Spreading Clean Beauty

Glass skin: Is it possible to reduce pore size and richly hydrate?

For fans of elaborate K-beauty-inspired skincare routines, the glass skin phenomenon will be a familiar trend. Now making waves in Westen markets, this squeaky-clean look is all about smoothing skin, reducing pore size, and boosting radiance to create a peachy and translucent look. The aesthetic has earned other names since making it big in European and American markets, including “the glazed donut look”.

This idea of luminous, good-enough-to-eat skin is linked to purity and health. According to K-beauty aficionados, glass skin is when your skin is at its healthiest. Essentially, what you’re aiming for is a baby-soft finish; after all, the reason babies’ skin has a translucent quality is because it’s so healthy. However, intensely hydrating in tandem with controlling pore size can be a conundrum for brands working on formulations.

Hydrated, dewy, but never oily

To achieve this poreless, luminous, translucent skin texture, hydration is absolutely crucial. Skin needs to be plump and smooth, making moisturizer an essential step. However, it’s not the only ingredient to the glass skin look. Pore size is also an essential aspect of this baby-soft look, and unfortunately, many oil-based dewy-hydration products will have the opposite effect.

As such, there is a competitive gap for brands here. Facial oils will give the desired glow, but they won’t achieve the poreless look. Worst case scenario, they can contribute to breakouts, which is, of course, the absolute opposite of the desired results. Therefore, brands need to consider how they can create formulas that will plump and nourish, with a dewy but non-greasy finish.

Shrinking pore size with AffiporeTM

Always ahead of key trends in the cosmetics industry, Provital developed AffiporeTM to meet the demand for pore refining products. AffiporeTM is obtained from the leaves of Barosma betulina. This botanical active ingredient inhibits the action of aminopeptidase N (APN) in the sebum-producing sebocyte membrane by blocking ectopeptidase-induced stimulation. 

This is crucial to controlling pore size, as research shows that some peptidases are over-expressed in the sebaceous glands of subjects with acne, as opposed to those without. AffiporeTM triggers a series of cascade reactions within the cell, reaching the nucleus, resulting in an inhibition of differentiation and, therefore, of the amount of sebum secreted by the cell. 

By decreasing the amount of sebum on the skin’s surface, pore size is reduced, shiny patches mattified, and overall skin texture improved. This action has been demonstrated as part of in vivo tests. In a study conducted on 20 caucasian females aged between 35 and 70, subjects saw a reduction in the number of pores by up to 24%, and by up to 20% in diameter and volume.

A final note: Natural equals healthy

AffiporeTM is developed from all-natural botanicals – making it a particularly useful ingredient for brands seeking to make clean beauty claims. After all, the glass skin trend is about purity, clarity, and health, qualities that consumers see as synonymous with natural products. Right now, in Brazil, 41% of adults believe that natural ingredients are safer for their skin (Mintel, 2020). 

Equally, the ingredients aren’t only natural, but also ethical. Provital sources Barosma betulina with the Khoi and San indigenous peoples in South Africa. With these communities, we apply the access and benefit-sharing principles of the Nagoya Protocol to harvest this medicinal plant ethically, and acknowledge the Khoi and San peoples as the keepers of this knowledge.

With this tacit connection between natural, ethical, and healthy, brands can leverage the glass skin trend from multiple angles – and give consumers the glowing, pore-free skin they’re looking for.

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