Korean Glass Skin, The Craze That Shook The Beauty Industry

Inspired by Korean beauty traditions Glow Recipe uses superfruit watermelon in their best-selling sleeping mask.
Thursday 6 May 2021
Co-Founders and Co-CEO’s of Glow Recipe Sarah Lee and Christine Chang.

The global rise in K-Pop and K-Drama opened up the traditions of Korean Beauty trends around the world. With K-Stars flaunting glass skin ( A term popularised in Korea to describe flawless, poreless complexion) everyone wants to know the secret to perfect skin. It is common knowledge, the key to good skin is hydrating by drinking lots of water, moisturising and getting enough beauty sleep. But what are the Koreans doing differently? The answer may be in their 10-step daily skincare regime, sleeping mask or double-cleansing.

Co-Founders and Co-CEO’s of Glow Recipe Sarah Lee and Christine Chang tackles the issues surrounding defining a clean beauty brand and bringing traditional Korean beauty values into their brand.

Glow Recipe products are Leaping Bunny certified, 100% cruelty-free and they never test on animals.
Glow Recipe products are Leaping Bunny certified, 100% cruelty-free and they never test on animals.


We believe clean beauty starts with transparency. We list all ingredients on our site and also include educational content around why we chose certain ingredients. We also have a full list of ingredients we don’t use which are available for consumers to see on our website. Our products are vegetarian, contain no environmental hazards such as Oxybenzone or Octinoxate, mercury or mercury-containing ingredients, as well as synthetic colourants. We are Leaping Bunny certified, 100% cruelty-free and we never test on animals.


What steps has your brand taken to be considered a natural skincare brand?

We also believe that sustainability is an important facet of clean beauty. We use glass packaging whenever possible and started partnering with Terracycle last year to make all components recyclable across the range. We use FSC certified cartons printed with soy ink. Our shipping boxes and tissue are also made out of 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Our clean beauty journey as a brand is ever-evolving and we’ll continue to involve and share with our customers so that they can be part of each step.


Watermelon is a key ingredient in a range of popular Glow Recipe products. There aren’t many other beauty brands that have used watermelon, What makes the ingredient special?

Watermelon has a rich variety of benefits for the skin. It is an antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredient inclusive of vitamins A, C, and B6, which all work together to intensely hydrate, soothe, and fight free radical damage to ward off fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It has lycopene which helps protect the skin from UV and prevent signs of ageing. Another fun fact is that we use the entire watermelon including the seeding and the rind across different products!  Watermelon is especially helpful for those with combination, dull skin types or acne-prone skin. For combination and acne-prone skin, watermelon provides the lightweight hydration that also helps soothe skin. For dull skin types, the natural Vitamin C helps brighten complexions.


Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner 3
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner


Was there some compelling/life-changing statistic or moment of discovery that made you decide to use fruits in your beauty products?

In Korea, our grandmothers used to rub watermelon rinds on our skin in the summer to calm heat rash and irritation – and it would work like magic. We were inspired by this childhood experience and wanted to harness the power of this incredible superfruit in an overnight treatment, which inspired our first ever product and one we can hardly keep on the shelves – our Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. Natural ingredients have always been part of the beauty rituals passed down to us from our mothers and grandmothers and it’s important to us to harness these antioxidant-rich superfruits and pair them with synergistic actives for powerful yet gentle skin results.


How has K beauty influenced Glow Recipe?

We have a combined 25+ years of experience in both the U.S. and Korea and Glow Recipe is a result of both of those combined experiences. K-Beauty is about celebrating self-care and listening to your skin, and the brand’s philosophy and products aim to reflect that. Glow Recipe consists of products that address a variety of skin concerns, and through innovative and fun ingredients, applying these products to your skin not only treats those concerns but becomes an enjoyable experience as well.


Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask
Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask.

You partnered with Netflix to launch a range of limited edition watermelon glow products. How did this come about? Such partnerships are quite new to the beauty industry. How did the partnership benefit your brand?

When we watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix, we loved seeing a strong, independent Asian-American female protagonist in Lara Jean. We also loved seeing her do her skincare routine through items like sheet masks in the movie. It was an honour to work with the Netflix team to create limited edition product designs of our bestselling Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and Watermelon Glow Mist that was inspired by Lara Jean’s fun, unique aesthetic. We believe that when there’s synergy between philosophies, as there was with this collaboration, the partnership really takes on a life of itself. We had a tremendous response from our community on this limited edition kit and the movie and loved that we were able to give them this experience.

How is Glow Recipe contributing to sustainability?

Sustainability is a core brand value at Glow Recipe and we are constantly looking for ways to cut down on packaging and use more sustainable materials. Our products are 100% recyclable, either at home or through our send-back program with TerraCycle®, with whom we have partnered for over a year. TerraCycle® converts them into raw materials that can be used for new product manufacturing for common household items. Our glass jars are 100% recyclable, made with 20% recycled glass, and designed to be repurposed. Our cartons are 100% recyclable, made with a blend of PEFC-certified recycled paper, free of acids and heavy metals, and printed with soy ink. We are actively working on ways to reduce and offset our carbon footprint and are taking steps to become carbon neutral by 2022.