How to minimise pores and brighten skin


As a fan of Korean dramas, one thing that always strikes me is how all the actors and actresses have such perfect glass skin. Each episode brought out my inner beauty junkie, piquing my interest in pore minimising and achieving a radiant glow.

Well, it turns out it’s actually something that Singaporeans can achieve too. To get closer to the level of your favourite K-idol’s skin, here are 8 pore minimising and brightening tips you can try at home. 


1. Apply ice cubes over your face when you wake up


Step 1 to achieving Korean glass skin is to make it look dewy. Icing your face is an instant way to give it a glow up as it improves blood circulation and reduces puffiness and the appearance of pores. This is also why most facials out there end with a cold hammer treatment. 

Ice your face for Korean glass skinBe careful not to rub ice cubes directly on your face as they may break the delicate capillaries underneath your skin 

Recreate the facial experience at home by putting on a face mask to act as a barrier first or wrapping 4-5 ice cubes in a towel, before rolling the ice over your face in a circular motion for 1-2 minutes. Doing this first thing in the morning is also a great way to wake yourself up. Plus, ice acts as a natural primer so your makeup will stay on longer throughout the day.

Green tea ice cubesMake green tea ice cubes to take advantage of its antibacterial and antioxidant properties
Image credit: hello glow

Take this a step further by freezing green tea instead of water for added benefits – it’s more effective in reducing redness and slowing down ageing. What’s more, green tea is known to help relieve stress, and that does wonders to brighten up your skin too.


2. Wet your face with warm water & rinse off soap with cold water


One of the hallmarks of Korean glass skin is that it looks hella clear. If cleansing daily isn’t part of your skincare routine yet, you should probably start doing so to avoid accumulating gunk in your pores. 

Cleanse face for glass skin

But here’s an additional pro tip: during cleansing, wet your face with warm water to maximise the amount of foaming from your cleanser. Try not to use hot water, as that’ll strip your skin of its natural oils.

After cleansing your face, thoroughly rinse the foam off with cold water to retract your skin. You can also consider keeping your facial products in the fridge as using cold products will tighten your skin up further. 

DIY facial steam to minimise poresDo a DIY steam facial before cleansing your skin
Image credit: iHerb

For a levelled-up cleanse, you can even try a DIY steam facial which will help to soften dead skin cells surrounding your pores, making them easier to remove during cleansing or exfoliation. All you need is to pour boiling hot water in a large bowl and lean over it while draping a towel over your head. Up the ante by adding essential oils or use chamomile tea for some heightened relaxation


3. Apply the 3-second moisturising rule to your skincare routine


Applying skincare on wet face for korean glass skin

One of the most common skincare mistakes we all make is completely drying your face after cleansing. After all, it’s counterintuitive to resist the temptation of wiping dry a dripping wet face. However, as recommended by dermatologists, it turns out that the best way to apply your skincare is immediately after cleansing, while your face is still damp. 

Koreans have coined this as the 3-second moisturising rule. It allows for the active ingredients in your products to be better absorbed and penetrate deeper into your skin. 

Your moisturiser also helps to lock the moisture into your skin and keep it hydrated for a longer time. Remember, Korean glass skin always looks supple, and max hydration is the way to achieve that. So the next time you’re tempted to reach for that towel, reach for your moisturiser instead.


4. Tap and massage your face to finish your skincare routine


To ensure that your skin absorbs your skincare products to the fullest, do what many Koreans do – tap them onto your face until they’ve disappeared into your skin. Do this in quick motions or slow palm presses, whichever you prefer.

When applying your facial essence, you can use a cotton pad to help remove physical impurities before you layer on your moisturiser. This ensures that no nasties are trapped underneath, effectively avoiding breakouts.

Opt for unbleached, layered cotton pads that are textured enough to give your skin a gentle exfoliation – which reveals smoother skin in the long run.  

Facial massage for glass skin

Finish off your skincare regime with a facial massage to increase blood circulation. There are many ways to do so as there are over 300 pressure points across your face. Apply pressure to areas like your temple, jaw and cheeks in circular, upward lifting motions for firmer skin. 


5. Incorporate salicylic acid into your diet with fruits


Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that is usually present in skincare products. However, you can opt for derivatives of salicylic acid with more neutral pH levels like lipohydroxy acid (LHA) for more gentle skincare, such as the one present in L’Oreal Paris Crystal Micro-Essence. This vital ingredient is able to penetrate deep into your pores to unclog them and brightens your overall complexion. 

Foods high in salicylic acidImage adapted from: @avorush, Shoot the cook

Apart from applying them on your skin, you can also incorporate salicylic acid into your diet – fruits like avocados, raspberries and blackberries have high salicylic acid content. There are many ways you can indirectly add these ingredients to your daily meals too, such as making a yummy breakfast smoothie or avocado toast.


6. Use a humidifier at night when you sleep


Use humidifier at night to achieve korean glass skinImage credit: Muji 

The key to getting beauty sleep is not just to have sufficient hours of shut-eye, but also to ensure that your skin is hydrated throughout. 

Your skin can become dehydrated overnight, especially if you sleep in an air-conditioned room. Since dehydrated skin is one of the main causes for enlarged pores, investing in a humidifier will help to leave your skin dewy the next day.

Get a humidifier with a high-capacity tank that can last for at least 8 hours so you can leave it on throughout the night. Sleeping with a humidifier on also helps to prevent chapped lips and dry throat, which makes it a worthy investment!


7. Increase Vitamin C intake for brighter complexion


Increasing Vitamin C intake for korean glass skin

Korean glass skin is never dull-looking, and if that’s one of the problems you’re facing, it’s high time to increase your intake of Vitamin C. Whether it’s through taking supplements or upping your intake of citrus fruits, try to ensure that you get your daily dose.

Getting an adequate amount of Vitamin C not only helps to boost your immunity; it also helps to repair your skin for a brighter complexion and prevent dry skin.


8. Avoid oily food & sugary drinks like bubble tea


Bubble tea Our nation’s favourite drink – BBT
Image credit: Eatbook

It’s no secret that Singaporeans have an undying love for bubble tea. We all need a sweet, refreshing drink once in a while, so it’s perfectly fine to drink it in moderation. But if your bubble tea intake is more than that of H20, it will eventually take a toll on your skin. 

Insulin spikes from high sugar content not only increase your risk of diabetes, it also increases inflammation and enlarges your pores. Remember that sugar is a dehydrating agent that causes more oil production, and also makes you age faster. Perhaps 0% sugar level for your BBT order isn’t a bad idea after all.

Avoid oily food to get korean glass skin

Another thing to avoid eating too much of is oily food, as they cause excess sebum. You are what you eat, so spamming oily foods like potato chips, french fries and hawker fare will result in oily skin too. 

Foods that are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids on the other hand, such as salmon and chia seeds, help to keep your skin radiant. If you eat cleaner regularly, it’s a sure way to give your face a natural glow. 


Achieve pore minimising with L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence


Making small changes in your daily lifestyle goes a long way in minimising your pores and brightening your complexion. On top of that, choosing the right skincare products is equally important, and can significantly reduce the time needed for your skin to look radiant on the daily.

Getting Korean glass skin with L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence

In my quest to achieve Korean star-worthy skin, I tried the L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence aside from these DIY tips. 

It stood out from other products instantly as this facial essence is extremely lightweight, making it perfect for using it in Singapore’s humid weather. Applying it immediately after cleansing prepped my skin for makeup, and on my first trial, my face didn’t get cakey throughout the day. It was also super simple to use – all I did was apply a clean swab across my face and neck with just 8-10 drops on a cotton pad. The swiping action also removes dirt and accelerates skin renewal. 

I used it consistently for 7 days straight, and I personally felt that my occasional dull skin looked brighter and hydrated, removing any need for excess makeup throughout the week. It also helped to clear up visible, stubborn blackheads that I had been trying to get rid of for quite some time. 

The L’Oreal Paris Crystal Micro-Essence uses a micronised technology that allows it to penetrate deeply up to 10 skin layers*. Moreover, it contains LHA, a derivative of salicylic acid, which is proven to be a potent ingredient for clearing up skin and minimising pores. This effectively removes dead skin cells, which leaves skin looking radiant. 

*10 stripping layers based on a stratum corneum, instrumental test

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence
To aid absorption, use your hands to apply the L’Oreal Paris Crystal Micro-Essence. But to get rid of impurities, using a cotton pad is recommended instead. 

Hydration is one of the key elements for achieving the Korean glass skin look too, and the highly raved Centella Asiatica ingredient in this product will help to keep your skin glowing all day. 

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence

Having good skin doesn’t just make us look good, but also feel more confident. Now that we’re in Phase 2 and going out more often, our skin is once again exposed to external factors like sunlight and dirty air particles, making it all the more important to protect it. 

But with the right skincare tips and products, rest assured that you’re one step closer to achieving the K-idol skin of your dreams. I hope that with more consistent use, I’ll have skin that can even rival Kim Tae Hee!

The L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence ($35.90) is now available from Watsons, Guardian, Fairprice and Shopee

Find out more about the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence here


This article was brought to you by L’Oreal.
Photography by Tan Wen Lin.
Cover image adapted from: Eatbook, hello glow.