A while ago now Marie Claire proclaimed South Korea the new skincare superpower. Stating that they were about 12 years ahead of everyone else in skincare innovation. In recent years, we have seen K-beauty spread, as insiders and consumers begin to get catch the fever.
The highly demanding Korean beauty culture, has created an environment where only products that are innovative, well priced and have effective and often unique ingredients, make an impact in the market.
Korean consumers are demanding because the beauty culture is one that promotes education on how to look after skin, and ingredients that work. Everyone consumer is a well-informed judge of a new product, who knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. There is also a lack of brand loyalty, which altogether forces the manufacturers, and their R&D teams to be extremely competitive.
Luckily for us this has produced innovations such as that of BB cream, cushion compacts and sheet masks. All of which we can now see permeating the western markets, and all of which have been around in Korea for years before we knew of them.
The scene moves quickly with new textures, formulations and interesting packaging (that is not allowed to take anything away from the product). Although ingredients like bee venom and snail mucin may seem unusual. It also reflects the traditional natural heritage of Korean beauty, which leans more towards formulas of the earth in lieu of harsh chemicals.
Skin first, is very much the Korean beauty philosophy. Korean consumers know that simply treating the outer layers of skin, doesn’t lead to a glowing complexion. Skin takes time, and this is what has led to the famous regimes that promote daily maintenance of hydrated and healthy skin.
Seoul, the epicentre of the hyper-competitive scene, is currently the beauty capital of the world. And no one in the UK yet, seems to know it.