Korean beauty or “K-beauty” trends like the glass skin beauty routine have been slowly taking over social media, internet, and cosmetics companies over the past few years since its explosive popularity. Especially here in North America, where the makeup and cosmetic trend for years was for skin to appear as matte as possible.

Ladies, I know you remember this – I used to carry around a mandatory compact and powder for my T-zone. The days I forgot my compact, I was mortified and would be eyeing for tissues to dab my nose with. Considering all this, it’s been quite a shift in aesthetic for women to now want that youthful, fresh “dewy” glow.

But, what does “dewy” even mean?!

What is Glass Skin?

Ellie Choi Korean Glass Skin

Glass skin model











For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, let me break down the trademarks of this trend:

  • Flawless complexion
  • Bright, radiant glow
  • Fresh and dewy like a flower petal in the morning light
  • Virtually poreless skin that looks transparent – like glass

AKA the skin of our dreams. The skin we were born with. The skin we can work towards again.

The skin we DESERVE!! And, not only that, but the confidence and happiness that comes with a clear complexion.

Glass Skin is #trending

Everyone is after that glass skin.

On the heels of the “no makeup makeup face”, the #nofilter trend, and the #wokeuplikethis selfie trend came the necessity of focusing on improving the health of the skin rather than covering up with makeup. Makeup looks and products have also evolved to highlight a glowy dew, overtaking the past trend of a matte face.

Celebrities, makeup artists, IG influencers, your aunt, and your cousin twice removed – everyone wants that flawless complexion. Scrolling through Instagram, you very often see makeup artists use highlighters to make the natural dew pop even more, and layer after layer adding more moisturizing and shine-adding products.

A few makeup artists of note that I’m loving right now who feature a glowy makeup look are:

  • Charlotte Tilbury (her looks notably glowing up the Victoria Secret runway) Charlotte Tilbury Makeup
  • Patrick Ta – celebrity makeup artist (glowing up celebrities like Shay Mitchell, Gigi & Bella Hadid, TV Show Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart, and Candace Swanepoel, to name a few)Patrick Ta makeup
  • Nam Vo – the “Dewy Dumpling” Queen (whose primary goal is to get that glow poppin’, like on a dumplling, as she likes to say) Vo-Nam-Dewy-Dumpling

Having listed these makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury and Patrick Ta both have their own makeup lines that offer products that cheat that dewy glow.

Our main goal here is to help you achieve the glow from within, and introduce you to makeup products that can enhance your own inner glow.

Truth is, Koreans had this on lockdown for many many more years before we found out about this in North America more recently, so there are inifinite products and cosmetics lines (now Korean and otherwise) that boast its glass skin results. It’s important to do plenty of research, read reviews from people who have a similar skin type so you can see what worked and did not work for those people.

Research, awareness, and knowledge about your skin type is KEY when delving into choosing which products you want to try and commit to.

But First, Your Skin Type

With so many different products pulling you in every direction, it may seem impossible to really know which products, which cosmetics line, which skincare regimen to follow? What actually works?! How much of it is marketing and how much of it is truth?

Of course, a lot has to do with what works best for your OWN skin, everyone’s skin is not the same and we have to try different products to find what works best. You will find when shopping that cosmeticians and e-stores will ask that you identify your skin type and your skin’s needs.

When I started my journey to Glass Skin-dom, I had ZERO idea what kind of skin I had and what my skin needed to become like “glass”. Luckily, there’s a lot of resources online that’s freely available to us. Not all of it is helpful, however, which is why I have sifted through most of what is not as helpful and concluded that the below skin test is best.

With a LOT of experimentation and with the help of the below link, we can figure out the type of skin we have and what you need for glass skin.


Skin type quiz

I’ve always thought I had oily skin and in my teens, I used to wash my face CONSTANTLY at any indication of natural shine on my face. For years, I stripped my face of its natural oils and hardly put lotion on afterwards unless under the vigil of my mother (a selective and rare occurence). When I wasn’t at home and didn’t have the means of washing my face, I had my trusty powder and compact to keep my face from shining.

Little did I know, I was lucky that my skin was on the very dry side (pores virtually non existent) and the only thing I achieved with my insane OCD face washing was to push my face to create oil faster to restore what I had stripped away. BIG MISTAKE.

In addition to the hormonal fluctuations of puberty and the combination of washing my face so much, my skin became a patchy oil slick – YAY. Oily and congested pores in certain areas prone to breakouts, drier on other patches – YAY.

As I cried myself to sleep, I realized I should’ve listened to my mother. Girls – listen to your moms, they do know what they are talking about. Use lotion, drink water, eat well, take care of your skin!

Establishing a Glass Skin Routine

Here’s the basics of the Korean Glass Skin routine.

  1. Double Cleanse. At the end of the day, your face has collected all kinds of dust, oil, and grime. From winds, your hands, other people’s hands, off of your clothes…Everywhere. Before applying the rest of your skin regimen, you MUST have a clean canvas. In order to achieve this, you MUST double cleanse. Usually the first cleanse is a cleansing oil or other cleansing solution like a micellar water with a cotton pad. The second cleanse is often a more robust step with a foaming cleanser.
  2. Exfoliate. As much as outside dirt and grime can clog the pores, so can your dead skin cells. Exfoliating your face regularly (a few times a week is usually sufficient) can reveal a smooth layer of new skin. Of course, we can’t overdo it – you don’t want to exfoliate your face raw and sensitive by going overboard.
  3. Toner. Specifically, Korean toners which not only restore the pH balance on your face, also promote a base foundation of hydration. This is essential, in my opinion. Whether or not your skin is dry or oily, hydration is key to a healthier skin.
  4. Essence. The key concept here is, hydration, hydration, hydration. Every product you add from this point promotes hydration. It isn’t often adding oil in the Korean skin regime that aids in achieving glass skin. It’s restoring hydration with essences and serums. Essences are usually lightweight solutions that apply and absorb much like water and don’t sit heavily on your skin.
  5. Serum/ampoule. Serums that promote more hydration, and virtually any serum with hyaluronic acid can be used here. Serums and ampoules often contain more active ingredients that promote not only hydration but also collagen in your skin and helps to achieve an even complexion.
  6. Moisturizer. Nothing too heavy here, something more lightweight that helps to restore moisture and lock in everything you’ve applied up to this point is ideal here.

Often, there are additional steps here such as eye cream, lip masks, and additional face masks. These are totally optional, depending on what you’d like to commit to as this is a daily regime (morning and night), and it also depends on time and budget. You can also add to this some products you may already be using that you know works well (such as a moisturizer), as long as you are following these Korean skincare routine steps detailed here.

Let’s Get That Glow

Now, I know… I KNOW that you might be reading this and thinking that 6 steps to your skin care routine seems like A LOT. Overwhelming. Scary, even.

I know when I first read about this method, I thought – TOO MUCH! I CAN’T POSSIBLY! I’m much too busy!!

But you know what, we all still have to wipe our makeup off and wash our face. We all apply our 2-3 moisturizers and what have you after a wash. What’s a couple more steps, if that?! We can do it. It is 100% achievable and sustainable.

Of course, there are always ups and downs of everyone’s skin with monthly and sometimes bi-weekly hormone fluctuations coming into play (HUGE FACTOR – thanks, Mother Nature) in addition to daily stress, hours of sleep, diet, exercise, general lifestyle, and how many times you touch your face…

The point is, we can’t become discouraged in the results. As long as we are young or old, we will experience some breakouts and that is a part of life! But with this glass skin beauty routine and the concepts behind it, it’s only a matter of time until we see begin seeing results.

So, let’s get that glow, girls.

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  1. Ah, so that’s what “glass skin” is all about. Funny I was just talking to my daughter about the filters she uses on some of her Instagram pics. Some really do look like glass or porcelain. It’s amazing how styles change.

    Glad I got my answer on your site.

  2. Thanks for your sharing here! It’ is interesting to read. If the font size is bigger, it would be nice.
    I think many people miss the step-double cleanse. In the past I didn’t use cleansing oil to clean my face. Double cleanse is so important, especially in polluted areas where I live. For the steps you mentioned in this article. I seldom use essence. What’s the difference between essence and serum? Seems they are similar to me.

    1. You’re right! I will make that font size change going forward. Thanks for the feedback. 🙂
      I used to miss the necessity of double cleansing as well – it’s so important, like you said, especially if you live in cities where there is a lot of pollution or if you’re a serial face-toucher like I am!
      Essence and Serum is very similar, you’re also right about that in terms of its purpose. I suppose essence is a step you can skip if you get yourself a good serum that has some targeted and concentrated vitamin/collagen additions that you want added to your skincare routine. The similarity between the essence and serum is that they both serve as a layer of hydration that is essential for your skin. The difference is that serums and ampoules are more concentrated in the nutrients it holds (in terms of vitamins and other collagen boosting elements), more so than in most essences which act as a step in between toner and serum.
      That being said, depending on your lifestyle, budget, and skin type/needs, you could likely combine the essence and serum step for efficiency. I believe though, that the glass skin routine is very much about layers of hydration. 🙂

      Do let me know if you have any more questions about this and hope you have a great day!

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