A woman applying a face mask.

Korean “glass skin” has been a coveted look for several years now and for good reason. Everyone loves clear, poreless, and gorgeously luminous skin, after all! The kind of complexion that’s so perfectly healthy and glowing, it’s like looking at a piece of glass. 

But while it’s true that serious hydration is a key component in achieving this look, there’s another important skincare step that you shouldn’t skip if you’re keen to score the dewy, translucent skin of your fave K-drama stars. What is it? Exfoliation.

Here’s Why You Need to Exfoliate your Skin

Exfoliating helps slough away dead skin cells and reveal smoother skin.

Let’s get down to the basics. Every 30 days or so, our skin naturally sheds dead skin cells from the upper layer (epidermis) to make room for newer, fresher skin from the middle layer (dermis). But because of the buildup of dirt, oil, makeup, and other debris on our skin, this natural process can become inhibited. This results in clogged pores, as well as dryness, roughness, and flakiness—which can easily make skin look dull and lackluster.

The pile-up also affects how your skincare products work. The layer of dead skin cells and impurities prevent the ingredients from your serums and moisturizers from penetrating deep into your skin, making them unable to do their magic. That said, the skin’s hydration and nourishment are compromised, and also becomes more prone to developing pimples.

Exfoliating can help prevent breakouts from happening.

To prevent these, regular exfoliation is necessary. Simply put, exfoliation is the process of removing or sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Aside from purifying the complexion, it also evens out your skin tone, boosts circulation, and helps keep skin young-looking.

There are two types of exfoliators that you can use: mechanical exfoliators, such as scrubs and masks, and chemical exfoliators, a.k.a. solutions or peels containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).

Exfoliation Do’s and Don’ts

Get on your way to your glass skin dreams with these exfoliating tips:

DO cleanse before you exfoliate.

Give skin a proper cleanse first and make sure to remove any makeup using an oil-based makeup remover or micellar water

DON’T go overboard.

Too much or harsh exfoliation can be bad for the skin, as these can lead to irritation and even dryness. If you’re using a scrub or an acid-based product, the universal rule is to exfoliate twice to three times a week. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you can start exfoliating once or twice a week.

It’s good to know, though, that some facial cleansers now also double as gentle exfoliators, which are safe to use daily. If you have acne-prone skin, try POND'S Clear Solutions Facial Scrub, which is infused with salicylic acid (a BHA) to refresh skin and prevent breakouts.

For acne-prone skin

POND’S Clear Solutions Facial Scrub

DON’T forget to use a hydrating product after.

To prevent dryness and help you achieve that supple, glass skin finish, lock in hydration with your serum and moisturizer. Try: POND'S Perfect Serum Burst Cream, a cream-to-serum formula that brightens skin as it delivers long-lasting, dewy moisture.

In the quest for glass skin, it’s really not enough to just pile up on the moisturizers and illuminating glow-getters, all for a faux glow. For truly healthy skin, start incorporating regular exfoliation into your routine now—and get ready to get lit from within.