We've all heard about glass skin - that fresh and glowing complexion mostly associated with Korean Beauty (or K-Beauty) - and we've all probably tried to achieve that look one way or another. And while you just can't wake up with skin like that (at least, not yet), you can work your way to healthy, glowing skin.
The secret is knowing what products work, and how and when to use each one.
Ready to get set and glow? Check out our cheat sheet below.
STEP 1: DOUBLE CLEANSE
You know how they say "start with a clean slate"? Think of it as your face. You'll want it make sure it's free from makeup, impurities, and excess oil that build up as we go about our day.
That's why we start with cleansers that can strip these away without harming our skin.
Two cleansers, you say?
Yes. Double cleansing means using both an oil cleanser (such as Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil) that removes oil-based impurities (your makeup, for example, sunscreen, and even the sebum your glands produce) and a water-based foam cleanser (try COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser) that deep cleans all the way down to the pores and washes away bacteria, sweat, and even dead skin cells.
PRO TIP: Remember, you're only just beginning your skin care routine so there's no need to rush into it. Work the products gently into your skin.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE
Two to three times a week, you'll want to introduce an exfoliator into the routine. This will further unclog your pores which in turns minimizes its appearance and lends a radiant complexion to your skin. You wouldn't want to overdo it though, especially if you have sensitive skin.
PRO TIP: Try natural physical exfoliators such as sugar scrubs (like Klairs Youthful Glow Sugar Mask) and clay if chemical exfoliants such as lactic acid and glycolic acid is not for you. ALWAYS do a patch test, too!
STEP 3: TONERS & ESSENCES
You've heard about toners and now you're discovering everything about essences, so what's the difference? Toners were previously skipped because they were thought to be too drying, but enter K-beauty toners (like Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin) that actually hydrate and moisturize and, more importantly, correct and balance your skin's pH. Essences, on the other hand, act as a treatment and address skin concerns such fine lines and irritation (like COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence), and then smoothen you skin preparing it for the next step of the skin care routine.
So, should you use both? The answer is yes. Layering is key when it comes to achieving glass skin and the combination of toners and essences works pretty well.
PRO TIP: When applying toners, you’ll want to use your fingertips, gently dabbing it onto damp skin. Applying essences? Use your palms to press it into your skin for better absorption.
STEP 4: MOISTURIZE (AND SPF!)
Hydrating your skin is crucial in achieving that radiant glow. This locks in moisture which keeps skin soft and supple. You'll want a moisturizer that's lightweight yet packs a punch. Find one that's rich in botanical extracts such as centella asiatica (pick Centellian 24 Madeca Dual Moisture Cream), a sought-after and popular ingredient in Korean beauty products that heals skin while fighting anti-aging.
Don't forget to protect your skin from harmful UV rays which can do irreversible damage (not to mention cancel out all the products you've just applied in the first place). Bonus points for moisturizers with SPF protection.
PRO TIP: Layer light-weight sunscreen over your AM moisturizer to protect your skin from sun damage. Go for SPF50PA+++ such as that in Neogen Day-Light Protection Sunscreen.
Beauty knows no shortcuts, and omitting a step or a product can alter the results. It certainly will take your time and effort, but once your dewy reflection starts staring back at you from the mirror, it will all be worth it!
Ready to build your Korean-beauty skin care arsenal? Shop from our extensive and exclusive range of Korean beauty brands here.