The prospect of glowy, dewy, glassy skin is so alluring, but let’s pause and reflect on what it means to have skin that shimmers, sheens and bounces off the (filtered) Instagram post that may be portraying it as an achievable skincare standard.
The Ultimate Skincare Ideal?
Glowy, dewy, glassy skin – a vision of skin so juicy it resembles glass or a glazed doughnut.
It sounds appealing; who doesn’t want juicy, glowy skin? It’s a sign of healthy, hydrated skin. I certainly do, but I want something beyond the fleeting moments post-multiple serums.
For the sake of your bank balance, your skin’s health, and my effort to put the genie back in the serum bottle, let’s take a closer look at what it means to have juicy, dewy, glassy, almost edible skin.
The Influence of Beauty Brands.
Surprisingly, my research unveiled a staggering 1,470,000,000 Google results on glass-like skin. For beauty brands, there’s a lucrative business hidden behind the quest for glass-like perfection.
So, yep, we’re all ripe for the picking.
What is Glossy, Dewy, Glassy Skin?
Tracing its origins to Korean beauty, glass skin is characterised as so dewy and hydrated it looks like glass, and you’ll need a ten-step skincare routine to get it.
Before you blow your next month’s shoe budget on more serums, elixirs, and essences, do you truly need a ten-step skincare routine for healthy, hydrated skin?
It’s doubtful you’ll ever achieve glass-like skin as you’re human with skin that is a living organ in a constant state of change, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aspire to healthy, hydrated skin.
It might help to accept that you may never achieve glass-like skin as you’re human with skin that’s a living organ in a constant state of change, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aspire to healthy hydrated skin.
Is Glass-Like Skin a Reality?
Perhaps the obsession for glass-like skin is about instant gratification from piling on serums and elixirs to make the skin look glowy and glass-like.
Glossy, glass-like skin is akin to perfection. Not only is it impossible to achieve, but it’s the Instagramification of our skin; no matter how many toners, essences, serums, and oils you choose to layer on your skin, it’s short-lived. Okay, these glass-like skins get all the ‘likes’ on Instagram, but it’s not real.
A better beauty ideal is skin that remains hydrated throughout the day and looks clean and fresh after a restful night without the need to do as much as you’re being told.
We’re not perfect, and neither is our skin.
I’m keenly aware of the social implications our skin holds for our self-esteem and confidence.
Our skin is a lively place in constant change, and the temptation to scrutinise is ever-present.
Under normal conditions, our skin keeps us held together, controls body temperature, wards off pathogens, and alerts us to potential pain and injury.
If you want a dewy complexion, the goal is to encourage the skin to function correctly.
A better beauty ideal is skin that remains hydrated throughout the day and looks clean and fresh after a restful night.
But what about that Korean Beauty Skincare routine?
And what about that ten-step routine for glossy, glassy, glowy, almost edible skin? I’ve listed all ten steps below and added my views on what’s good, what’s not and the steps you can skip altogether.
Here’s the Korean beauty ten-step skincare routine with my thoughts.
- Double Cleanse: A good idea if you’re wearing makeup. Choose an oil-based cleanser or a balm.
- Exfoliate: Yes, but not with harsh scrubs. Exfoliate once or twice a week with a cream or serum formula.
- Toner: Yes, if it’s a pre-moisturiser with ingredients to support the skin’s microbiome.
- Sheet Masks: I see absolutely no point in sheet masks; they’re fiddly, and it’s doubtful they’ll infuse anything into the deeper layers of the skin.
- Add an Essence: If you’ve chosen well, your toner will do everything an essence can.
- Apply Serums: Yes, add a serum. Choose serums that are vitamin and peptide-enriched.
- Slather on a Moisturiser: No need to slather as suggested, but yes, find a good moisturiser containing glycerin and ceramides.
- Top it with Facial Oil: Mix or layer it over your moisturiser.
- Apply Eye Cream: If the delicate skin around the eye seems crepey and dry, add an eye cream.
- Sunscreen: This last step is a must. There is no chance you’ll ever achieve anything close to dewy skin if you expose your skin to the sun without protecting it.
If you want a dewy complexion, then the goal is to encourage the skin to function properly, enabling it to renew itself and retain moisture within the skin.
Aspiring to Healthy, Dewy, Hydrated Skin.
Healthy, hydrated skin is always in fashion, and unlike the lengthy K-beauty routine, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
If you’re passionate about skincare and enjoy all the steps, proceed, but be cautious, as some steps, like granulated exfoliation or over-cleansing, may harm your skin in the long run.
For me, healthy skin is a long-term goal, not a quick fix. Maintaining your skin’s moisture balance can be achieved with gentle cleansing, weekly exfoliation, nourishing your skin’s microbiome, a quality moisturiser, and sunscreen.
Simple Steps for a Healthy Glow:
- Double-Cleanse: Choose a cleansing oil or balm for your skin type.
- A Cream or Serum Exfoliant: Once or twice a week, gently nudge dead skin cells away and improve cell turnover.
- A Serum: Choose a multi-functional vitamin-enriched serum + moisturiser.
- Sunscreen: Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen at a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15+.
- Nutrition: Consume a healthy diet with a variety of healthy proteins and colourful vegetables.
- Omega-3: Seek out a good source of omega-3 from fatty fish, flaxseeds or algae or an oral supplement.
- Sleep: Your skin will always look better after a good night’s sleep.
Of course, you could add multiple serums or facial oils, but the critical point is that you can expect healthy skin for a long time with a consistent approach.
I’ve written more on achieving healthy skin, starting with a basic skincare routine.
For me, healthy skin is a long-term objective, not a quick fix costing you a small fortune with minimal rewards beyond the photographic evidence that you have achieved glossy skin heaven for the fleeting moments until it’s absorbed into the skin or evaporates into the atmosphere.
And What Does Mother Earth Have to Say?
Beyond your bank account, a ten-step routine with the potential for many more layers within the ten steps (multiple serums) is a lot of product packaging. You don’t need it to achieve healthy, hydrated skin; the planet certainly doesn’t.
Sadly, the beauty industry still struggles with sustainability, so our best hope is to consume less.
And Now You.
If you found this article helpful or know someone overspending on skincare and chasing unrealistic beauty ideals, this is a cautionary tale you might like to share.
And if this article has posed more questions? You can reach me here.
See you next time.