Home Beauty The K-Beauty Guide to Getting “Glass Skin”

The K-Beauty Guide to Getting “Glass Skin”


The K-beauty world has always had a flair for unique terms to describe their coveted complexions. First, there was chok chok, which literally translates to “moist” or “damp” and denotes a juicy, dew-saturated glow. Then, kkul-gwang, a moniker for a hyper-glossy (kkul means honey) finish on the face. And now, there’s “glass skin.” “It’s when your skin is so healthy, even-toned, and plumped with hydration that it’s almost translucent, like a shard of glass,” explains Christine Chang, cofounder of Korean beauty boutique Glow Recipe. Last month, the term rose to popularity on the Internet after Los Angeles–based makeup artist Ellie Choi’s glassy-visaged selfie went viral on Instagram. Since then, skin-care obsessives have been vying for the techniques and products that yield the preternaturally luminous glow. But as one can imagine, given the average Korean woman’s relentless dedication to her beauty regimen, it doesn’t come easy.

After double cleansing—a non-negotiable step in the K-beauty sphere—Chang suggests employing the “7 Skin Method,” which consists of patting seven layers of a gentle hydrating toner, like ID.AZ’s Dermastic Essential Toner, onto the face in succession. Then, she recommends massaging a deeply nourishing moisturizer, such as Make P:rem’s Cicapro Cream (its star ingredient, “cica,” is an herb that tigers will roll over in the wild to heal wounds) into the face for soothing hydration. You can monitor your skin’s moisture level throughout the day by using Wayskin’s Skin Analyzer, a donut-shaped device that measures hydration levels and pairs with mobile devices via Bluetooth to showcase the data.

Smooth skin texture and clarity are essential for a glassy complexion, so regular exfoliation is also key, says Chang. She recommends doing so with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which “unglue” dead skin cells and refine pores without irritation, as opposed to more aggressive physical exfoliants you’ll find in facial scrubs. Glow Recipe’s own Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask not only contains AHAs but also deposits amino acid–rich watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid into the skin to replenish it overnight.

And while a flawless bare canvas is at the heart of the trend, strobing with a light-reflecting, hydration-boosting serum—a technique employed by Korean celebrity makeup artists Son Dae Sik and Park Tae Yun—such as LJH’s Vita Propolis Ampoule can take the glassy effect to the next level. The overarching takeaway? When it comes to looking lit from within, there’s no such thing as too much moisture.

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