Babies are blessed with enviable skin — skin that’s plump, soft, and perennially-hydrated. Of course, this pristine skin-state fades over time, in part due to the body’s dwindling hyaluronic acid, ceramide, and squalene supplies. In adulthood, many of us view plump skin as a thing of the past — but, for those who have achieved chok chok skin, this needn’t be the case.
“Chok chok,” a skincare standard that’s well-known among K-beauty enthusiasts, is focused on reinstating youthful plumpness. Unlike actual baby skin, though, chok chok skin only looks effortless. Similar to K-beauty counterparts “the 7 skin method” and “glass skin,” chok chok requires supplementing the skin with intense hydration. (In Korean, “chok chok” literally translates into “damp” or “moist.”) Below, more on what chok chok skin is, what it requires, and, most interestingly, how it differs from glass skin.
What is chok chok skin?
In short: “‘Chok chok’ refers to skin that glows because it's healthy and hydrated,” notes Yan Lam, Marketing and Social Manager for K-beauty brand, Re:pTM. “Chok chok skin is a glow that comes from within . . . it reflects a healthy, bouncy, and young[-looking] complexion.” The term does not relate to glowy makeup, she notes; instead, chok chok skin is so hydrated, it’s radiant without a stitch of foundation or highlighter.
How does chok chok skin differ from glass skin?
If you’re fluent in Korean skincare, you may be wondering how chok chok skin differs from glass skin — a skincare trend that strives for skin that’s so glossy and translucent that it’s reminiscent of a pane of glass.
As it turns out, chok chok and glass skin are similar: Both chok chok and glass skin stem from the quest for hydration. But, whereas glass skin aims for an almost unattainable level of porelessness and glossy translucence, chok chok is more about a constant state of “soft” hydration. Chok chok doesn’t announce itself in the translucent, often vinyl-like way that glass skin does. Instead, it exudes the subtle type of softness that’s typical of baby skin: bouncy without looking tight; hydrated without appearing oiled-up.
Lam says that chok chok is, in a way, “the mother category” of other hydration-focused K-beauty trends, including the aforementioned glass skin, as well as trends called “cloud skin” and “honey skin.” (Cloud skin focuses primarily on skin clarity and appears semi-matte; honey skin is on the other end of the glossiness spectrum and looks almost glazed with moisture.) You could think of chok chok skin as a prerequisite for achieving glass skin, cloud skin, and/or honey skin. After all, hydration — or, literally, chok chok! — is central to all of the K-beauty trends mentioned above.
How do I get chok chok skin at home?
“The way to chok chok skin is hydration, both with the products we use and the water we drink,” Lam reiterates. “We need to keep in mind that our skin, no matter its type — dry, oily, combo — needs some help to stay hydrated due to constant environmental and lifestyle stressors.”
Lam says it’s important to assess the ingredients in your skincare products and confirm that they’re “chok chok-friendly.” For instance, hyaluronic acid and aloe are both excellent hydrators, which makes them ideal for chok chok skin. Try a hyaluronic acid product with multiple different sizes of HA molecules, which can hydrate superficially and deeply for long-lasting plumpness.
Essences, which function as the base for most K-beauty routines, are a must for chok chok skin. This is because essences “prime” the skin to attract, retain, and drive moisture deeply into the skin. (Shop the best essences for glass skin here.)
Another chok chok staple: ingredients that support your skin barrier. As it pertains to chok chok, a healthy skin barrier retains moisture more efficiently than one that’s compromised. Ceramides and squalane are two excellent barrier-boosting ingredients; they’re also key, natural components of young, plump skin. (As we age, our natural supplies deplete.)
In addition to products that support hydration, Lam cites exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) as another chok chok-friendly category. This is because AHAs loosen old, dead skin cells and reveal smoother, younger-looking skin beneath. As we age, the rate at which our skin cells naturally shed — a.k.a. our cell turnover — slows. Left unchecked, dead skin cells can accumulate and lead to a dull complexion. Interestingly, babies have exceptionally fast cell turnover, which is one reason their skin is always butter-soft! (Learn more about exfoliating acids here.)
As far as what to avoid for chok chok skin, Lam cautions against products that contain alcohol, which can overdry the skin (the antithesis of chok chok!). Similarly, harsh soaps can strip the skin of moisture — and thus, its chok chok potential.
Lam’s last piece of advice for getting chok chok skin pertains to any healthy skincare goal: “Wear SPF religiously, every single day. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!” Amen.
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