Looking to get that flawless glass skin look? In this post, I’ll walk you through each step of a Korean Glass Skin Routine that can help you achieve it. Make sure to take advantage of the YesStyle Mega Sale event (July 2nd to 9th), offering up to 50% OFF on many products! The reward code KBEAUTYNOTES gets you some extra discount on your entire order. This way, you’ll get beautiful, glowy skin while saving money! Double-win!

What is Glass skin?

Glass skin, or Korean glass skin, describes a clear, pore-less, evenly-toned, and intensely hydrated complexion — resembling a piece of glass. This K-beauty trend has gained so much popularity over the past few years and is here to stay.

You might be thinking, ‘Isn’t this like perfect skin? How attainable can it be?’ While it’s true that some people are simply blessed genetically with better skin than others, we can still see huge improvements in our own skin using the right skincare products and application techniques.

How To Achieve Korean Glass Skin?

Since there are multiple factors we need to address at once, like skin smoothness, unevenness, and moisture levels, it’s important to follow the necessary steps in order to address them all in a single routine. By layering the appropriate products in the correct order, you can effectively tackle these issues and achieve that coveted Korean glass skin. However, the results cannot be seen overnight, so as always with skincare, consistency and patience is key.

What Type of Products Do I Need?

  • Oil Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Essence
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer
  • Wash-off mask
  • Sunscreen

Korean Glass Skin Routine: Step-by-Step

Here are all the products you need, along with the layering steps:

Step 1: Use an Oil Cleanser

When aiming for glass skin, the first crucial step is addressing skin texture, and a key method to achieve this is through effective cleansing. Specifically, oil cleansing plays a crucial role as it excels in dissolving hardened sebum, removing impurities, and exfoliating dead skin cells. There is a misconception that you need to use strong exfoliants to improve skin texture, but a cleansing oil effectively serves this purpose as a gentle first step. It’s perfect for maintaining a healthy barrier and ideal for sensitive skin types that may not tolerate stronger exfoliants.

Product Recommendation:

Korean Glass Skin - Skin1004 Cleansing Oil

The reason I like this cleansing oil is because of its lightweight consistency and effortless application. It takes everything off the skin with ease, cleaning the pores and leaving the complexion smooth and refreshed.

The oil is massaged directly onto dry skin for 30 seconds to 1 minute. As you massage, it breaks down hardened sebum and dead skin. Next, gradually add water to emulsify the oil, transforming it into a milky texture. Finally, rinse thoroughly.

Depending on your skin type and preference, you may choose to follow with a gel or foam cleanser for an additional cleanse, but it’s not mandatory.

This method not only effectively cleanses the skin but also sets a solid foundation for achieving the coveted Korean glass skin look, ensuring your skin is clean, smooth, and ready to absorb subsequent skincare products.

Step 2: Exfoliating Toner Pads

After effectively cleansing with an oil-based cleanser, the next step in achieving glass skin is toning. But why toner pads? It’s simple: they offer multitasking benefits.

Product Recommendation:

Torriden Balanceful Cica Toner Pad

These particular toner pads from Torriden offer three key benefits. First, they are exfoliating, featuring two gentle exfoliants and providing extra exfoliation from the wiping motion—just remember to be gentle. Second, they provide essential hydration to the skin. Third, they have a calming effect, making them suitable for sensitive skin types.

The formula is infused with Centella Asiatica and Panthenol, while leaving out potential irritants like alcohol and fragrance.

To use, gently wipe the skin after cleansing or leave the pads on like a mask for 5 minutes before wiping. Toner pads are super convenient and easy to use, so they are ideal ideal for both at-home and on-the-go skincare routines.

Step 3: Hydrating Essence

Once your skin is prepped, the next step is incorporating an essence. Essence plays an important role in providing deep hydration, ensuring the skin appears plump, healthy, and youthful. I understand that some still question the necessity of products like essences and toners in a skincare routine. However, those who have incorporated them can attest to the noticeable differences they make in terms of hydration and skin luminosity.

Product Recommendation:

Mixsoon Bean Essence

Some ingredients that are known for their remarkable benefits in hydration and maintaining skin barrier health are fermented ingredients. The Mixsoon Bean Essence, for instance, uses fermented soybean extract, which is rich in antioxidants essential for skin health.

It has a slimy texture similar to snail mucin, yet it’s also vegan, allowing a broader audience to enjoy its benefits. The formula is also free of potential irritants.

After toning, apply a moderate amount. Be careful not to apply too much as it may prevent subsequent skincare products from absorbing effectively. I’m saying this because I personally like to go heavy-handed with essences. I just love how glowy they make my skin look.

Step 4: Brightening Serum for Dark Spots

A crucial aspect to address in achieving Korean glass skin is uneven complexion, which can result from factors like sun spots, acne, and discoloration. And this is where a high-concentration product like a serum comes into play. Serums typically contain active ingredients in higher concentrations than other skincare products, making them highly effective in addressing specific concerns.

Product Recommendation:

Korean Glass Skin - Brightening Serum for Dark Spots

I like the TIA’M Vita B3 Source serum for addressing uneven skin. It is formulated with two great ingredients that combat pigmentation: Niacinamide (10%) and Arbutin (2%). These two not only tackle dark spots but also help prevent breakouts. I appreciate that both are included in the formula, making it more potent by working synergistically. Despite its effectiveness, it remains a gentle formula, and you’ll see results with consistent use.

To use, apply a couple of drops to the entire face after applying the essence. Reapply to areas of concern and tap until it fully sets. If you find that the serum works better in terms of cosmetic elegance when applied under the essence, you can certainly change the order of application.

Step 5. Antioxidant-rich Moisturizer

The next step in achieving that beautiful Korean glass skin effect is moisturizer. Moisturizer is essential for locking in all the hydration and providing extra nourishment due to its emollient properties. It also tends to fill in the fine lines and wrinkles, creating a smoother appearance of the skin. Moisturizer is recommended for both morning and night routines, but I personally prefer to replace it in the morning with a hydrating sunscreen.

Product Recommendation:

Mary&May - Idebenone Blackberry Intense Cream

A cream that feels luxurious with a silky gel-cream consistency. It’s enriched with 63% Blackberry Complex and 500 ppm of Idebenone, an ingredient not widely found in K-beauty, to fight free radicals, soften fine lines, and brighten the skin. It is especially suitable for combination, dehydrated, and sensitive skin types.

Apply a moderate amount, ensuring you don’t forget the neck area. I recommend using this cream as the last step of your nighttime skincare routine. You can also use it in the morning if your skin leans towards the drier side and really needs the extra hydration. Wait for it to fully set before applying your sunscreen.

Step 6. Wash-off Mask

Why use a wash-off mask for glass skin? Well, deeply cleansing the skin once a week can give you extra smooth skin, clean pores better from blemish-causing sebum, and leave you with clearer skin in general. This isn’t necessarily a step in the daily routine, but rather a treatment to incorporate weekly or biweekly as needed.

Product Recommendation:

SKINFOOD - Egg White Pore Mask (120g)

This face mask from SKINFOOD is a best-seller for good reason. It’s actually a Bentonite and Kaolin mask, which is ideal for oilier skin types to remove all the gunk and keep the skin blemish-free or help heal existing blemishes faster.

In addition to the clay, it also contains AHAs, providing some exfoliation. On days you’re using the mask, you can skip the exfoliating toner pads. In terms of the amount you need to use, a little goes a long way with this mask. Apply it after cleansing and leave it on for 10–15 minutes before rinsing.

Step 7. Finish off with Sunscreen

Last but not least, it’s sunscreen. Sunscreen is a crucial step in any skincare routine, as it helps keep the skin in its best state for longer while preventing skin cancer. In addition to preventing discoloration and sun spots for that smooth, even glass skin look, its texture can also give you some extra radiance.

I love a good lotion-type Korean sunscreen for everyday use all year round. It gives the skin a beautiful, silky smooth finish with a satin-like look without the added greasiness or heavy feel.

Product Recommendation:

MISSHA - All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun for glass skin

This sunscreen from Missha, despite its reformulation, continues to be a favorite among K-beauty lovers. As an organic (chemical) sunscreen, it’s suitable for deeper skin tones too, so you don’t need to worry about that dreaded white cast. It leaves the most beautiful finish because it comes in lotion form. It also sits beautifully under makeup and lets the glow come through. I like this because it makes makeup look more natural without turning cakey.

The bottom line

Glass skin is essentially skin at its healthiest, achievable for everyone, even those with oily skin and acne prone skin. The key to combatting excessive oiliness, inflammation, and dullness lies in ensuring adequate inner skin hydration.

Incorporating these products for glass skin can help you achieve the desired results. You can make small adjustments to your routine to suit your skin’s needs, such as skipping face creams in the summer if you have oily skin. And remember, your diet and sleeping habits also play a role in improving your skin’s appearance, so don’t overlook these aspects if you want healthy skin.

Did you find the Korean Glass Skin Routine helpful? If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a comment!

Also Read: The Best Korean Sunscreen and Sunscreen Stick for 2024

*Sponsored – by YesStyle, but opinions remain my own.
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