If you’re familiar with the skincare scene, you might already have heard the term ‘glass skin’. This is a phrase that originated in the K-beauty scene, and it wasn’t long before it had taken social media by storm.
Simply put, the term describes a luminous, poreless, and virtually flawless complexion that looks as if it’s made from smooth glass.
Of course, learning how to get glass skin takes work.
Those who manage to achieve the glass look follow a strict regimen of cleansing, exfoliating, balancing, and adding vitamins, minerals, humectants, fatty acids, and sun protection to the skin. Skincare experts emphasize that your routine is not as much about the number of steps you take as it is about doing whatever it takes to get your skin to its healthiest possible state.
The good news is that the glass skin routine is for men and women alike. Men’s skin needs proper care just as much as women’s skin does, and a proper routine is essential to keep your skin looking healthy, treat acne, dryness, hyperpigmentation and sensitivity, and stave off the early signs of aging.
Since men (generally) don’t wear foundation,we know that it can be harder to hide imperfections and even more important to have naturally great skin.
Here are 10 easy steps to achieving the glass skin look!
The Origins of the ‘Glass Skin’ Trend
Glass skin has its roots in Korean beauty, which takes a unique stance on skincare and introduces far more hydrating versions of the toners, cleansers, and serums many of us are familiar with. The glass skin routine is traditionally practiced methodically, morning and night, to keep the skin looking clear and well cared for.
The trendy term describes clear, healthy-looking skin that resembles a crystal clear pane of glass. It’s poreless, soft, nourished, and free from unwanted pigmentation, inflammation, dryness, and blemishes.
10 Simple Steps for Glass Skin
The golden rule of the glass skin approach is to drench your skin in moisture and nourishment to keep it looking dewy and soft. Aside from moisture, you’ll need exfoliants, sunscreen, and face masks to get the skin of your dreams.
Remember not to overuse harsh actives and acids, which can inflame your skin and disrupt its delicate acid mantle. Check your ingredient labels—if you’re using a product with vitamin C, for instance, be careful of pairing it with other strong actives like BHAs or retinol
1. Start Off with a Gentle Cleaner – and Double Cleanse
Your glass skin routine should begin with a gentle, sulfate-free facial cleanser or cleansing oil that cleanses your pores and leaves your skin feeling comfortable rather than tight or dry. Many experts recommend double-cleaning to ensure that your skin is squeaky clean and ready for the next steps of the regime.
Start off with a rich cleansing oil or micellar water for your first cleanse, and then follow up with a gentle foam wash or cream cleanser to remove dirt, grime, sweat and makeup residues. You can use an exfoliating face wash like our Shake and Wake Exfoliating Enzyme Powder Cleanser. This is especially important if you have facial hair or shave, because clogged pores can lead to ingrown hairs, creating uncomfortable razor bumps when you shave
2. Use a Moisturizing Essence
Essences, a lighter version of serums, tend to be more lightweight and watery. They’re formulated to target skin concerns like pigmentation and redness, and to deliver moisture and hydration to the skin.
Using a moisturizing essence is the key to locking moisture into your skin and keeping it glowing all day long. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane draw moisture into the skin to keep it plump, while niacinamide reduces inflammation and restores the pH balance of your skin.
Traditional toners are often avoided as they can be highly astringent and drying. However, in Korean skincare, they’re absolutely essential. K-beauty toners are formulated with nourishing ingredients like floral waters, green tea and galactomyces to restore the skin’s pH levels, provide base hydration, and ensure that the oncoming products applied are absorbed as efficiently as possible.
They’re generally completely free from alcohol, a drying ingredient that can compromise your skin’s barrier and leave it looking irritated and dry.
3. Add Extra Hydration with Essence Pads
Essence pads or moisture pads are a convenient way to add additional moisture to your skin for that coveted glass look. These pads get soaked in moisture essence to deliver extra nourishment to your skin before you apply your serum.
Products that contain humectants, antioxidants and fatty acids will help you achieve the glow you’ve been searching for.
4. Slather on a High Quality Serum
Serums and ampoules are the proverbial golden tickets of the glass skin regime. They lock moisture into your skin and keep it smooth, soft and hydrated for hours when used as part of a holistic men’s skincare routine.
Most serums offer fast-absorbing formulations and contain powerful active ingredients like vitamins, minerals, peptides, fatty acids, collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Skincare Serums for everything you need to know about skincare serums.
SHOP: Super Serum
5. Apply an Antioxidant-Laden Moisturizer
What would a glass skin skincare regime look like without a moisturizer to seal in all of those potent actives?
Your moisturizer of choice should ideally be packed with antioxidants like our Relax And Repair Ultimate Anti Aging Moisturizer to keep your skin glowing and protect it from environmental pollutants and free radicals.
This approach offers a double-whammy of short-term hydration and long-term protection to slow aging and keep your complexion looking youthful.
6. Dab on a Rich Eye Cream or Essence
The skin underneath your eyes is particularly thin and delicate, and is thus especially prone to puffiness and aging. It tends to dry out more quickly than other areas of your face, too. Combat these issues by patting on a nourishing eye cream, essence or applying Bro Mask Eye Gels gently to avoid tugging the sensitive skin.
SHOP: Bro Mask Eye Gels
7. Seal In Your Skincare with a Facial Oil
Using a nourishing facial oil will help to seal in your other skincare ingredients and enable your skin to absorb as many of the actives within them as possible. Experts recommend oils like sea buckthorn, rosehip, jojoba, or non-comedogenic squalane to strengthen your skin’s lipid barrier and slather it with even more antioxidants.
Adding oil to your routine will also help to control excess sebum production, leaving you looking glowy instead of slick. Remember to use your facial oil after all the products mentioned above, but before your SPF, as the other products won’t be able to penetrate the oil layer and do their work!
8. Never Forget Sunscreen!
Sun damage is the foremost enemy of glass skin. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to avoid!
Add a facial sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to your daily routine. Ideally, it should be lightweight and packed with moisturizing ingredients to keep your skin looking dewy from dawn to dusk.
Your product should block both UVA and UVB rays to minimize skin damage and protect you from skin aging and the development of skin cancer. Avoid sunscreens that leave a visible white cast, and instead, opt for products that offer subtle sun protection that doesn’t leave you looking unnaturally pale.
Rain or Shine Daily Moisturizing Sunscreen is our favorite pick.
Exfoliate Skin Weekly
Exfoliation helps your skin to slough off rough, dead cells and reveal its fresh, glowing layer beneath. Check out or Exfoliation 101 Guide for everything you need to know about exfoliation.
Many leading products contain actives like glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid to clear breakouts, treat oiliness, and gently remove dry, flaky skin. Bear in mind that if you suffer from eczema, rosacea, or skin sensitivity, you should only use the gentlest products as minimally as necessary to enjoy all of their benefits without disrupting your skin’s barrier further.
It's best to avoid physical exfoliating product like a scrub which damage skin barrier and cause inflammation, which makes skin look red and not smooth.
Again, be sure to only exfoliate once or twice a week to avoid irritation.
10. Finish Off with a Hydrating Weekly Mask
Hydrating masks are a must-have when it comes to providing your skin with extra hydration and nourishment. Choose gel or emulsion masks that contain powerful hydrating actives like hyaluronic acid to achieve glass skin that lasts throughout the year.
You should only use a hydrating mask like our Bro Masks once a week for spa level glass skin.
SHOP: Bro Masks
Changing Your Lifestyle to Achieve Glass Skin
Your goal of achieving glass skin should extend past your men’s skincare routine and into your lifestyle. Looking after your body and your mind is essential to achieving a radiant complexion that’s free of blemishes and dullness. No amount of product can undo what a healthy lifestyle can do to your skin!
Here are a few tips to keep your skin healthy from the inside out:
- Don’t just spot-treat problems as they appear. Create a consistent skincare routine that will meet your skin’s individual needs while keeping it in fantastic condition over time.
- Get plenty of sleep. Your sleep patterns can wreak havoc with your health and your skin. Sleepless nights can leave you with a swollen, dry and dull complexion, under-eye bags, and a craving for caffeine to boot. Sleeping well every night will boost blood flow to your skin, rebuilding your collagen and reviving your skin while you rest. Ideally, you should get at least 7-8 hours’ worth of quality, uninterrupted sleep each and every night. A plump, elastic skin is the foundation of the glass skin look, after all.
- Stay active. Get that post-workout glow to last longer by enjoying regular physical activity. Taking a walk, going for a run or even enjoying some yoga or weight lifting will get your heart pumping and oxygen and nutrients flooding to your skin cells. The result? A healthy skin that looks bright, clear and nourished.
- Stay hydrated. Internal dehydration can wreak havoc on your skin and compromise your skin’s delicate barrier, leading to dryness, dullness, and irritation. Drink at least 2 liters of fresh water daily to keep your skin looking its best. Remember, this does not include other beverages like tea and coffee! Soda is best limited or eliminated altogether, as the high sugar content can lead to breakouts and dullness.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke or vape, it might be time to quit. Smoking constricts the small blood vessels that carry vital oxygen and nutrients to your skin, leaving it dry and looking lackluster and dull. Quitting smoking will allow your vascular system to feed your skin more efficiently, speeding up its healing and protecting your collagen from denaturing.
- Add healthy fats to your diet. Healthy fats are essential for healthy skin. Adding foods like walnuts, avocados, olive oil and fatty dish to your daily menu will keep your skin’s lipid barrier strong and help you achieve lasting glass skin. You can add an omega-3 supplement to your daily regime to get you glowing from the inside out. Omnivores can opt for a mercury-tested EPA and DHA formulation, while vegans may prefer a flax or seaweed-based ALA formulation that offers similar health and skin benefits.
- Add more veggies to your plate. Antioxidants are where it’s at if you want healthy, glowing skin. Choose fruits and vegetables with a range of bright colors to add heaps of skin-nourishing antioxidants to your diet. Think deep red strawberries and peppers, verdant broccoli, kiwi fruits and kale, dark blackberries and blueberries, and sunny orange carrots and butternut squash. They will improve your body’s ability to fight free radicals and skin aging, leaving you with a more youthful and supple complexion. They will also improve your blood sugar and insulin levels, enhance your digestion and add even more hydration to your diet to nourish your skin on every level.
The glass skin trend isn’t just for women. Men can achieve a glowing complexion with the right skincare regime and a handful of super-hydrating and nourishing skincare products, too.
The key is to use lightweight, nourishing products you can layer effectively on top of each other to create an all-day dewy shine.
Remember to adjust your lifestyle to keep your skin healthy and hydrated, too. Staying active and hydrated, eating plenty of healthy fats and antioxidants, and getting enough sleep every night will go a long way in keeping your skin looking firm and dewy, come rain or shine!