Next to K-dramas and K-pop, Korea’s greatest export has to be the glass skin trend which flooded the Instagram feeds of beauty enthusiasts everywhere. The glass skin routine may be intense (nobody said it was easy!) but it is achievable as long as you’ve got the determination to stick with it, and we’re going to show you how it’s done in as few steps as possible.
How to make your skin glow in 7 steps
STEP 1: Cleanse and exfoliate
No Korean skincare routine would be complete without the double cleanse and it’s recommended to start with an oil-based cleanser first to gently draw impurities away from the skin. You should then follow up with a water-based foaming cleanser to wash away any dead skin cells.
If your skin is looking particularly dull and flaky, exfoliating after you cleanse is a great way to make it instantly look smooth and bright. If you prefer, you can use a manual exfoliant, like Lancôme’s Rose Sugar Scrub and enjoy the delicate floral scent as you work through your routine. Just remember to take it easy and not scrub too hard – you could end up doing more harm than good to your skin! And also make sure to rinse with lukewarm water as hot water has a tendency to dry out your skin even more.
STEP 2: Apply a toner
A good toner will help to re-balance your skin’s natural pH level and add an extra layer of moisture so it’s important not to skip this step. Compared to Korean products, western-style toners are part of the cleansing stage rather than the balancing stage and often have astringent ingredients that dry out your skin further. For best results, consider Lancôme’s Tonique Confort. Enriched with Sweet Almond Oil and Acacia Honey, it’s a fantastic way to remove any impurities left over from your cleanse.
STEP 3: Add your essences
‘Essences’ makes it sound like these products have been pulled straight out of a fairy tale, but they represent the start of the ‘moisturise, moisturise, moisturise’ phase that underpins the whole glass skin look. Essences are half-way between a toner and a serum. They help to balance out pH levels but also add in some extra antioxidants and amino acids to support the health of your skin. Looking for a recommendation? Consider Absolue Precious Cells Revitalising Rose Lotion, a soothing gel infused with rose petals that can leave your skin feeling soft and moisturised. Essences are also rich in hyaluronic acid for deeper hydration, which leads us on neatly to the next stage.
STEP 4: Get masked up
An optional step but one that’s gloriously pampering: try a hydrating face mask to lock in extra moisture (because you can never have enough in this routine). These sheet masks can be worn for up to 30 minutes and are infused with serum to make your skin feel refreshed and invigorated. Sheet masks come in all types. Some – like Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Melting Sheet Masks – are designed to melt directly into your skin, whereas others like their Rénergie Multi-Lift Ultra Mask use cotton to hug the contours of your face. You could also go down the more traditional route with a mask you apply with your hands, in which case, we highly recommend the Hydra Zen Jelly Mask to help you de-stress and enjoy your routine.
This is probably the most important stage in the whole routine after the double cleanse because serums are like a superfood for your skin. They contain everything you need to keep your face hydrated and supple, like hyaluronic acid, peptides and vitamin E. The best serum for glowing skin is going to be one that offers a high level of hyaluronic acid. We recommend Advanced Génifique Serum which has an enriched formula of prebiotic and probiotic-derived extracts that work in optimal affinity with the skin. Skin barrier recovery is improved, and skin looks healthier and more radiant.
STEP 6: Apply your moisturiser
Yes, that’s right, we’re at the final stage now. You might already be confident with what you’re doing at this point but, if not, you should make sure you choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type. If you’re lucky enough to have youthful, plump skin already, a lightweight moisturiser like Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Glow Liquid Moisturiser might be all you need for the finishing touch. Otherwise, you could choose a product like Rénergie Multi-Lift Ultra which provides extra SPF protection, leaving skin firmer and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. For more mature skin that’s losing definition, Rénergie Multi-Glow will give you a long-lasting boost of radiance and deeper hydration, or you could spoil yourself and pamper your skin using Lancôme Absolue Soft Cream with its revitalising rose extracts. Whichever you choose, make sure you moisturise regularly, ideally in the morning and when you go to bed.
STEP 7: Use your highlighter
Now you know how to get glowing skin, there’s nothing stopping you from having that dewy, ultra-clear aesthetic. You could even go one step further and add some Custom Drops Liquid Highlighter for added depth that will really make your glass skin shine.