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Glass Skin Is the Viral Beauty Trend That’ll Leave You Glowing — Here’s How to Get It

Dermatologists and makeup pros share their best tips

While it might seem like the majority of today’s beauty trends are geared toward younger generations, that’s not always the case. One that works great for women over 50 is the glass skin trend. As the name suggests, this technique of getting gorgeously smooth, luminous skin works for women of all ages but is especially great for those with mature skin. Curious to learn more? We spoke to beauty pros all about the benefits of glass skin and how to easily achieve the glowing results. And spoiler alert: It entails more than just layering on tons of highlighter — read on for the simple how-tos.

What is glass skin?

Mature woman with glass skin

Glass skin is all about having skin that’s glossy, dewy, smooth and glistening, says makeup artist Norah Salazar. The popular trend started in Asia — Korea specifically — but quickly gained momentum stateside thanks to social media, she adds. Achieving this glass-like texture can be done either via skincare — with an emphasis on exfoliation and hydration — or via makeup, specifically by using moisturizing products with a radiant finish to create that lit-from-within glow. More on how to achieve the look below, but according to the pros we spoke to, focusing on skincare and thinking of makeup as the icing on the cake is the way to go.

Related: 9 Skincare-Infused Makeup Products to Give You an Immediate Glow + Lasting Benefits

Why glass skin flatters women over 50

“Smooth, glassy skin is a sign of health and vitality,” says Geeta Yadav, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology in Toronto. “The products that promote it help plump up fine lines and condition the skin, making it look more youthful and vibrant.” The goal with glass skin is to eliminate texture and dryness. And the steps you take and products you use to do so can ultimately leave your skin healthier, not to mention looking ageless.

This is great for women over 50 as skin typically becomes drier and more textured with age, thanks to things such as sun damage and free radicals. But that being said, the benefits of glass skin really are universal too. No matter how old you are, everyone looks better and healthier when their complexion is glowing, notes Dr. Yadav.

How to get glass skin using skincare

skincare serum for glass skin
Anna Efetova/Getty

Dr. Yadav suggests incorporating moisture into every step of your glass skin routine and really focus on using moisturizing products whenever possible. Here, some more specifics on getting the look with skin care.

Glass skin morning skincare routine

  1. Wash your face with a hydrating cleanser. Dr. Yadav’s top tip: Seek out cream, balm or milky formulas, all of which are innately moisturizing. One to try: Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser.
  2. While your skin is still slightly damp, layer on a serum that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin. “These ingredients are humectants, says Dr. Yadav. “They act like magnets, grabbing onto the lingering water and drawing it into the skin to plump it up.” Neutrogena Hydra Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum fits the bill to do just that.
  3. Follow with a moisturizer. Dr. Yadav recommends choosing one that contains ceramides, which help seal in all of that moisture that you just added. Our pick: The INKEY List Bio-Active Ceramide Repairing and Plumping Moisturizer.
  4. The last step? Sunscreen, of course. It’s paramount for warding off the sun damage that can thwart all of your glass skin efforts. Pick one that’s tinted or has a luminous finish, like Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 to further enhance your glow.

Related: “I’m a Dermatologist and Doing These 4 Steps Every Morning Ensures a Youthful Glow All Day!”

Glass skin nighttime skincare routine

  1. Start by cleansing with that same moisturizing face wash used in the a.m. Not thoroughly removing the day’s makeup and sunscreen is a recipe for clogged pores and bumps, the last thing you want when trying to achieve glass-like skin.
  2. Reach for a product that helps boost your skin cell turnover, which slows down as we age, says Dr. Yadav. This leads to a build-up of dead cells that can leave skin looking dull, rough or textured. She recommends using an exfoliating treatment with alpha-hydroxy acids (like lactic or glycolic acids), which help dissolve those dead cells so your complexion stays smooth and radiant. Try: CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment. Or try one with retinol, like RoC Multi-Correxion 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream. The vitamin A derivative helps stimulate cellular turnover from the bottom up, promoting more collagen production and firming skin, she explains. Either way, make sure you’re applying sunscreen the next morning, as both of these types of ingredients can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, cautions Dr. Yadav.

Related: Here’s the Best Speedy Nighttime Routine for Glowing, Youthful Skin, According to MDs

How to get glass skin using makeup

mature woman applying foundation.

While both experts we spoke with agree that the skincare component of glass skin is what’s most important, you can enhance the effect by using makeup strategically. As a general rule of thumb, opt for liquid and cream formulas instead of powders. “Powder products do not fit within the glass skin aesthetic as they tend to look matte, especially when layered over skincare products,” says Salazar.

Related: No-Makeup Makeup Trend: Pro Tricks to Get That Natural Look With Little Effort

Step 1: Prep with primer

“If you have large pores or deeper fine lines, look for a product that contains dimethicone,” says Dr. Yadav. The ingredient helps to fill in dips and divots to create a smooth and even surface, she notes, and it’s a key ingredient in many primers. Plus, as an added bonus, using a primer will help up the longevity of your other makeup. Make sure to choose a hydrating formula, like Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primerizer + Hydrating Primer made with triple hyaluronic acid. Another option is Refy Face Primer, which contains moisturizing niacinamide, vitamin E and glycerin. Note: Many primers are mattifying, meant to tamp down excess oil, but for glass skin the more moisturizing versions are best.

Step 2: Apply a hydrating foundation

Salazar recommends Make Up For Ever HD Skin Hydra Glow Hydrating Foundation, which contains hyaluronic acid. Buff it in with a foundation brush to create a seamless, second-skin effect. The key here is that less is more — heavy, caked-on makeup can sap the glass-like look you’re going for. Salazar says it’s always best to start with less product than you think you need and gradually add more.

Step 3: Add more light coverage with concealer

Follow by using a creamy concealer with a sheer, buildable finish, like e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer over any areas that need a little extra coverage, think under your eyes or around your nose. Again, less is more.

Step 4: Sweep on a cream blush

Skip powder blush in lieu of a cream formula like Salazar’s favorite, Jones Road Miracle Balm. Cream blushes are innately more hydrating and melt into skin rather than sitting on top of it. And this is perfect when you’re trying to achieve a glass-like effect.

Related: Makeup Artists: The Strategic Way to Apply Blush to Accentuate Your Best Features

Step 5: Dab on highlighter

Finally, reach for a highlighter — but use it sparingly. A small amount dabbed on top of your cheekbones, where light naturally reflects, is all it takes to create a glossy, glass skin look, explains Salazar. Choose one that has a radiant finish rather than visible chunks of glitter. “Too much shimmer and glitter is anything but subtle, and glass skin is all about an understated look,” she says. Not to mention that glitter can also accentuate fine lines and wrinkles on mature skin. She likes L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer. As far as what shade to choose, pearly or champagne colors work well on fair complexions, while peach or golden hues are flattering on darker skin, says Salazar. And if you don’t have a highlighter on hand, dabbing a small amount of Aquaphor on the top of cheekbones can work just as well.

For more skincare tips, click through these stories:

Skin Flooding: The Viral Trend Dermatologists Swear By + How to Get the Best Results

6 Common Makeup Mistakes That Could Be Irritating Your Skin + Easy Pro Fixes

Manuka Honey Is the Natural Cure for Inflamed, Dull and Wrinkly Skin — Here’s How to Use It

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