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The newest beauty craze coming out of Korea is the quest for ‘glass skin’ – a skincare trend that champions skin as smooth, glossy and translucent as, you guessed it, glass. The routine’s central maxim? Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

Here, The Style Sheet breaks down how to get glass skin in five steps.

The glass skin trend is all about smooth, glossy, translucent and ultra-hydrated skin. Left photo from Right photo by Karla Ticas via

Step 1: Double Cleanse

Start where any good skincare routine should: cleansing. While this is the golden rule of any skincare routine, Koreans take it a step further with the double cleanse – the most effective way to dissolve all traces of makeup, sweat, pollutants, dirt and oil. Ellie Choi – the makeup artist whose glass-skin routine was a viral hit on social media – recommends Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes<link Watsons> and Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser<link Watsons> as an affordable duo of options.

Step 2: Sheet Mask

Alicia Tan – the Korean beauty enthusiast whose glass skin YouTube video received more than 600,000 views – opts for an affordable local Korean sheet mask during her routine, while recommending patting the face after applying the mask to helps lock in moisture. There are plenty of super-affordable cult Korean beauty brands offering hydrating sheet masks – an option like JM Solution Glow Luminous Aurora Masks will do the trick. For best results, store them in the fridge – the cold temperature helps to further stimulate blood circulation and absorb nutrients deeper into the dermis.

Step 3: Toner & Essence

While toners have been subject to their fair share of backlash over the years (stemming from outdated astringent toners that stripped skin of natural oils), modern-day toners are nothing to be afraid of. Instead, it’s a critical first leave-on step that hydrates, nourishes and treats. Looking for a gentle choice? Choi’s routine features Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 3. Next, pat a little hydration essence – the K-Beauty mainstay – onto skin to plump, brighten, hydrate and prep your face to best absorb your next step. We love Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Micro Liquid Essence.

Step 4: Moisturiser

When it comes to achieving reflective, dewy skin, there’s really no such thing as too much hydration. Opt for one containing moisture-trapping oils that keeps skin looking plump and dewy for hours. Tan suggests Clinique Moisture Surge 72-hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator in this glass skin tutorial, calling it ‘super lightweight, refreshing and cooling’. If you wanted to add another layer onto this step, a few spritzes of face mist as an additional layer won’t go amiss.

Step 5: Foundation

While glass skin is categorised as a skincare trend, these days, skincare and makeup blur into one. Which brings us to our final step – a light layer of oil-based foundation in a skin-friendly formula, which will help will enhance your already glowing skin. In her tutorial, Tan recommends skincare-makeup hybrid Shu Uemura’s The Lightbulb Essence Essential-Oil-In Foundation, which is infused with just the right amount of oil and pigment to create a radiant reflection.

Five steps to nailing the glass skin routine