How to Get Glass Skin, According to Experts

April 12, 2024

Marie Claire - How to Get Glass Skin, According to Experts - Dr. Jennifer Holman, MD, FAAD

While the term “glass skin” has floated around for years, Pat McGrath’s porcelain makeup looks at the January 2024 Maison Margiela show in Paris sealed it into the modern zeitgeist forever. That’s not to say her vision defines the term—far from it, actually—but it did prove that we’re living in a world obsessed with how to get glass skin.

But is it possible to get glass skin without heavy makeup, glosses, and glazes? According to several aestheticians, it is—so long as you have appropriate expectations.

“A lot of people think glass skin means no acne and no dark spots, but that’s not what it is,” says Alicia Yoon, an aesthetician and founder of K-beauty brand Peach & Lily, who is widely regarded as the genius who brought porcelain skin into the American lexicon. “If your skin is hydrated and nourished, no matter what you’re going through on your skin journey, you can have glass skin.”

Ahead, aestheticians and dermatologists share their insights into how to get glass skin. No, you’re not about to learn how to become poreless. You will, however, learn how to achieve a luminous, healthy glow. Plus, a few favorite products to take with you on your journey.

What Is Glass Skin?

“I would define ‘glass skin’ as skin that has a glow or an enhanced light reflection, says Dr. Jennifer Holman, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and board-certified micrographic dermatologic surgeon. Aesthetic physician Dr. Rachel Reyes-Bergano , medical director at SkinSpirit Pasadena, also uses the word “supple” to describe the look.

Everyone’s definition of glass skin differs, but we define it as a healthy, luminous complexion. While everyone on TikTok is using the phrase today (you could scroll through the hashtagged videos for days), the term first made an impact stateside when Yoon launched her Glass Skin Refining Serum in 2018. “I had heard, in Korean, somebody use the phrase glass skin: yuli pibu (유리 피부),” Yoon tells Marie Claire about naming the product. “Even in Korea, it wasn’t a big, trending word. It was just something I heard. And that’s exactly what I envision healthy skin to be: glass skin.”

Can Glass Skin Be Poreless?

It’s impossible to have skin that’s so flawless it actually looks like glass. “Flawless, poreless skin does not exist. It’s normal to have some texture, and regardless of what people say you cannot get rid of your pores,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Carmen Castilla. “Even ‘shrinking’ pores with proper skin care and devices is exceptionally hard. However, we can improve anyone’s skin with proper skin care for their skin type as well as in-office procedures.”

Every routine will be unique, depending on skin type, concerns, and age, so it’s key to know that glass skin is not one size fits all. “While not everyone’s skin will achieve the exact same level of perfection due to normal aging and lifestyle differences, significant improvements in skin texture, clarity, and radiance can be attained through diligent skincare practices,” adds Lisa Chevalier, founder of SoVous Medical Spa and Laser Center in New York.

How to Get Glass Skin With Skincare

“Glass skin is a byproduct of when your skin is thriving,” says Yoon, who notes that this ability to thrive comes from the inside. Look for products formulated with the right ingredients to boost your skin’s natural moisture.

“Proper skincare plays a critical role in achieving glass skin because it addresses different factors that affect its characteristics, such as clarity, texture, and radiance,” adds board-certified dermatologist Dr. Amy B. Lewis, noting that products with hydrating, exfoliating, sun-protecting, and anti-inflammatory benefits are all important. “Overall, good skincare involves a combination of measures that work together, ultimately contributing to ‘glass skin.'”

How to Get Glass Skin With Minimally Invasive Treatments

When a client comes to Chevalier’s practice, she works to construct a personalized regimen based on a number of key elements: hydration, exfoliation, cellular renewal, brightening, sun and environmental protection, nourishment, and—most importantly—consistency.

“Some individuals may be able to achieve all of these goals through a proper skincare routine while others may need to add in minimally invasive procedures like lasers and injectables to their regimen to achieve their desired ‘glass skin’ results,” she shares.

In the office, clients can consider devices that help build collagen or even their skin tone. Lasers can target pigments, uneven texture, and pore size, while Dr. Castilla says biostimulatory fillers “can also help those with early signs of laxity or crepe-iness.” Dr. Reyes-Bergano also suggests microneedling to help stimulate collagen production for smoothness and improve the skin’s overall texture and tone.

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