Since the past few decades, the beauty product industry has expanded worth billions of dollars due to its widespread consumption all over the world. However, the industry has been mostly “West-driven” in its core nature. “West-driven” or West-centric beauty standards have been the standard rule for make-up products and procedures.
Nowadays, the Korean wave is enrolled in the trending lead, which is a cultural phenomenon that consists of music, fashion, language and other aspects of the Korean culture marking its presence in the world. The beauty industry was no exception, witnessing Korean beauty standards being adopted by women across the world.
One of the foremost Korean fashion trends is the “Glass Skin.” A term used for exceptionally flawless and shiny skin, being a popular beauty standard in South Korea has now become popular across the fashion world. This trend initiated as a simple sheet mask for skin care has now turned into a serious Korean beauty regimen with few steps to follow. The trend is encouraging beauty-related content creators on platforms like YouTube and Instagram to create content on the Glass Skin and similar regimens.
As a result, the popularization of Korean beauty standards and methods, many international beauty product manufacturers have cleared shelves for “Korean beauty products” in their beauty product range
For example, Sephora, a well-known beauty store French company declared its partnership with a known Korean beauty retailer, Memebox. The center of this partnership is the concept of “Kaja”, which is meant for women who are in a hurry. The term “Kaja” means “let’s go” in the Korean language. Their latest range of beauty products includes over 47 products from lips, eyes and face that incorporate the latest Korean tech and beauty formulas that work best for busy women.
Affordability and trendiness are the two most important features that have allowed Korean brands to enjoy never-seen-before popularity for example 3CE. The company, which operated under the banner of the fashion brand Style Nanda, recently was acquired by L’Oreal, a French fashion company operating all over the world. 3CE used to operate an online shop for apparels but soon expanded to have stores in countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia. Inkwood Research has a detailed report on the Asia-Pacific beauty and personal care products market for the years 2018 to 2026.
Local efforts taken by South Korean brands have also helped to spread the word of Korean fashion concepts abroad. Recently, Korean star Im Ji-Hyun’s cosmetic line Vely Vely which is operated under the clothing store chain Imvely has opened fashion shopping malls in the shopping districts of Myeong-dong and Hongdae. Each year, the shopping mall records a turnover worth 66.2 billion Won.
This has led to international cosmetic magnets to adopt the Korean beauty product trends. For example, Amorepacific, after their successful South-East Asian campaigns, entered Australia with the launch of its skincare and makeup brand Laneige. The company will be launching its other brands as well, namely, Amorepacific as well as Innisfree. Inkwood Research talks in detail about the personal care industry on its official website.
Amorepacific’s another brand, Mammonde, post the successful debut in China in 2015 and Thailand and Malaysia in 2016, entered the American market. On the other hand, an Etude, a brand of budget opened its first stores in Kuwait and also in Dubai in March this year.
LG, one of the world’s leading electronics maker also own a healthcare and cosmetics branch, called Belif, which was launched recently in the European market in April. Their products can be found in 600 Sephora stores all over Europe.
The beauty market led by the ‘Korean wave’ is all set to bloom in the coming years. However, the trend will sustain for a period since the market is a narrow niche. Currently, companies like Amore Pacific, Mijin Cosmetics, Innisfree Corporation, ELCA Korea Ltd and Able C&C Co., Ltd are dominating this niche.