How To Get Glass Skin with a K-Beauty Skincare Routine

By Tara | Updated: 24/06/2024

With over 233m TikTok posts “glass skin” remains one of the most popular trends in the skincare world.

It refers to a clear, poreless, and almost translucent complexion that reflects light like a piece of glass, indicating optimal skin health and hydration

K-beauty ‘skinfluencers’ popularised this approach, which involves extensive, multi-step routines focused on nourishing and hydrating the skin. Korean skincare is known as some of the best in the world with many affordable and effective products becoming cult favourites globally.

To unpack the ‘glass skin trend’ we spoke to the team at Nudie Glow, Australia’s best destination for Korean makeup and skincare to bring you everything you need to know about achieving glass skin.

@minasong___ @innisfreeofficial

In This Article

The K-Beauty Glass Skin Routine

@haruharuwonder_official

With a focus on hydration, a glass skin routine often includes many steps to layer hydration onto the skin. 

These are some of the typical steps involved in a K-beauty skincare routine:

Double Cleansing

Begin with an oil-based cleanser or balm to remove makeup, sunscreen, and excess oil, followed by a water-based cleanser to eliminate remaining impurities and sweat. 

This thorough cleansing method ensures the skin is perfectly clean, allowing subsequent skincare products to absorb better and work more effectively, paving the way for a clear, luminous complexion.

Try:
Heimish All Clean Balm, $28
Heimish All Clean Green Foam, $16

Exfoliation

Incorporate a gentle exfoliator into your routine to slough off dead skin cells and reveal smoother, brighter skin underneath. Opt for exfoliants formulated with gentle acids like PHAs or fruit and plant enzymes to improve skin texture without being too harsh on the skin.

Try:
Beauty of Joseon Apricot Blossom Peeling Gel, $20
Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon, $33

Toning

Toners help to restore the skin’s pH balance after cleansing and prepare it for better absorption of subsequent products. They also provide an additional layer of hydration, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the skincare regimen.

Try:
I’m From Rice Toner, $46
Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner, $40
Laneige Cream Skin Cerapeptide Refiner, $18
Pyunkang Essence Toner, $8

Essences

An essence is between a toner and a serum that boosts the skin’s barrier function and provides another layer of hydration. The COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin is arguably one of the most viral products (maybe ever?!) with a 4.8 average rating and over 100,000 Google reviews.

Try:
Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, $30
Mixsoon Bean Essence, $40

Serums and Ampoules

Serums and ampoules deliver highly concentrated active ingredients to target specific skin concerns, such as brightening, anti-aging, and hydration.

Try:
Goodal Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Care Serum, $49
Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampolue, $31
Beauty of Joseon Glow Deep Serum, $26

Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are typically used weekly to provide an intensive boost of hydration and nourishment to the skin. They are thin fabric sheets soaked in nutrient-rich essences applied to the face for 15-20 minutes, allowing the skin to absorb the beneficial ingredients for a plumping, rejuvenating effect.

Try:
Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack, $4
Torriden Dive-In Low Molecular Hyaluronic Acid Mask, $5

Moisturising

Moisturisers in K-beauty skincare routines are designed to repair the skin barrier, soothe irritation, and provide a plumped-up appearance, catering to various skin types with targeted formulations. 

Try:
Innisfree Cherry Blossom Glow Jelly Cream, $39
I’m From Honey Glow Cream, $53
Missha, Glow Skin Balm, $23

Sun Protection

Like a-beauty, k-beauty understands the importance of protecting your skin. They have developed some of the most hydrating and comfortable sunscreens on the market.

Try:
Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturizing Sunscreen, $30
Beauty Of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics, $26

Guide to Glass Skin in K-Beauty

What is glass skin?

@skincarewithyuri

Achieving glass skin involves a meticulous skincare routine focused on hydration, nourishment, and protection to create a radiant, flawless complexion.

Angelina at Nudie Glow explains to Beauty Space, “Glass skin is a term popularised by the South Korean beauty community to describe skin that is so healthy, smooth, and crystal-clear that it almost looks translucent, like glass!”.

“Over the years, many similar, buzzy skincare terms like ‘Honey Skin,’ ‘Jello Skin,’ or even ‘Dolphin Skin’ have also gone viral, but at their core, they all follow the same premise of seeking glowing, smooth, and healthy skin,” she added.

"Glass skin is a term popularised by the South Korean beauty community to describe skin that is so healthy, smooth, and crystal-clear that it almost looks translucent, like glass!”

Why is glass skin synonymous with K-Beauty?

@sulwhasoo.anz

“Unlike the Western beauty trends which traditionally focused on a matte finish and covering up shine with powders and foundations, Korean beauty practices prioritise enhancing natural radiance”.

Angelina notes that a luminous, youthful complexion is the beauty ideal in Korea: “Korean women prep and prime to enhance that shine, ensuring their skin is always luminous”.

What are the core principles of Korean skincare?

1. Keeping your skin moisturised is key!

“There is a popular phrase called 촉촉 (chok chok) in the Korean language to describe dewy, plump, glass-like skin, and it directly translates to “moist”. After all, giving your skin enough moisture and hydration is one of the worst-kept secrets to achieving your dream glowing skin” she says.

Adding: “The more moisture you have in your skin, the better protected it is from environmental stressors, breakouts or premature signs of ageing, keeping your skin barrier happy and fundamentally, your skin healthy”.

2. Emphasis on skin health

“One of the fundamental principles of Korean skincare is maintaining healthy skin. Rather than focusing solely on covering up imperfections or using strong ingredients to powerfully treat skin concerns, Korean beauty emphasises prevention, protection and maintenance”.

3. Holistic approach to beauty

Angelina explains that Korean beauty principles extend beyond viral TikTok products and multi-step skincare routines: “Koreans would go to great lengths to nurture their skin, from eating a balanced diet packed with antioxidant-rich foods, all the way to using umbrellas to protect their skin from harmful UVA rays”.

Common K-Beauty Skincare Ingredients

Some common ingredients found in K-beauty formulations:

  • Centella Asiatica
  • Birch Juice
  • Ginseng
  • Mugwort
  • Propolis
  • Snail Mucin
  • Rice Water

“Instead of strong active ingredients that are more closely associated with Western beauty brands (think Retinol or exfoliating acids), there is a clear emphasis and preference for natural ingredients when it comes to Korean skincare”.

“Just browse through any Korean skincare aisle and you’ll find plenty of products featuring Centella Asiatica (aka Cica, a herb that’s great at decreasing inflammation or redness), Birch Juice (also referred to as Birch Tree Sap or Birch Tree Water, known for its ability to deeply hydrate and purify skin), or even the famous Snail Mucin (a cult-favourite K-Beauty ingredient that hydrates, soothes and repairs skin)”.

“Korean skincare also frequently draws inspiration from traditional beauty practices that have been passed down through generations. I think brands like Beauty of Joseon and Pyunkang Yul are great representations of this”.

“These brands harness ingredients with roots dating back thousands of years in South Korea, like Ginseng, Mugwort or fermented extracts, combining time-honoured knowledge with modern innovations to create a harmonious blend of old and new”.

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Tara Lusk is the founder and creator of Beauty Space
Tara Lusk is a Sydney-based beauty enthusiast and the founder of Beauty Space. She launched the blog in 2018 to showcase the best beauty and skincare brands emerging from Australia, while also providing insider tips and tricks for hair and skincare. With a focus on tried-and-true products, Tara puts the latest cult products to the test to separate hype from substance.

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