K-beauty embraces customisation

South Korea’s cosmetics industry is weathering political headwinds with greater personalisation and more multi-step routines

The South Korean cosmetics market, currently evaluated by Frost & Sullivan at US$12.4bn and growing at 7% year-on-year, is leaving behind the negative effects of a de facto boycott by Chinese tourists.

The travel freeze, sparked by Seoul's decision to install a US-made anti-missile system to protect itself from North Korea, has been in place since early 2017.


Tailor-made beauty

While the most important underlying factor for robust growth remains the ever-increasing popularity of K-television dramas and K-pop ('K' standing for Korea), personal care product brands in the country have been fuelling sales through the concept of extreme personalisation.

This entails offering a wide product variety so that consumers can choose different products based on their skin type and needs, before easily personalising beauty items by blending, combining and applying products in multiple ways.

"Skin care has shown this trend for several years, with customised . . .

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