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Black woman with beautiful glass skin

Glass Skin And Dolphin Skin: How To Get The No-Filter Face Of Your Dreams

How can we forget glass skin, the 2017 holy grail Korean beauty trend that had us searching for a way to achieve a dewy, poreless complexion. Skin so flawless that it shimmers like glass. 

Now we have another similar trend making a splash and stemming from a rather unlikely source: dolphins. We get excited about these trends, not because of their goals of achieving translucent perfection, but because they encourage skin care maintenance and thorough routines. Let’s take a deep dive on glass skin and dolphin skin - and find out how you too can shine bright like a diamond (or dolphin, in this case). 

Is There A Difference Between Glass Skin And Dolphin Skin?  

From K-pop, Korean soaps and celebrity signature looks, South Korea has brought many influences our way. How many of us have experimented with snail mucin creams and ampoules or hunted around for a definition of “chok chok”? 

In case you were curious, “chok chok," translating to “damp skin,” was one of the first moist-skin trends to grab our attention. The glass skin trend soon followed. This trend requires skin that is so poreless and plumped with hydration that it glistens like a sheet of glass. 

Dolphin skin is similar to glass skin because both trends are all about hydration. But the main difference is that the dolphin skin look requires layers of highlighter and blush. The highlighter is intended to fall like sun beams across the heights of your cheekbones so that you get that slippery, fresh-out-of-the-water look, as if you had smooth skin like the aquatic mammal. 

To attain either of these looks, there are three goals to reach: 

  • Clear skin that’s free of impurities

  • A smooth skin texture (achieved via exfoliation) 

  • Dewy hydration, pulled off by using hydrating products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid

Don’t stress, we’ve created a routine that will help you get there with our ideal ingredients.

How To Get Glass Skin And Dolphin Skin: An Overview

The solution to achieving glass and dolphin skin is a routine that includes products that gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells as well as products that plump skin with hydration. For both skin care looks, the routines are almost identical, except that for dolphin skin you apply makeup as the last step (see below). 

An example routine would be: 

  • Oil-based and water-based cleansers 
  • Exfoliant
  • Toner
  • Essence
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer 
  • Highlighter and blush (for the dolphin skin look) 

Star Ingredients For Your Skin Care Routine 

Step 1: Double Cleanse

The backbone of Korean skin care is double cleansing, and it also happens to be an essential step for these two skin care looks. With a two-step technique, a double cleanse removes dirt, sebum and makeup. 

The big theme here is hydration. In terms of ingredients, look for cleansers that contain hydrating oils like sunflower oil, rich in Vitamins A, D and E, or jojoba oil, as it is easily absorbed into the skin. You may also want to choose cleansers that contain very mild exfoliating properties to cleanse and gently exfoliate at the same time. 

Even if you don’t wear makeup, double cleansing still has benefits. A build up of SPF, sebum and dust from the air can all clog pores, leading to blemished skin.

Step 2:  Exfoliate 

One step towards clear skin is through exfoliation - physical or chemical exfoliation. This process removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface and smooths out its texture by clearing any build up. 

If you’re wondering what the difference is, a chemical exfoliant utilizes naturally occurring enzymes or acids like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) to remove dead skin cells. Physical exfoliants are products like scrubs that contain small granules or beads, or tools like a brush for manual exfoliation. 

The Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser is an example of a chemical exfoliant because it contains lactic acid. In comparison, a product like the Turmeric Energizing Treatment is a physical exfoliant which scrubs the skin using the grittiness of zeolite and turmeric powder.

Step 3: Toner

Now for the step that so many of us skip over! Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience in the past with toners drying you out? You don’t need to worry because alcohol-based toners are a thing of the past, and they’re definitely not recommended in a glass or dolphin skin routine. 

The purpose of a toner is to restore the balance of pH levels to your skin, provide hydration and help in better penetration of skin care products. We want to use toners with hydrating ingredients like coconut milk, which is moisturizing and nourishing, and oils like neroli oil for hydration. 

Step 4: Essence

Essence is the epicenter of the Korean skin care routine, a lightweight formula that restores moisture levels and hydrates your complexion. You apply essence to a clean face to prep the skin for absorbing the next products, like your serum and moisturizer. 

For the glass and dolphin skin look, essences with ingredients like botanical collagen help elasticity and improve barrier function. Look for ultra-hydrating antioxidants, like snow mushroom, which help the skin look stronger and healthier. Other powerful ingredients like reishi mushroom can help with hydration and is a potent source of antioxidants which minimizes puffiness. 

Step 5: Serum And Oils 

If you’re on a quest to achieve a dewy complexion, hydrating your skin is essential. And you can do so with both serums and oils. Typically, facial serums are applied to target specific skin concerns, whereas oils are intended to moisturize. And you may want to do both here, depending if you have areas of concern. The great thing about Korean skin care is that routines are customizable. 

As an example, our Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum targets hydration and the visible signs of aging. It contains a botanical hyaluronic acid (from marshmallow plant extract) that is deeply hydrating and smooths and replenishes the look of skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This serum also targets the appearance of wrinkles with its use of a BioComplex, a booster of antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, and alpha lipoic acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines and signs of aging.

In this step, you can also apply an oil to leave your complexion looking soft and supple. A product with camellia oil, like our Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil, will rejuvenate the look of skin. Its hemp seed oil ingredient is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and marula oil is packed with fatty acids - two more types of oil that hydrate the skin for that glossy look.

Beyond the glass and dolphin skin look, if you're after some life-changing skin care products to achieve healthy, glowing skin, watch this In The Mix video on life-changing products for each skin type. 


Step 6: Moisturizer

Another essential product for a radiant glow is a good moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which helps draw moisture into your skin. You can also look for antioxidant-rich ingredients like cloudberry, arctic roseroot, arctic meadowsweet and juniper. Antioxidants protect your skin by limiting free radical production for a soft, supple look. And healthy, soft skin is going to take you one step closer to a glass or dolphin skin complexion.

Step 7: Highlighter And Blush (For The Dolphin Skin Look)

There’s one final step that differentiates the glass skin look from the dolphin skin look - the application of makeup. To get the dolphin skin look, as a last step apply highlighter or iridescent products as well as blush to give the appearance of high cheekbones. You want to apply it on the tip and bridge of the nose, temples, brow bones and chin.

Extra Tips To Achieve Glass Skin And Dolphin Skin 

Tip 1: A Clear Skin Diet

Glowing skin starts from within! To get glowing skin and for great overall health, it’s a good idea to avoid sugars, alcohol, processed and packaged foods. Instead, cooking for yourself, and with whole foods, are habits that have an impact on your skin and general health. Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to reduce inflammation, help acne symptoms and even improve your skin’s sensitivity to the sun’s damaging UV rays. Try eating more foods like fish, eggs, soy products, kale, walnuts or almonds and see how your body responds. 

Tip 2: Introduce A Ritual of Self Care

The Korean beauty philosophy shares similar tenets with Eminence Organic Skin Care when it comes to self-care. To relieve stress and help your skin, we encourage a variety of routines that can turn into fun rituals. This might involve putting 10 minutes aside in the morning and evening for your skin care routine. You could visit a spa or create your own at-home spa by soaking in the tub with candles. Even long, hot showers can create a steam room of sorts! Whatever you decide, little rituals where you focus on yourself will help you relax and reconnect at the end of a long day. 

Tip 3: Get Moving And Exercise

And when it comes to youthful-looking skin, exercise is pretty great to combat early signs of aging. Exercise increases blood flow to the skin and improves the transportation of oxygen alongside other nutrients to minimize inflammation in your body. 

What are your best tips for achieving glowing, flawless skin? Let us know in the comments below, and share your best #energizeandglow look on Insta. Your photo could be featured on the @eminenceorganics Instagram account.