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Glass skin: The best products and how to get the perfect skin look

The Korean beauty scene (aka ‘K-Beauty’ or ‘SoKo’) has ben a source of global fascination for the past few years. And it’s no wonder, the South Korean beauty industry is famed for their in-depth skincare routines, leaving the rest of the world to scour our social media feeds in the hope of emulating their flawless, ‘no-filter’ complexions.

This has spawned many texture-driven skincare trends, from chok chok (dewy glow) and kkul-gwang (super glossy) and most recently ‘glass skin’, which really blew up social media, thanks in part to LA Make-Up Artist Ellie Choi revealing her glass skin routine on Instagram, which quickly went viral.

‘Glass skin’ essentially means skin that’s so smooth and lustrous it resembles polished glass – think healthy, youthful and hydrated to the max. Such otherworldly, expensive-looking skin might seem high-maintenance, but unlike our SoKo counterparts, you don’t need a 12-step regime to achieve it (or have the complexion of a 19-year-old influencer).

The essential steps are a proper double cleanse, a balancing toner and serums and lotions that hydrate to the max, locked in with an oil or balm. And obviously drinking water and cutting down on diuretics like caffeine and alcohol are a no-brainer. Here are a few smashing products to help you get that flawless glassy finish.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturiser

This cult SoKo brand should be your first port of call where glass skin is concerned. Delivering a hefty hit of hydration, the star ingredient of this lightweight moisturiser is watermelon extract, prized by South Koreans for its ability to soothe irritation, together with hyaluronic acid to help the skin retain moisture.

It’s ideal for oily skin types if you don’t want to overload your complexion with heavy creams. 

£35 | Cult Beauty | Buy it now

It’s Skin Power10 Formula GF Hydrating Sheet Mask

Sheet masks are an essential part of any K-Beauty regime, not least where glass skin is concerned, delivering a concentrated moisture fix like no other.

This mask from popular Korean brand It’s Skin not only looks snazzy on a bathroom shelf, but is infused with a blend of antioxidant-rich ingredients to leave skin plumped, hydrated and perfectly prepped for foundation. (It works wonders for a hangover too.)

£5.99 | ASOS | Buy it now

SkinSense Hydranet Intense Concentrate

Ideal for more mature skin types, this treatment goes to town on plumping fine lines with ingredients like collagen-boosting tetrapeptides that are slowly released over the course of several hours, via a hyaluronic acid-based carrier system.

Hyaluronic acid is a hydration powerhouse and for good reason, helping the skin to retail moisture to leave it youthful, glowing and well on its way to that ‘glass skin’ texture.

£26 | SkinSense | Buy it now

The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid

Polyglutamic acid has challenged hyaluronic acid for the title of hydrating hero ingredient du jour, being able to hold up to four times’ as much water.

Popular purse-friendly line The Inkey List have harnessed it into their latest treatment, which forms a film on the skin’s surface to prevent moisture escaping, while working to reduce fine lines and pigmentation in the bargain.

Targeting the top layers of skin, it’s designed to be used in conjunction with a hyaluronic acid serum (which works on the skin’s lower layers) to create a clever ‘glass skin cocktail’.

£12.99 | Cult Beauty | Buy it now

Son & Park Beauty Water

This line was created by two Korean make-up artists on a mission to bring glass skin to the masses. Their beloved multi-tasking Beauty Water is a great to use on just-cleansed skin to remove any residual traces of makeup and balance the skin’s pH levels, smoothing and brightening as it goes.

You can also spritz it on throughout the day to revive a parched complexion.

£23.50 | Buttermilk Skincare | Buy it now

Also available on  Amazon.co.uk 

Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm

For particularly dry skin or inclement weather, a beauty balm is essential to lock in moisture and deliver that glass skin glow.

Packed with nourishing fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, this all-natural balm is probably one of the best skincare buys under £20. Suitable for sensitive skin, a little goes a long way (it can double up as an oil cleanser too).

£14.99 | Lyonsleaf | Buy it now

Kate Somerville Cold Cream Moisturising Cleanser

Meticulous cleansing is the foundation of getting glass skin to rival Seoul’s social media stars. But when it comes to removing every last scrap of make-up, you don’t want to create the opposite effect and leave your complexion parched in the process.

Kate Somerville’s luxurious cold cream cleanser makes washing your face a ritual, as opposed to a chore, imbuing skin with moisture as it sweeps away all manner of dirt and gunk.

£41 | Space NK | Buy it now

Rejuvenated Skin Hydration

As mentioned above, knocking back H2O is your best bet for getting that plumped, glass skin texture.

To help maximise the benefits, this hydration supplement from Rejuvenated contains a cocktail of nutrients as well as hyaluronic acid to help your body retain more water, while magnesium works to combat fatigue and promote a perky complexion.

£41 | Face the Future | Buy it now

BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

Base makeup that delivers a dewy texture is the perfect finishing touch to your glass skin regime. Containing light-reflecting pigments, this award-winning foundation delivers medium coverage whilst creating a covetable lit-from-within effect. Easy to blend and available in a spectrum of shades, it can be mixed with moisturiser for a more natural finish.

£32 | Space NK | Buy it now


Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturiser is our go-to glass skin essential, its light texture making it ideal to layer under sunscreen as summer approaches.

While Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm, with its multi-tasking abilities, is perfect for long-weekends and long-haul flights.

ES Best Shopping Editor: Jessica Reynolds

ES Best product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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