Korean model SeoJinBan rocking the Glass Skin
When I first heard about 'Glass Skin', the jargon for Korea's ideal skin standard, it took me a second to realize that it's baby skin equivalent with overflowing moisture levels. That's setting the standards way over scale, don't you think?
Reflective, transparent and evenly toned - that's dreamy, untouchable skin, and to think that it's only exclusive to the Korean DNA or feasible after an exhausive 10 step korean skincare routine morning and evenings is quite unjust.
But it's truly achievable in less time and effort than you'd think; and it's more of what you should avoid doing, than what you should be doing.
Think about it this way: You might be doing everything else right, but with one wrong step, it takes your skin back to square one.
1. Avoid stripping cleansers
Open your mouth wide after cleansing and drying, does your skin feel tight and unyielding instead of bouncy and hydrated? Dehydrating your skin in attempt to cleanse can cause pre-mature aging and distort skin's natural functions.
Cleansing makes or break your skincare routine. It's not something you just wash off your face and should be taken lightly. Think about it, the ingredients in your cleanser deeply penetrates into your skin because it is thoroughly massaged onto wet skin. In Korea particularly, cleansing is a step that hydrates and nourishes the skin while prepping the skin to readily absorb next skincare steps.
The holygrail lightweight cleansing oil
In the mornings we recommend oil cleansing with the Yuri Pibu Grante Cleansing Oil to dissolve remnants of last night's skincare without the excessiveness of a foaming cleanser. After switching to oil cleansing in the mornings, I noticed less fine lines, breakouts and clearer skin. And my makeup looks smoother well through the entire day.
Thick and gooey a la raw honey and aloe vera leaf juice for precise purification
In the evenings, pair Yuri Pibu Grante Cleansing Oil ($35) with Begin cleanser ($27) for a double cleanse of your dream. Oil cleanse your makeup first by massaging oil onto dry skin. Emulsify with water and rinse. Follow with foaming up Begin Cleanser to purify skin. You'll step out the shower with accurately cleansed skin that's dense and spongy instead of squeaky and weakened.
2. Avoid drying toners
Regular toners shut down pores with alcohol or astrigents. But temporarily shutting down pores is an old adage that's spelled over by hydrating essence toners in Korea, for it's ability to nourish the skin with potent formulas rather than harshly masking skin concerns.
For a rich viscous skin boost, Enature's Birch Juice™ Hydro Essence Skin ($43) is made out of 78% freshly tapped Birch Tree Sap, the life blood of the Birch Tree. Combined with calming chamomile distillation, this toner instills sustainable hydration that plumps up your skin for days in a row.
On par in it's nourishment is Simplistic Wonder Essence ($46). A beauty tonic that serves as a multi-tasking essence-toner, delivering intense hydration via the most lightweight liquid like texture ever. Layer 7 times for an instant facial glow and anti-oxidant rush.
3. Drop powder makeup
Powders are absorbent particles and attracts moisture out of the skin. The microscopic makeup of powders allow it to fall deep into pores, clogging and dehydrating profusely.
Personally, I can't live without my Benefit compact powder. And powders and clays are everywhere from loose powders to eyeshadows to liquid lipsticks.
To curb this conundrum, misting has been the magical spritz morning, afternoons and evenings. Cap out and mist away after makeup application to immediately hydrate makeup-compromised skin. In the afternoons, mist away to rehydrate and calm heated skin.
I like to go crazy with misting, afterall what's there to lose when you're nourishing skin on the go?
I always have a mist with me at all times. Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner comes in 2 volumes: 100ml for portability & 200ml for home use. It's a unique water-free ultra-fine medicinal mist that is filled with 91.9% Coptis Japonica Root Extract. This Korean Medicinal Root instantly lowers your skin's temperature from the inside out, balancing oil production (high skin temperatures = higher sebum production) & hydrating all through your makeup with it's smoky fine mist. The potency of such a high-graded medicinal root extract soothes blemishes and reverse sensitive skin types. This step is imperative not only under scorching hot sun, but within cold environments to rehydrate and nourish too. Throw one in your bag. 0% stickiness. 100% efficacious. Glass Skin Compulsory.
4. Do not skip exfoliation
Exfoliation in a nutshell: Ridding dead skin cells (before they were dead, they are called Keratinocytes and play an important role in shielding your skin) piled up on the surface of your skin
Dead skin cells are meant to fall off the skin once they reach the very top of your skin's surface. And they do shed by themselves (3.6kg of dead skin cells / year to be exact)
However with age and damaged skin functions (via harsh products, UV exposure, etc), your body doesn't shed dead skin cells as efficiently or evenly anymore. The piled up dead skin cells then leads to dull skin tone, clogged & large pores (as they fall into hair follicles) and lead to serious skin issues like rapid aging, acne and sensitivity.
In Evening Island, we don't recommend physical exfoliation. Yes the ones with beads and walnut shells. Those are sharp and causes microscopic tears on the surface of your skin without ever loosening the dead skin cells. That is why your skin looks brighter only for awhile, before it starts getting duller than usual shortly after.
We highly recommend Yuri Pibu Phyton Peeling Gel ($29), a moisturising jelly exfoliant that relies on gentle fruit enzymes to loosen dead skin cells from the surface of your skin before peeling every last dead skin cell away as you massage your skin. Carbonated Water spring cleans your pores and delivers key micro-minerals while the formula dries down. You end up with immediately brighter + softer + smoother skin that drinks up your skincare routine and the best part? It's suitable for every skin type even the most sensitive ones, not leaving you red, irritated or thin.
If you prefer a stronger chemical exfoliating treatment, we highly recommend The Ordinary's AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. This formula contains true acids but is counter-balanced by Tasmanian Pepperberry, a leaf extract claimed to help your skin tolerate any sensitivity that might arise.
"One wrong move makes everything you're doing right irrelevant"
Consistent hydration and clear skin is the key to the glass skin ideal. These 2 qualities also propagate skin that stays blemish-free and poreless.
The main takeaway is making sure you're never dehydrating your skin. Often times, there's a moisture-sucker in the blind spot that creates redundancy your routine.
I remember once I was using an essence with Hylaronic Acid in it and instead of feeling more hydrated, my skin felt dry. I found out the formula was not well formulated, and sucked moisture out of my skin because of it's inability to penetrate.
Whether inevitable dry environments, moisture-sucking makeup, stripping cleansers or badly created formulas - they can be avoided with just a little extra knowledge that goes a longer way than purchasing the next skincare line that does nothing.
Break the cycle, start incorporating advanced formulated skincare products, remove the harsh products that creates redundancy, and add in a few supporting steps. In no time you'll witness that natural dewy, reflective glass skin materialise.