Beauty Banter: Do You Want Glass Skin? Is It Even Achievable?
Sep 26, 2017
Let's get talking! In this continuing series, we talk all things beauty, and we wanna hear from you! What do YOU think? What's good, what's bad, what's ugly (or beautiful)? Now's your chance to be heard! Let's talk!
Ah, another thing I'm failing at: glass skin.
It's the latest K-beauty "trend" that Bustle says "is about to be everywhere." It's a great headline, no doubt. But is that what K-beauty is about?
We here at W2Beauty have a lot of conversations like these. Often over wine. Or soju. Or both. (Because let's be real: That's when the real talk happens. Ah, @cocopark, if only you lived on the West Coast!)
Forget the multi-step skincare routines, the impossibly small and V-line faces, the skin tones that basically cover 1% of the population (which, BTW, doesn't include this writer, despite the fact that she's Korean by ethnicity).
I sometimes feel, as an Asian American, that we trade in our impossibly unachievable standards of blonde-blue-eyed Barbie beauty for one that is equally unachievable: porcelain skin, doe-eyed, baby-face. I mean, really, do we need to do that to ourselves?
Isn't the beauty of K-beauty that its foundation is about self-care, about me-time, developing a sense of well-being, caring for ourselves? About being the best that we can be, given what we were given? It doesn't matter what the color or shade or tone of your skin is, whether it's blemish-free or not (because let's be real: That's straight-up a roll of the genetic dice, in most cases). The beauty of K-beauty is in the power and grace and mercy we allow ourselves, without having to succumb to some impossible standard, Western or otherwise.
So enough proselytizing. We wanna know what you think. Are we totally wrong? Is that the goal? Whether you call it "glass skin," "ceramic skin," "honey," "mochi," or "rice cake skin," is that what K-beauty is all about? We asked the Squad, but we soooo wanna know from you, so comment below and join the conversation!
Contributing editor Sheryll:
I'm all about making my skin look the best it can to my standards. I've never really aspired to have glass skin or anything else, really. I just want to not get hormonal acne, LOL! ?
Associate editor Ruth:
I hadn't really heard of the term "glass skin" before, but just visualizing it gives me pause. I get "dewy" or "glowing" skin, but glassy? Reminds me of a creepy porcelain doll that may have a beautiful finish but is kept on a shelf to collect dust for years. *shudder* ?
So while I'll may never achieve "glass skin," I do know when my skin is feeling and looking happy and healthy (which is more than enough for me)! There was a short period when my skin was really behaving and that was when I tried the 7-skin method, along with emulsion, a facial oil, and a layer of my moisturizer on top. And when I applied makeup, I mixed in a few drops of facial oil with my foundation to really maintain that healthy finish. My skin seriously stayed glowing all day and night!
Contributing editor Coco:
Do I want glass skin? Sure! Can I achieve it? Nope. If I had unlimited money and time, I might try, but as of right now my goals are more realistic, and that aim at this point is to just make sure I don't look like my mother ?
Editor at large Jude:
It sounds like a marketing term more than anything else. The concept of it isn't that much different than the dewy skin that's already pretty standard, just theoretically taken to an extreme. It's translucent skin with a sheen to it, that's all.
The concept of skin trends is already pretty troubling to me. For most people, it's already challenging enough trying to organize a skincare routine that works well enough for their skin to keep it clear and comfortable; existing beauty standards are already pretty high for complexions without throwing the extra wrench of disposable trends into the mix.
I know that we deal in skincare and beauty, but for me, helping people do things like minimize pore size, reduce dark spots, etc., those are things that are important because they can help people feel better about themselves. These skin trends feel like a way of making it harder for people to feel better about themselves — it's kind of moving the goalposts. Like, what, I cleared my acne and cleaned out my pores, and now that's still not good enough?
(I feel the same way about body type and facial feature trends. That's a part of your body and takes a lot of work to change — it's not like clothes or nails or makeup where you can just take something off and put another thing on!)
With that being said, I am happy with my routine's ability to produce dewy and translucent skin. That look comes from a smooth surface and very, very well hydrated skin. Gentle exfoliation helps with the smooth surface, while multiple layers of lightweight hydrating products and regular use of sheet masks takes care of the hydration piece. But I'd rather not put a label on the result and turn it into another specific goal that people feel they need to achieve before they can be happy with their skin.
Let's start the banter! What do you think? Is K-beauty all about achieving some unattainable standard like glass skin or whatever the next big trend is supposed to be? We're eager to know what you think!
She may have started her career as a lawyer, but Anna found her true calling long before that, while poring over the beauty editorials and skincare how-to’s in teen magazines. Sure, the ladies at the Estée Lauder counter may have scoffed at her when she asked for an eye cream at the age of 16, but hey, she was just ahead of her time. Today, Anna is a beauty editor, obsessing over skincare ingredients and the Oxford comma. Follow her travels on Instagram at @annanymity.