A Step-by-Step Routine to Get Glass Skin, According to Experts

Dermatologists and makeup artists break down how to achieve the dewy glow with skincare and makeup,

If you have been on beauty-tok recently, you’ve probably seen influencers and beauty gurus zooming in on their poreless cheeks and showing off their newest serum that delivered glass-like skin. Don’t let this look’s recent cultural cache fool you. Glass skin or at least the practice of it has been around for years thanks to the massive influence of Korean beauty. Alicia Yoon, founder of Korean beauty brand Peach and Lily, pioneered its popularity in the US by educating her customers on Korean beauty principles and the importance of skin health. 

Though there are many variations of how to create this look out there, we chatted with beauty experts—including dermatologists and makeup artists—about how to achieve glass skin with both skincare and makeup. 


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What is Glass Skin? 

“Glass skin is a Korean beauty skincare trend that reflects skin that is smooth, clear, ‘glowy’ and appears pore-less,” says Tiffany Libby, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and MOHS surgeon. The skin is so flawless and reflective it looks like, well, glass. 

Like its well-known siblings dewy and bouncy skin, glass skin is uber-moisturized. In order to achieve this, Dr. Libby emphasizes the importance of nurturing your skin’s moisture barrier. “Many of the steps centered around achieving ‘glass skin’ are basically healthy skin habits that work to increase skin cell turnover to improve brightness and luminosity of skin, and optimize the hydration of skin to minimize the appearance of lines,” she says. 

How to Get Glass Skin With Skincare 

If you are looking to optimize your skincare routine for dewy, glossy skin, follow the expert recommended steps below. 

1. Double Cleanse

Dr. Libby recommends starting with a cleansing oil, like Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil ($16; ulta.com). Then, follow with a hydrating face wash, like Grown Alchemist Gentle Facial Cleanser ($42; credobeauty.com) to ensure dirt, oil, makeup are washed away and you’re working with a clean palette.

2. Chemically Exfoliate 

Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, suggests following your cleanse with a toner or an exfoliating pad. This eats away at the bonds between skin cells and sloughs them off. YSE Your Favorite Ex Exfoliating Pads ($72 for 45; ysebeauty.com) are packed with both glycolic acid and PHAs that lightly resurface without irritating the skin.

3. Apply a Hydrating Serum 

Both Dr. Nussbaum and Dr. Libby recommend applying a hydrating serum next. “Look for ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid,” says Dr. Nussbaum. Peach and Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum ($39; ulta.com) has both for plumping and brightening, as well as a peptide complex which helps smooth. 

4. Seal with a Moisturizer 

Finally, finish off your routine with a moisturizer. This will help seal in water, so your skin looks and feels bouncy for longer. Infused with Japanese purple rice and hyaluronic acid, Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream Plumping and Hydrating Moisturizer ($70; sephora.com) promotes radiance and boosts luminosity. Plus, the texture is so light and fluffy application is a breeze. 

5. Apply an SPF 

Arguably the most important skincare step, an SPF 30 or higher protects your skin from harmful UV rays and “prevents skin damage which can lead to dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and photoaging” according to Dr. Libby. We like Tula Ultimate Sun Serum SPF 50 ($42; ulta.com) because it sinks into the skin without leaving behind a white cast. 

How to Get Glass Skin With Makeup 

Skincare lays a base for this type of look, but if you want to make sure your glistening cheeks last all day long, we asked two professional makeup artists about how to create this look with makeup.

 1. Prep with Skincare 

Professional makeup artist Eddie Duyos emphasizes that when creating this look, prepping and setting are the most important steps. If you are short on time, try abbreviating the steps above before applying your makeup. 

2. Use a Primer 

Ace your base. Primer provides a smooth canvas and a tacky surface for cosmetics to stick to. Professional makeup artist Carly Giglio recommends applying BareMinerals Prime Time Hydrate and Glow Primer ($28; bareminerals.com) in thin layers to avoid a cakey or cumbly appearance. 

3. Lightly Layer Foundation On Top 

To solidify your glow, apply a hydrating or glowy formula over top of your prepped skin. Duyos advises using cream or liquid formulas. “Intentional placement of shine and satin finishes are key,” he says. Giglio recommends focusing on the high points of the face. E.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter Glow Booster ($14; target.com) can be worn on its own or mixed into your normal foundation for a glow finish. Pro tip: For a skin-like finish, use your fingers or a damp sponge (we love Beautyblender Original Beautyblender Makeup Sponge ($20; sephora.com) to apply your complexion products). 

4. Finish with a Highlighter and Setting Spray 

Highlighter is essential for a glistening glow. Apply to the top of your cheekbones and down your nose for a lifted look. Then, finish things off with a spritz of a setting spray. Duyos loves MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Mist & Fix 24HR Hydrating Setting Spray ($33; makeupforever.com). “It will not only elongate the wear of your makeup, but will also increase hydration, giving your complexion a super healthy glow for the perfect glass skin effect,” he says.

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