South Korean women, even the men for that matter, have long been obsessed with looking after their skin, so it’s probably a natural evolution the sovereign state in East Asia is now at the vanguard of researching new skincare products. In fact the South Korean make-up market, dubbed as K-beauty, grew faster than those in the US and UK in 2014 according to Mintel News, what’s more, Bloomberg Markets has reported foreign sales jumped by 73 percent in 2015 through June.
Kocostar's innovative and creative masks are available in Woojoh stores and on beautysolutions-me.com
So why have brands like AmorePacific, Dr.Jart+ and Skin Food been flying off shelves everywhere in the last five years? One major factor is innovation. Looking back, it’s BB cream, the hybrid moisturiser and foundation, which helped establish Korea’s reputation as a serious skincare contender. Then CC cream followed suit, as did brightening products, sheet masks, essences and oil cleansers. This rapid new product development is more in line with fast fashion and has created interactivity with millennial consumers.
What’s more, SoKo innovators never rest on their laurels, even with the extremely successful creations, the focus is always on enhancement. For example, take how Cle Cosmetics has created an all-in-one BB and CC cream with their CCC Cream. The multi-functional cream comes in five shades full of adaptable pigments to create a base that truly suits you. Another example is the way Oozoo has changed the concept of sheet masks by eliminating the need to pre-soak them thanks to a syringe that infuses the fabric more effectively with the active ingredients.
Another recent multi-tasking gem is J.One’s Jelly Pack, which condenses skincare considerably. Women constantly on the go can easily fall in love with this primer. It essentially keeps damage by free radicals in check due to antioxidants, brightens skin and hydrates for a plumper skin thanks to fragmented hyaluronic acid. What’s more, it has the ability to last all day long.
Korean women are fanatical about sun protection and this is another area where they have come up with ground-breaking products that allow smart application. AmorePacific came up with Cushion Foundation, a multi-purpose sun make-up that is a mixture of sun cream, make-up base and foundation, absorbed into a special sponge. It became a global success. A new inventive sun care product is Thank You Farmer’s Sun Project Shimmer Essence SPF 30, which is a combination moisturiser, blurring balm and highlighter as well as a protector against the damaging effects of UV rays.
Bbo Bbo Lip Blueberry Balm available at Sephora
Unusual Ingredients, Fun Packaging & Affordability
Other influences that make K-beauty a force to reckon with are the unique textures, advanced formulas and attention to novel ingredients. Take snail extract, which is used in moisturisers and spot treatments, for instance. The extract apparently works to stimulate the formation of collagen and elastin. Another real bonus to Korean products is the quirky, fun and cute packaging, banana shaped masks included. And, of course, last but not least, there are those affordable price tags that allow these products to fit in the masstige segment. Essentially, while the products are perceived as prestigious, they are within the means of a wide range of customers.
TonyMoly’s Panda Eye Stick, available at Sephora
As long as K-beauty continues to churn up products that deliver good results, stays innovative and keeps pushing the boundaries, the only way is up.