the “Korean Wave”, has opened the door, not only to K-pop music, Korean films,
and Korean dramas, but also to Korean beauty products.
Korean beauty products have amassed international attention since the first
wave of Hallyu. A growing number of leaders in mass media, including CNN, BBC,
and Business Insiders are releasing
reports exclusively on Korean beauty products and its market analysis.
Celebrities Endorsing Korean Beauty Products
outlets are not the only ones tuning into the rising global popularity of Korean
beauty products; a number of top American celebrities are endorsing Korean cosmetics
and skin-care products through social media. Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba, and Emma
Stone have posted a selfie applying Korean lip-moisturizing patch. Drew Barrymore
is an avid fan of JAYJUN’s face mask and has announced her fondness of the
product on various occasions, including moments before her red carpet
appearance in 2017 Golden Globe Awards.
to Mintel, an international market research firm based in London, Korean
cosmetic industry ranks among the top 10 beauty markets in the world. Statista,
an online statistics and business intelligence portal, estimates the sales of
Korean cosmetics in 2018 at $16.68 billion.
2017, according to BBC, South Korea
exported over $2.64 billion worth of cosmetics, which nearly tripled since 2012
CNN recently released an
article explaining Korean cosmetic industry’s global success and its driving
force. The article gives credit to unique recipes and rapidly changing consumer
Soyun Cho, a dermatology professor at Seoul National University, said, “They [Korean
consumers] are early adapters of new products, and cosmetic trend comes and goes
at a very fast rate in Korea.” The aggressive rate of which consumer trends
change stimulates the industry’s need for endless developments and research. As
a result, South Korea is now competing closely with France and Japan, the two
countries previously considered a symbol in global cosmetic industry.
around the world consistently demand something new and unique in nearly all
industries; Korean cosmetics brands cater specifically to this demand. Mizon,
one of Korea’s top selling beauty brands, incorporates snail secretion in its
product. According to Mizon, the high concentration of secretion from snails
provides protective and nourishing qualities.
a naturalism-oriented cosmetics brand from Korea, has been featured in Washington Post, CNBC, and Huffington Post for its large following consumers in the U.S. Innisfree is widely known for its incorporation
of organic green tea and camellia flower petals from Jeju Island in Korea.
"Western brands are constantly looking to South Korea for their next inspiration..."
Jang, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said, “Western brands are constantly
looking to South Korea for their next inspiration, seeking to adapt popular
South Korean beauty formats for Western consumers. The popularity of South
Korean beauty products is due to their high performance combined with fun packaging
and sensorial cues, as well as affordable prices.”
long as “Hallyu” continues to sweep the world, and the engagement between Korean
cosmetics brands and international consumers continues, South Korea could
easily become the number one in the beauty markets worldwide.