Korean Beauty (K-Beauty) started the “skincare wave” and since then has taken over the global skincare industry. Much of the growth of K-Beauty comes from the Korean wave (Hallyu). As Korean culture continues to grow, more Korean beauty products get exported to other countries. This causes a rise in competition in Korea to be the most innovative and top K-Beauty brand. Hence, as Korean beauty startups and brands continue to push the envelope, the quality of the products also continues to rise. Korean beauty is now the leader in the global skincare industry.
(Photo credits: Laneige official website)
So, what is the current trend for beauty and personal care in Korea now? To better understand the beauty market in Korea, we prepared this article with insights gathered using two platforms: Olive Young and GlowPick websites.
Olive Young, an ultra-popular retailer that touts itself as the No. 1 beauty and health store in Korea, carrying notable brands like Dr. Jart+, Neogen, and Hada Labo (the selection is seemingly endless) has also launched its global website to meet the needs of K-beauty products across the countries.
While Glowpick, an online website that feature almost all beauty products you can find in Korea. With algorithms running 24/7, you can get your latest information on the best ranked beauty and personal care products in Korea.
Skin Care Trend in Korea 2019
Top 10 of 5 essential skin care products was picked out for review from Olive Young and GlowPick websites.
General Trend Findings For Cleansers: Low pH, Mild to skin, Rich lather, Formulated with EWG Green Grade Ingredients.
One of the best selling cleansers in the Korea skin care market: Real Barrier Control T Cleansing Foam.
Real Barrier Control T Cleansing Foam
- Marketing Point: Low pH, mild yet deep cleansing, rich lather, target trouble skin.
- Total ingredients: Water, Lauryl Hydroxysultaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Coco-Glucoside, Potassium Cocoate, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Myristoyl/Palmitoyl Oxostearamide/Arachamide Mea, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Water, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract, Isopentyldiol, Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Thymus Mastichina Flower Oil, Sodium Phytate, Citric Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.
From the ingredient list, we observed that mild amino acid surfactant, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate was blended with fatty acids such as Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid etc to create a synergistic effect for foam forming. Hence, this formulation creates a mild cleanser with rich lather, targeting the current trend of cleanser in the Korea market.
General Trend Findings For Toners: All-in-one Toner, Hydration Properties with Hyaluronic Acid, Formulated with Natural Plant Extracts, Soothe Sensitive skin, EWG Green Grade Ingredients.
One of the best-selling toners in the Korea skin care market, Hatherine Morning Boost Ampoule Toner.
Hatherine Morning Boost Ampoule
- Marketing point: Ampoule + toner (all-in-one), convenient for morning, one step skin care, make up boosting, moisturizing, bamboo extract produce calming
- Total Ingredients: Bambusa Vulgaris Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, 1'2-Hexanediol, Glycereth-26, Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Fruit Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Squalane, Cholesterol, Ceramide NP, Phytosphingosine, Polyquarternium-51, Glycerin, Dioscorera Japonica Root Extract, Sucrose, Glucose, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, PVM/MA Copolymer, C12-14 Pareth-12, Caarbomer, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA.
Most toners in the market claimed to be an “All-in-One Toner” with benefits like moisturizing, soothing and calming with Hyaluronic Acid and various plant extracts. With the rise of minimalist skin care routine, many companies promote “One Step Skin Care” to accommodate to those who prefer a simpler routine.
General Trend Findings For Serums: Soothe Sensitive Skin, Reduce Dark Spots with Vitamins, Hydrating with Hyaluronic, Reduce Appearance of Wrinkles.
One of the best-selling serums in the Korean skin care market, 5 Days Mixing Serum – Carrot Serum.
5 Days Mixing Serum – Carrot Serum
- Marketing point: Carrot Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Calming and Moisturizing.
- Total ingredients: Water, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Coceth-7, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil.
Serum is a skincare product tasked to deliver powerful ingredients directly into your skin as they are made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into your skin. Hence, knowing your own skin concern and choosing the right serum for you can be an important task. Serums targeting concerns such as acnes, wrinkles, dark spots and dehydration are the few best-selling skin care products in Korea. For example, 5 Days’ Carrot Serum claims to contain carrot seed oil which serve purposes like moisturizing and soothing to skin.
General Trend Findings For Creams: Soothe Sensitive Skin with Cica, Build Skin Barrier with Ceramides, Moisturize with Hyaluronic Acid.
One of the best-selling creams in the Korean skin care market, Dr Jart+ Cicapair Cream.
Dr Jart+ Cicapair Cream
- Marketing point: Helps strengthen, balance, and improve skin’s defenses against irritation and damage; Soothes and protects sensitive skin; Helps repair and rebuild damaged skin resulting from external stressors.
- Total Ingredients: Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin), Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Niacinamide, Vinyl Dimethicone, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Diisostearyl Malate, Eryngium Maritimum Callus Culture Filtrate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Beeswax/Cire d'abeille, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Madecassoside, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Ilex Aquifolium (Holly) Leaf Extract, Streptococcus Thermophilus Ferment, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Achillea Millefolium Oil, Hydroxyacetophenone, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Tromethamine, Caramel, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, DNA, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Adenosine, Sorbitan Isostearate, Asiaticoside, Disodium EDTA, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Trideceth-10, Panthenol, Amber Powder, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Centella Asiatica Extract
General Trend Findings for Sunscreen: Lightweight, Suitable for Sensitive Skin, Soothing, Mild, Moisturizing, No White Cast.
One of the best-selling sunscreen, Dr Jart+ Every Sun Day Sunblock.
Dr Jart+ Every Sun Day Sunblock
- Marketing point: Skin Tone Correction, Soothing for Sensitive Skin with Aloe Vera Extract, Moisturizing.
- Total Ingredients: Water, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Octocrylene, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Caprylyl Glycol, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Isohexadecane, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 80, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sorbitan Oleate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Xylitol, Styrax Benzoin Gum, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Gelidium Cartilagineum Extract, Ecklonia Cava Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme Extract, Alcohol, Polyquaternium-7, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer
The last skin care step: Sunscreen! Most sunscreen products that topped the rankings on both webites contain benefits more than just a sunscreen. For instance, Dr Jart+ Every Sun Day Sunblock contains Aloe Vera Extract which provide moisturizing and soothing properties. Lightweight and sensitive skin friendly are also some important factors when comes to selecting a sunscreen.
With the rising concerns on the safety usage of ingredients in skin care products, consumers are more aware of the labels on the products. Hence, more and more companies are replacing their ingredients with EWG green grade ingredients. EWG green grade is a scoring initiated by EWG, Environment Working Group to measure hazard level of a product. For every product and ingredient in Skin Deep, there's a two-part score - a hazard score and a data availability score.
The ingredient hazard score, from 1-10 reflects known and suspected hazards of ingredients.
(Photo credits: EWG website)
The data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies in the published scientific literature and the number included in the Skin Deep database. To calculate a product score, EWG tally the hazards of individual ingredients and evaluate each product in relation to the rest of the products in the Skin Deep database. The safest products score well by both measures: a low hazard rating AND fair or better data availability.
More information can be found on: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/contents/users-guide
In order to confront the rapidly-evolving industry, Maha is always ready to adapt and handle the changes. Also, with the fast changing and increasingly competitive environment, it is always important to keep up with the current trend to satisy the needs of the market.
What MAHA can offer:
- Amino Acid Surfactant
- Alkyl Polyglucosides (APGs)
- Preservatives (Caprylic Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin)
- Key active ingredients
Enquire for more information.