Imagine a complexion as perfect as glass: radiant, luminous, and lit from within. It is completely smooth and flawless. It has no blemishes, dark spots, or enlarged pores. Even without makeup or Instagram filters, it exudes a healthy and youthful glow.
This is what K-beauty fans call “glass skin”. Unfortunately, the Korean glass skin routine is often very high maintenance, requiring many products, and lots of time. Let us go back to the basics, and understand what your skin really needs to become smooth, supple and radiant.
Glass Skin vs. Damaged Skin
We cannot find a solution if we do not know the problem. What robs our skin of its natural glow? What damages its texture and appearance, and destroys our chances of achieving the coveted glass skin?
“Responsible for 90 percent of visible changes to the skin, photoaging is a direct result of cumulative sun damage you’ve been exposed to throughout your life,” says the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Every day, our skin is barraged by invisible UVA and UVB rays, and high energy (HEV) light or blue light. The light waves damage the DNA in our skin cells.
UVB rays, which have the shortest waves, hit the skin surface and cause skin darkening and sunburn. UVA rays penetrate the skin and reach the dermis, destroying collagen. The body rushes to rebuild the skin with elastin — but like all “rushed jobs”, something invariably goes wrong.
“The unusual amounts of elastin result in the production of enzymes called metalloproteinases. These enzymes, which rebuild damaged collagen, often malfunction and degrade the collagen, resulting in incorrectly rebuilt skin. As this process is repeated with daily UVA exposure, the incorrectly rebuilt skin forms wrinkles, and the depleted collagen results in leathery skin,” the Skin Cancer Foundation explains.
While most people are aware of UV damage, scientists have discovered that other light waves can also cause premature skin aging and hyperpigmentation. A study done in 2014 and published in the journal Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine says that any skincare routine should also include protection from HEV and other kinds of solar radiation. HEV, also called Blue light, can damage collagen and elastin, and cause hyperpigmentation.
Cigarettes, alcohol, unhealthy crash diets and stress can also affect the quality of your skin. “Smoking is second only to sun damage in causing wrinkles and dry skin,” says WebMD. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks like soda and coffee too, depletes nutrients. Crash diets or extreme diets that cut out entire food groups deprives the body of vitamins that you need to produce new skin cells.
Don’t neglect your emotional well-being, too! Dermatologist Marilyn Berzin, MD says, “Stress produces hormones that increase the levels of free radicals in the body, suppresses the immune system, dehydrates the body, and thins the skin.”
4 Elements of a Complete Glass Skin Routine
This leads to the most important question: how to get glass skin even if you can’t completely avoid sun exposure and stress.
Get the most complete sun protection
No glass skin routine is complete without a strong sunscreen. It should protect your skin from UVA, UVB, HEV or Blue Light, and pollution and other environmental hazards.
Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato® provides complete, clinically proven protection. It has SPF 75+, blocks 54% of HEV light, and shields your skin from pollution and infrared rays. It also contains anti-oxidants to help neutralize free radicals, and skin lightening ingredients to fight hyperpigmentation and dullness. It is also medically proven to increase skin hydration by 32% after 27 days of use.
Developed after 5 years of rigorous research and testing, Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato® sunscreen’s breakthrough formula is effective, comfortable., and safe for the skin. It is non-greasy, light with a dry touch and applies smoothly and easily. It is hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic, and won’t clog pores or worsen acne.
Cleansing wipes aren’t enough to remove makeup, sunscreen, dirt, pollution, oil and even airborne bacteria. That is why the traditional Korean glass skin routine starts with double-cleansing: 1) an oil cleanser, balm or micellar water that melts away the dirt on your skin surface, and 2) a deeper water-based cleanser that washes off impurities in the pores.
In an article featured in Elle magazine, dermatologists and facialists recommended massaging the cleanser into the skin for 1 to 2 minutes, and rinsing off with lukewarm water. Do not rush through this step! “Double cleansing each evening will brighten any dullness, ultimately lifting the complexion.”
The Korean glass skin routine places a lot of importance in skin hydration. Most of its toners, essences, and sheet masks soak the skin with layers of nutrients and moisture. That youthful dewiness is sometimes called “chok chok skin”.
You don’t need to buy a lot of products, but you should keep your skin hydrated. Dry skin looks dull and becomes flaky and rough. Look for ingredients that attract and trap moisture, like hyaluronic acid. Since air-conditioning can dry out your skin, you should hydrate skin even if you’re indoors.
Use sun protection and makeup that have extra-hydrating benefits. For example, Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato® has been clinically tested to increase skin moisture by 32% after 27 days of use.
Smooth skin looks more radiant because the light bounces more evenly across the skin surface. That is why you need to exfoliate, either through a gentle scrub or chemical exfoliants like AHAs, BHAs or lactic acid.
However, too much exfoliation can damage and irritate your skin. Limit it to two or three times a week if you have normal to oily skin, and once a week if you have dry skin. Or, you can use a facial brush that gently exfoliates while it cleans.
It is better to exfoliate at night, since newly-scrubbed skin can be more sensitive to sun exposure. Always use sunscreen if you are using any skincare ingredient that contains acids.
Korean glass skin is even, bright, and luminous. They often call it “porcelain skin” or “cloudless skin” – no blemishes, no dark spots, no discoloration!
That is why you need to prevent and fade hyperpigmentation to truly achieve glass skin. Use a powerful sunscreen like Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato®, and apply sunscreen properly (NOTE: LINK TO BLOGPOST ON SUNSCREEN.) Avoid the sun from 10 am to 3pm, when rays are at their harshest. However, you should also use sunscreen even when you’re indoors or on overcast days, since UV rays can penetrate windows and clouds. Gadgets like computer screens and phones, as well as fluorescent lights, also emit blue light. Studies show that even short-term exposure to blue light from these devices can increase oxidative stress.
Use skincare products that are clinically proven to prevent and treat hyperpigmentation, such as Crystal Tomato® Skin Clarity Cream and Crystal Tomato® supplements. Just like Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato® sunscreen prevents hyperpigmentation, these products help lighten existing discoloration and repair sun-damaged skin.
Best Habits for Glass Skin
Aside from sun protection and skincare, there is a third factor in any glass skin routine: lifestyle. Practice these habits to keep your skin healthy and glowing!
Your skin glows right after a good workout – but regular exercise has long-term benefits, too! When the heart gets pumping, the blood brings oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. “Anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, author of Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Eat a balanced diet
Your body needs protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fat to produce healthy cells. Any fad diet that completely cuts out a food group, or extreme low-calorie diets that have low nutritional value, will affect your skin.
The best diets are based on very sensible practices.
- Eat a balanced meal (50% fruits and vegetables, 25% carbohydrates, 25% healthy protein and fat)
- Control your portions based on your recommended calorie intake for your height and level of activity
- Choose fresh food over processed food, which often have hidden salt and trans fat
- Limit sugar intake, especially since high-carbohydrate diets have been linked to acne and collagen loss
Get enough sleep
You need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day. This is when your body heals damaged cells, and replenishes your energy levels.
Manage your stress
Stress releases hormones that can affect your skin, and it also encourages habits that are bad for your skin. If you’re stressed, you’re more likely to turn to make unhealthy choices like overeating. It You may also have difficulty sleeping, or lack the energy to exercise.
Protect and nourish your skin today!
Now that you know how to get glass skin, take the first step in achieving it. Invest in the best sun protection cream that gives the highest and broadest protection. Shop for Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato® on this site, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.