In the past few years, South Korea has taken the world by storm. Hallyu, or the “Korean Wave,” is very much felt globally. The country is famous for its TV dramas, movies, and music. But the one thing they’re insanely popular for is their skincare.
An average skincare enthusiast normally has three steps in their skincare routine: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. But Korean skincare has a total of 10 steps: cleanse using balm or oil; cleanse using a foam moisturizer; exfoliate; use a toner; apply essence; apply ampoule or serum; put on a sheet mask; use eye cream; apply face moisturizer, and use either sleeping mask for nighttime or sunscreen for daytime. The process is pretty hardcore. But it seems to pay off. It helps them achieve dewy skin, which gives their face a natural glow.
Korean skincare is sought after by many. Even the West joined in on the craze some years ago. And it’s still going on. Here are some reasons why people love Korean skincare products so much:
Korean skincare products are relatively affordable. There’s too much competition in the market. So brands try their best to price their products wisely to attract consumers and keep them coming back. Some sheet face masks are only a dollar apiece. And you can get facial scrubs for around 10 dollars.
There are still products that can be very pricey. The hefty tag may be because of a brand name or the product’s ingredients. For example, products with ginseng are often expensive. Still, due to competition, you can find dupes or more affordable alternatives from other brands.
Korean beauty consumers are picky. This is definitely understandable. If they spend so much on beauty products, then they need to be able to get the best results.
As such, the beauty industry in South Korea is dedicated to research and innovation. In 2016, cosmetics manufacturers spent around 849 billion Korean won for research and development. This dedication allows the industry to introduce innovative and well-made products to both the local and international markets. One example is the blackhead silk finger ball from the brand COSRX. You soak a ball in warm water for a few minutes, put it on your index finger, and gently massage it on the nose area. It’s an easy way to target a specific spot for exfoliation and achieve smoother skin.
Korean skincare products offer a wide variety of choices to consumers. While having too many options can be overwhelming, it means that everyone will be able to find what suits their needs and preferences. For example, a cleanser can come in different types: balm cleanser, oil cleanser, cleansing foam, cleansing water, and cleansing bar.
In terms of skin types, many Korean skincare products are compatible will all skin types. But understandably, some consumers want something specific to their skin type to achieve the best results. Thus, skin type-specific products are also available. Whether you have normal/combination skin, dry skin, or oily skin, you’ll be able to find products that can specifically address your needs.
Korean skincare products are known for their gentle ingredients. Many popular products are made of natural ingredients. Some examples include botanical ingredients like green tea, aloe vera, and ginseng extracts.
Green tea has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help reduce skin redness and swelling. It can also reduce sebum secretion, which helps in preventing and treating acne. Aloe vera is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps moisturizing skin. If you have dry skin, you may prefer products with aloe vera. Lastly, ginseng has anti-aging properties and can help reduce and prevent fine lines. In a 2015 study, researchers found that an eye cream suppressed wrinkle formation in 23 individuals. In this regard, ginseng skincare products will do well in supplementing botox treatments.
Korean skincare products also often come with adorable product packaging. While this seems trivial, good product packaging is important in marketing and advertising products. For example, 3CE’s white milk cream comes with an outer box in the shape of a milk carton. This packaging is not only eye-catching but also immediately shows consumers what the product’s main ingredient is.
Many popular skincare brands also release collaboration lines with images of cute characters on the packaging, such as Doraemon, Gudetama, and Pokemon. This is a great strategy for brands to attract more customers using their personal attachment to their favorite characters.
The popularity of Korean skincare products is no mystery. They have become the gold standard in many markets, and it’s interesting what’s to come in the next few years.