What Is Glass Skin + How to Achieve It Step by Step

By Emily M.| Last updated on November 7, 2023
Glass skin routine and product recommendations
⏱️ 6 min read

This is an objective, non-biased article. We base our product choices on various factors, such as product reviews, ratings, and overall reputation of brands. It does, however, contain affiliate links for featured products.

Step aside, airbrushed magazine covers and filtered selfies – there’s a new trend in town, and it’s rewriting the rules of skincare!

The Korean glass skin trend is one that helps you achieve picture-perfect skin without needing any photo editing skills and ensures your skin looks just as perfect in person.

This trend is a phenomenon that’s taking the beauty industry by storm – by now, you’ve seen it on your favorite K-pop idols, and we’re here to help you achieve.

In this article, we’ll tell you the secret of having glass skin – which steps to take and which products will get you there the fastest. So, let’s dive right in!

What Is Glass Skin?

Glass skin is a term used to describe a certain type of complexion – skin that is absolutely perfect. It’s skin that has no visible pores, no texture, and certainly no spots or zits.

Glass skin is almost translucent with a fresh, dewy shine to it.

This trend originated in South Korea (as many skincare trends do), and some of its most well-known ambassadors are none other than K-pop stars.

Even before this trend was even a trend, they were known for always having perfect skin, even after performing strenuous choreographies under the heat of stage lighting.

But, with the advancements in skincare that make quality ingredients more available to us non-celebrities and the rising popularity of the glass skin trend, you too can achieve a picture-perfect complexion at home, without a filter or editing software.

How to Get Glass Skin?

To get glass skin, there are a few different ways to go about it.

The easiest one would be to fake it with photo editing or makeup. But, if you want to get it for real, you can either follow a glass skin skincare regime or get a glass skin facial.


Double Cleanse

Like any other skincare routine, the glass skin regime also starts with washing your face. For this specific trend, you’ll want to cleanse your face twice, using different cleansers.

One of them should be something of a basic cleanser that aims to just leave your face clean. The other one should be designed for an issue you’re dealing with.

This can be an anti-redness cleanser, a spot reducer, or a medical one you use for your acne.


After the cleanser, you’re going to exfoliate your face. Adjust this step to your preferences – you can use either a chemical peel or a mechanical exfoliator – whichever suits you best.

However, keep in mind that some peels shouldn’t be used every day, so do your research before doing this step.

Layer Your Toners

The next step is to apply a toner or twoor even three.

Don’t be afraid to tack on several layers of different toners – this is the secret to the dewy shine. The toners you choose can be anything you need, as long as their active ingredients work well together.

The only rule is that one of the toners needs to be aimed at hydration.


Even though we already hydrated with the toner, you’ll want to double up on hydration to keep your skin elastic and glossy.

For this, we suggest using a product that repairs your skin’s barrier, so that you’re working on long-lasting results.


After you’re done with the routine, you’ll need to top it all off with an SPF. This step is especially crucial if you’re planning on going out later in the day – Sun damage can undo all the hard work you put into your skincare routine.

Choosing an SPF depends most heavily on your skin type. You can find the best products here:

Glass Skin Products for the Best At-Home Results

Other than the perfect SPF, you’ll need all the other products we talked about – cleansers, exfoliators, toners, and serums.

If you don’t know where to start – don’t worry! We’ll give you our top picks for those products, so you can start building your glass skin routine in no time.

Best Cleansers for Glass Skin

As we said, this specific type of skincare routine requires double cleansing – one with a general cleanser and one with a cleanser to help you tackle your skin issues.

We’ll leave the more specific one up to you and your dermatologist, but we can suggest some great general ones!

Both of these are tried and tested, fragrance-free, and suitable for sensitive skin, so you know you can’t go wrong with them.

Peels & Pads for Glass Skin

We already told you that you have the freedom to choose either a chemical or a mechanical peel.

If you want to go with a chemical one, this serum contains both AHA and BHA acids which means you’re getting a thorough exfoliation treatment aimed at improving your skin’s texture.

On the other hand, if you prefer a mechanical peel, these little facial sponges will be more than enough!

Plus, the fact that they’re reusable means that they’re way more eco-friendly than a facial scrub, which can be full of microplastics.

Toners for Glass Skin

The step where you layer on your toners is the step that allows for the most freedom – you can mix and match them.

But, if you’re a little too overwhelmed by the number of options available, we’ll show you our 2 favorites!

Both are great for hydration and a good base for your other products. The snail mucin toner will be the most beneficial for those who want to increase their skin’s elasticity as it promotes the production of collagen.

The Kiehl’s calendula extract-based toner has anti-inflammatory properties, so it will work wonders for those dealing with redness or breakouts.

Serums for Glass Skin

Finally, the last step before the SPF is to provide additional hydration to your skin.

Although you can do this by using a cream, gel, or any other form of product you like, we advise serums as they’re super lightweight and absorb quickly into the skin, which is essential if you’re layering this many products and don’t want to feel tacky.

The CeraVe serum contains Hyaluronic acid which is great for long-term hydration since it helps rebuild your skin’s natural barrier. Plus, it’s also compatible with all skin types!

The Lumina Skin serum will also provide you with the hydration your skin needs, but the vitamins C and E in the formula will help brighten dark spots and boost collagen production. It also helps photoprotection and antioxidant protection.

Alternatively, Get a Glass Skin Facial

If following these steps every day and investing in a lot of products is just too much for you, you’ll be glad to know that there is a shortcut!

The glass skin facial can be found at salons and is designed to help you achieve the coveted glass-like complexion. This specialized facial typically involves cleansing, exfoliation, steam, extractions, masks, and specialized serums infused with hydrating and brightening ingredients.

Some versions of the treatment may also incorporate light therapy or microneedling for enhanced results.

Cover image source: Freepik



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