Is Glass Skin A Beauty Myth? We Put It To The Test
K-Beauty has dominated the skincare world (and our bathroom cabinet) over the past two years. And along with the innovative formulas and lengthy routines, came our obsession with glass skin, AKA skin that literally looks like glass.
And while we’ve tried (and subsequently fallen in love) with a wide array of K-Beauty products and skincare techniques, we wanted to try a regimen consisting ONLY of K-Beauty products, day-in, day-out to see if it delivered the coveted glass skin it promised.
So, for six weeks we put aside our favorite formulas and skincare rituals to try the ultimate glass skin routine from one of our fave K-Beauty brands, Peach & Lily. We spoke to the Founder, Alicia Yoon, who recommended her signature routine for #glassskin, which she’s spent years curating. Here’s what happened when we tried it…
The Ultimate K-Beauty Glass Skin Routine
I eagerly volunteered to trial the glass skin routine, although honestly, my daily routine is pretty simple in comparison to the K-Beauty seven-step standard: At night I double cleanse, tone (just once), then I follow with a moisturizer and finish with a face oil if my skin is feeling thirsty. I also exfoliate twice a week and mask whenever I’m in the mood. In the morning I cleanse once then hydrate with whatever product I’m trialing. As a beauty editor, my routine is never that consistent as I’m constantly trying out new products, so the prospect of a regular routine was actually quite exciting (yes, beauty editors are skincare geeks).
Alicia recommended her signature Peach & Lily routine, which comprised of six key products that pretty much work for all skin types – there’s nothing irritating about any of these products. The routine focuses heavily on hydration: a beauty cornerstone that can help improve a myriad of skin concerns, which is why K-Beauty, as well as this routine, should work for nearly everyone.
After hearing my colleagues rave about the Peach & Lily products, I was super excited to start. Plus, I have normal to dry skin, so my skin’s needs aligned well with the K-Beauty mantra: hydration is everything.
Step 1: Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser, $28
What it is: A gel formula that combines the power of two cleansing agents to remove stubborn impurities, dirt and makeup residue from your skin. It’s suitable for all skin from acne-prone to mature.
What it does: The formula contains soothing ingredients like cica, chamomile, and Camilla extract to hydrate while providing a surge of glow-enhancing antioxidants. All, of course, while cleansing deep into the skin to remove makeup and dirt.
How to apply: To use, squeeze a dime-sized amount onto your skin, and lather with water. Wash off and pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Use it every morning and night.
My honest thoughts: I was dubious about using a gel formula twice a day, as I ordinarily use an oil-based cleanser. However, it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry or tight, in fact, the light gel lathers into a soft milky foam that feels super luxurious. It also easily removed my mascara without irritating my eyes.
Step 2: Peach & Lily The Good Acid Pore Toners, $39
What it is: A pH-adjusting daily toner featuring a pore-refining blend of salicylic acid complemented by soothing ingredients like eggplant, aloe, and turmeric extract.
What it does: This toner gently buffs away dead skin that blocks your pores while antioxidants work to brighten your complexion. The plant extracts also help restore even skin tone.
How to apply: To maximize the benefits, apply the formula to your skin, and gently pat it in. This application technique is a K-Beauty fave as it minimizes the risk of tugging and increases absorption. We love to use this technique in the morning, but in the evening we prefer to soak a cotton pad which helps to gather any last traces of dirt of makeup we may have missed.
My honest thoughts: After a month of using this product, as promised, my pores appeared smaller and my skin tone was more even. I was officially a convert. However, as I have normal to dry skin instead of using it daily, I built up usage starting from two times a week to every other day. If you have oily or combination skin, this is a must-have!
Step 3: Peach & Lily Wild Dew Treatment Essence, $39
What it is: An ultra-lightweight watery formula that contains skincare actives to hydrate the skin at a deeper level while brightening and replenishing the skin. The essence is designed to soak in deeply and quickly, which helps your following steps to absorb more effectively.
What it does: While it may feel like water on your skin, it contains a potent mix of moisturizing, glow-boosting ingredients. For starters, it contains niacinamide to brighten, yeast extract to restore the skin’s outer layer, as well as hydration hero; hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water.
How to apply: Just like the toner, apply a few drops onto your face and pat it into your skin. You can actually use this essence instead of toner if you’re looking for something more gentle.
My honest thoughts: It’s crazy how powerful such a lightweight texture can be, but my skin instantly felt so hydrated as if it had just gulped a tall glass of water. I was addicted.
Step 4: Peach & Lily Glass Refining Serum, $39
What it is: A firming, brightening, hydrating serum bursting with antioxidants to deliver glass skin.
What it does: The active ingredients such as peach extract, niacinamide, and yam extract work together to strengthen the skin’s epidermis thereby preventing future moisture loss. It also reduces inflammation in the skin while hydrate deeply to banish flakiness. With continual use, it’ll even help boost collagen production to promote firm and supple skin.
How to apply: Pat a pea-sized amount onto clean, dry skin every morning and night.
My honest thoughts: I’m obsessed with serums, and this has to be one of my favorites. It literally glides onto your skin, and absorbs almost instantly, leaving it feeling plump and hydrated. I love how this made my skin feel, but if you’re fighting skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, acne-scarring, or uneven skin tone, you could consider swapping this out at night-time for something more targeted.
Step 5: Peach & Lily Pudding Antioxidant Cream, $40
What it is: A rich moisturizing cream in a whipped texture that provides deep, intense hydration without sitting heavily on the skin. Matcha, niacinamide, and adenosine blast the skin with antioxidants and brightening and firming ingredients to help improve the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and dehydration.
What it does: This cream moisturizer will literally drench your skin in antioxidants that’ll not only brighten and boost luminosity but help fight free radicals that cause premature aging.
How to apply: Using the adorable skincare spatula, massage one scoop of the cream onto your skin. But remember – do not pull your skin downwards, work in an upwards motion to avoid tugging the skin in the wrong direction!
My honest thoughts: I love the texture of this cream; it feels like velvet and because it’s so lightweight, it’s still suitable for oily skin. It also doesn’t pill when layered with other products, which is a major bonus for me. When I arrive at this point in the routine, my skin is reaching the glass skin goals I was longing for: My skin is looking hella-dewy, supple, and glowy.
Step 6: Pure Beam Luxe Oil, $39
What it is: A 100% natural, plant-based oil featuring squalane, jojoba, camellia, grapeseed, and sea buckthorn oil.
What it does: This rich combination of oils delivers vital vitamins and fatty acids to help strengthen your skin’s protective barrier, thereby preventing future moisture loss. It also encourages skin cell production to help diminish the appearance of scars and imperfections.
How to apply: Apply two drops every morning and night to clean, dry skin.
My honest thoughts: This oil works well as the final step of a lengthy routine as it’s quite lightweight. For this reason, it’s also great for combination to oily skin. However, if you prefer a super-rich oil, which I normally do, this isn’t the product for you as it’s very lightweight, however, that does make it great for daytime use. Plus, as it’s 100% natural, it has quite an earthy scent.
First impression: After applying each step, I not only felt smug but hella-hydrated. Another instant selling point was the products didn’t pill at all, which is when the formula begins to gather into tiny beads on your skin. I was also worried that the gel-cleanser and toner would leave my skin feeling tight, as after reading the inkey list, they’re more potent than my go-to products. On the contrary, my skin felt supple and well hydrated.
Weeks one and two: I started trialing my K-Beauty routine while on a trip to Thailand. The sun is extremely strong in South East Asia, and even after applying factor 50 sunscreen, I did get a little sunburnt. Plus, after a nine-hour flight, my skin was definitely dehydrated. After using the routine (without the toner) my skin felt extremely hydrated and to my surprise, it didn’t peel.
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Week three and four: This is when the compliments started rolling in, which only fueled my dedication to the K-Beauty glass skin routine. After being quarantined when I returned from Thailand, people started to comment on my glowing skin, even on Zoom. Most importantly, the tone and texture had improved – the pores on my nose had minimized thanks to the AHAs in the toner and my skin felt so supple and plump.
After using the products for a month, I will most definitely continue to use and repurchase the serum, as well as the toner and essence. I would also recommend the toner, essence, moisturizer, and oil to anyone with normal to oily and acne-prone skin, as these really are the perfect balance of hydrating, gentle, and effective ingredients. My least favorite product was probably the face wash, as I prefer something that has a little more power to it alongside my oil-based cleanser, but if you have normal, well-balanced skin, this is a great gentle but effective cleanser.
I also tried the Peach & Lily Original Glow Sheet Mask, $6, which I used twice a week when my skin was feeling thirsty. The brightening botanicals, peptides, and AHAs in the formula are cleverly combined and really do give radiant, bouncy skin.
So, the question is, did I have glass skin? After each routine, my skin undoubtedly looked glass-like and I have to say, my skin was definitely loving the consistency and nourishing qualities of this routine.
What do you guys think of my skin? Do you think I achieved #glassskin goals?
For more K-Beauty deets, check out the K-Beauty techniques you need to know.