Forget Glass Skin—"Cloudless Skin" Is the Latest Korean Skincare Trend
“Your outfit’s sick.” “You look smoking hot.” “Your face beat has me shook.” It’s hard to imagine a non-American millennial taking any of these statements as compliments—and yet, here we are. As lovers of language, we fully embrace colorful, creative uses of the written and spoken word, especially when it comes to showing appreciation. Thus, our ears perked up when our friends Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, co-founders of Korean beauty website Glow Recipe, clued us in on the “ultimate skin compliment” in Korea. “It’s when you hear ‘pibu mal ga boh yuh!’ which directly translates to ‘your skin is so cloudless!’” Lee explains. We’re familiar with glass skin and honey skin, but "cloudless skin"? We were intrigued (and also very appreciative of the Korean affinity for appealing skin metaphors).
Above is an image of Lee and Chang’s intern, who is the prime example of someone who has “cloudless” skin. Consider us extremely jealous. “Cloudless speaks to the overall health of the skin, where it’s as clear, bright, and discoloration-free as a sunny sky,” Lee says. But how exactly does that differ from glass skin, which is all about that translucent look, and honey skin, which is all about moisture and high sheen? Simply put, the main difference is that cloudless skin is more about the health of your skin, rather than its appearance.
“Cloudless skin doesn’t happen overnight,” Chang says. “It’s more about taking care of your skin through a consistent routine with the right products over time.” She says that in order to achieve true “cloudless skin,” you need to develop a skincare routine that addresses and protects against the four main skin concerns: dullness, clogged pores, irritation and environmental. Only after addressing these four areas will you achieve clear, healthy, bouncy “cloudless skin.” We asked Lee and Chang for their recommendations for these four issues below.
The Issue: Irritation
The Solution: “Keeping the skin and pH level balanced will help keep skin even and inflammation-free. Use non-stripping, low pH toners like ID.AZ Dermastic Essential Toner ($34) and follow up with hydrators that have soothing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. Our recommendations: Make P:rem Cicapro Cream ($37) and LJH Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule ($33).”
The Issue: Dullness
The Solution: “Opt for gentle daily exfoliation instead of using harsh, gritty scrubs two to three times a week. Our recommendations are the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask ($45) with gentle AHAs nightly and using a splash mask like Blithe’s Patting Splash Mask ($45) a few times a week to boost glow. Both are designed to exfoliate but also deliver a heavy dose of hydration.”
Click here for more chemical exfoliators Team Byrdie loves.
The Issue: Clogged Pores
The Solution: “Double cleansing is a must to ensure impurities are thoroughly removed from skin at the end of the day. We recommend Yuri Pibu Grante Cleansing Oil ($36) and Glow Recipe Blueberry Cleanser ($34). Applying a deep cleansing rubber mask once a week will help de-clog pores as well. Look for active ingredients like charcoal (Lindsay Modeling Rubber Mask, $6) or tea tree oil (MD’s Pick Clarifying Water Rubber Mask, $9).”
The Issue: Environmental Damage
The Solution: “To protect your skin against the elements, incorporate products with antioxidants. Our favorite is the Blithe Inbetween Makeup Prep Essence ($38), which creates an amphiphilic film that acts as a barrier between skin and everything else (dirt, pollution, etc). We also recommend the free radical–fighting Whamisa by Glow Recipe Green Tea Moisturizer ($25) and sunscreen like Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ ($32).”
So there you have it. Cloudless skin is more about the result you get from addressing those four skin issues than a certain “look” to achieve from piling on products. We’re shook, as they say.