In 2010, virtually nobody in the West walked about the Korean beauty routine even though most of us knew many Asians, Koreans in particular, had smooth porcelain-like skin we all envied. It was in their genes, we assumed. And yes, while genetics may have something to do with it, what makes the biggest difference is the Koreans’ conscious nurture-over-nature approach to skincare.
Korea came to the spotlight with the introduction of the BB cream in 2011. Since then, we have been introduced to several fabulous products such as facial essences, serums, and sheet masks. These products featured innovation like never before and included extremely interesting nature-derived ingredients such as pig collagen and bee venom.
Once beauty enthusiasts in the West began to discover the Korean skin care secrets, they wanted to know more and more about how Korean do what they do – how do they moisturize, what types of sun protection do they use, why do they cleanse twice, etc. Celebrities joined the trend and K-beauty went from being a trend into a way of living our everyday lives. It changed our morning routine and with that, the way we start our days. It added a lot of self-love to our lives.
Korean women are known to spend a higher percentage of their income on skincare products compared to American women. Korean men, on the other hand, spend the most on skin care compared all other men in all other nations. Coincidence? We don’t think so.
Today, the Korean beauty market is valued at over $13 billion. Of this amount, $7.2 billion is from facial skincare alone. It all started with the BB cream, followed by the CC cream, and today the offerings include serums, oils, ampoules, essences, cushion compacts, sheet masks, hydrogel masks, and rubber masks.
Korean skincare products tend to come in a super cute packaging which helps to increase sales, of course. But what’s special and unique about Korean face products is that they are not all overpriced. There are products that sell for as low as $1. The reason? Korean companies understand that people care about finding products that actually work whether they are expensive or completely affordable.
But how did K-Beauty become this popular?
The Korean government has supported small local companies with funds and PR. They have helped these homegrown companies get the word out about natural ingredients and how they help the skin. They have supported them in international trade shows and expos, as well as helped them establish a solid online presence.
We are grateful that the Korean government saw the opportunity because it meant we could now access a large variety of super unique products. Don’t believe us? Try the 10-step Korean skincare routine and see it for yourself! Don’t have time for all the ten steps? Just add a serum to your routine or use one of the best Korean sheet masks just once a week and watch how your skin loves to absorb all the moisture.