloe and chamomile to help fight irritation. Start with this step three times a week and gradually build up from there. If your skin is showing sensitivity, stick to the exfoliating step three times a week.
Step 3: Apply an Essence
Beauty novices may not be familiar with the term “essence,” but it is a necessary step in the pursuit of glass skin. An essence, which works as a primer for your serums and moisturizers--helps drive hydration into the skin, hence creating a “glassy” luminous look. Spray Optimist, a unique blend of antioxidant rich seaweed complex and patented barrier repair solution onto skin directly after exfoliating. This will help optimize water retention and increases circulation within the epidermis. Your skin will get an instant dewy glow.
Step 4: Toner
Forget that old notion of a toner that dries out the skin. The idea of a toner in the glass skin skincare routine and in general is to help restore the skin’s PH balance and help increase absorption of highly active skincare products. Apply Pre-Treatment Toner using a cotton ball onto the skin. This toner helps to hydrate and brighten aging skin with antioxidants, wrinkle-fighting peptides and a blend of vitamin C and bearberry that delivers glowing, healthy skin. With every application it removes excess residue and pollutants without stripping the skin of the natural moisture it loves.
Step 5: Serum
Serums absorb quickly into the skin and pack a powerful punch in terms of delivering active ingredients. Apply HydroStem Serum, which contains rejuvenating peptides and plant extracts that guard against UV and pollution damage. The antioxidant-rich botanical stem cells nourish skin cells and enhance skin vibrancy and luminosity to create more radiant, visibly firmed skin.
Step 6: Moisturize
A crucial step in this routine is moisturizing. After your serum, apply Face Lift, an ultra-light moisturizer that reinforces skin's defenses while protecting against environmental stressors. Its super-light formula is perfect for layering, which the glass skin regimen is all about.
Step 7: Eye cream
You may question the need for an eye cream, but it as an essential step in fighting fine lines and wrinkles. Obtaining glass skin means no visible lines on the skin! Lightly apply Eye Authority, a crushed pearl powder, peptides, and plankton blend that instantly brightens the eye area and clinically reduce the look of expression lines, wrinkles, and puffiness.
Step 8: Face Oil
It is recommended to add a facial oil into moisturizer or use this to seal in the entire regimen. “While oils may work in sensitive skin, be careful using these in acneic skin and choose non-comedogenic oils,” advises Dr. Farber. Use a gentle sweeping and patting motion to apply Moisture Reset, a nutrient-rich, fast-absorbing facial oil, into the skin.
Step 9: Apply Sunscreen
Lastly, a lightweight sunscreen is the most important final step for protecting the skin. Apply Solar Defense mineral sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 50 onto skin as a final step. Sunscreen should be applied every single day, even if it is cloudy outside. If you are not protecting your skin from UV damage, you are undoing all of these other steps.
Step 10: Face Mask
This step can be done in the evening or before your sunscreen if you do it at night. Polypeptide Collagel Mask is a no-mess mask that activates a radiant, youthful complexion.
How hydration plays a role in the glass skin look
Keep in mind that one of the keys to getting glass skin is hydration. Why is hydration so important to skin overall? “Hydration is important because this protects the skin barrier and helps to keep it intact,” explains Dr. Farber. “A disrupted skin barrier will make the skin look rough and irritated, and also require stopping certain active ingredients to give the skin time to heal.”
What is the most important step in obtaining glass skin?
The most important part of a skin routine for "glass skin" is moisturizer and hydrating ingredients. Maintaining the skin barrier is the key for dewy, luminous skin.