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NOW READING Beauty Banter: Do You Want Glass Skin? Is It Even Achievable?
September 26, 2017

Beauty Banter: Do You Want Glass Skin? Is It Even Achievable?

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!


glass skin


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. M​y 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.




For me k-beauty has been all about quality skin care without going completely bankrupt. The skincare products from Korea (and a little from Japan) have completely changed my skin. I could not use 90% of the products on the US market because of the ingredients or cost. Now I do have very happy healthy skin. And sunscreen! Sunscreen that does not make me look like someone threw acid on my face (dead serious).

I have ever wanted was healthy skin. Not perfect or glass. I think it is important to use good, solid, quality products. Not just the... Read more


That's sooo true. I feel like I can try new K-beauty skincare more often because they're (relatively) affordable and their ingredients, I find, are generally much better, even with though they're cheaper.

I also aim for healthy skin. I'll always have giant pores, hormonal acne (it feels like forever), dark spots, and redness, but even as I get older and my skin issues increase, I have to admit my skin is healthier than ever before.


I'm grateful to have found so many bloggers and k-beauty professionals who think like y'all.

I have skin challenges that are genetic and are not changeable without surgery. (Think benign tumors and extra blood supply; google trichoepithelioma if you want to know more.) If I took the trendy goals seriously, or even if I had a fixed goal that was not realistic for me, I wouldn't make it in skincare. In fact, that's what I did for decades. Subconsciously my thinking went: I can't be beautiful, so I'd rather focus on other things like sports and writing.

Inclusive k-beauty, the way you... Read more


Your journey is really inspiring @jane0elaine. I love that: "bringing my skin back into my heart." I feel like that's something so many of us, myself included, need to do more of, not just with our skin but with all aspects of ourselves and our lives. To me, skin acceptance is similar to accepting my other flaws and embracing it and saying it's OK, just do your best. It took me years of therapy to open my eyes to that — it's OK if you're not perfect. IT'S OK.

It's ironic that as I get older and my skin... Read more


Thank you. <3 I complete agree about skin acceptance and other acceptance. It's funny how some of us are capable of weaponizing anything against ourselves. Be better? Gotcha, I WILL BE PERFECT OR I WILL THROW MYSELF DOWN THE STAIRS. I'm sure that's not what anyone ever meant. And when I finally admit something is really true about myself and stop running from it, I have a chance to integrate that aspect of myself back into the whole, with love.

In related news, if you ever want someone to write an article on this topic, I am available. ;)

As for your... Read more


Oooo, I'm gonna email you!


I feel that k-beauty is all about self-love and self care. Us girls should learn to be confident and comfortable in our own skin instead of stressing themselves out trying to achieve that marketed "glass skin" and "porcelain skin".

IG username: zeyin73
K-beauty box: Desert Oasis Box (dry)

for me embracing in k beauty world its like giving your self a value to relax,to be who you are and be confident ,be beautiful inside and out and achieving the best care for your skin ..honestly you cant really achive the porcelain and doll like skin they only do it for advertising ,if your just using skin care without going to clinic is imposible .but i like using k beuty product because they really do their job if the product match with your skin but not all product ofcourse will work for you thats the exciting part... Read more


It has already been said, but to me K-beauty is about self care and achieving the best skin you can. But K-beauty is also an industry... and I guess 'glas skin ' sells more than 'be the best you can, but you will never have 'glas skin' ' ?


I like "Be the best you can!" I think it's time we start changing the messaging of the "industry" part of K-beauty. I love that K-beauty is about self care for you. We need to make that the message of K-beauty! ?


Yes! Let's do this! ????


On average I apply at least 5 products per day to my face in order to control oil and shine. Heck no I don't want glass skin. The matte-er, the better.



Well, whether I put all those cream on my face or follow the 10 steps Korean regimen, there is no possibility my skin color, tone and type would change or be different. It's part of my genes and I have long embraced it, the only thing I could probably do is to lessen the marks of aging and somehow manage the sebum and acne scars (yo! I guess all of us is afraid of aging too). It's just saddening that a lot of girls nowadays go for drastic measures just to achieve the pretty face, perfect skin, doll-like or... Read more


Totally agree!


Indeed! ?


@annapark I want ask about this product, "OSEQUE 4D AURA FINISH" i see it in bling bling box, can i buy it just alone !! I can't find it in the site!!


Isn't it sooo pretty??? I'm finding out for you now @hayfa!


Thank u so much @annapark ^


What I really like about the K-beauty system/routine is the concept of taking the best possible care of your skin, and ultimately yourself. Some of the things that drew me to this was that I was seeing western skin care lines copying Korean beauty trends and that it seemed to me that the Korean skin care industry is on the cutting edge of skin care research. While I wish I could look like those beautiful k-drama actresses with flawless skin, I know that for me, that would be impossible; but it is still worth trying, and if I see... Read more


Wow nice comment ^ i wish to be like k-drama actors ilooove how they faces look .. is there a secret about that !!?


I totally agree with you @gaylesuzuki. K-beauty is so much more than just using certain products from a certain country. I love that it emphasizes a philosophy of caring for yourself and taking the time to draw your best self (and skin) out. I'll never have glass skin or any of those lofty descriptions often only achieved through Photoshop or genetics, but I can feel good that I'm always striving to bring out the best in my skin.