South Korea – Path to Global Expansion in Beauty Industry
DATE 18-04-15 10:01
글쓴이 : 어드민      
By Alex Kim | News Korea

Hallyu, the “Korean Wave”, has opened the door, not only to K-pop music, Korean films, and Korean dramas, but also to Korean beauty products.


South 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

Media 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.



According 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.


In 2017, according to BBC, South Korea exported over $2.64 billion worth of cosmetics, which nearly tripled since 2012 ($1 billion).


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 trends.


Dr. 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.


Consumers 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.


Innisfree, 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..."

Jane 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.”


As 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.

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