Our Western Love Affair With K-Beauty

If you produce any type of skincare or personal care item, you are probably well-acquainted with K-beauty by now. For many years, it was more or less of a youth-oriented concept but now it has grown up, creating fans in young and old alike. And with good reason.

The Love Affair with All Things K

According to Allied Market Research, the market share of K-beauty products in 2018 was valued at $9.3 billion, projected to reach $21.8 by 2026. K-beauty focuses on not only beauty but also health and wellness. And they stay ahead of the new product curve with remarkable innovations using unique materials particularly when you consider that some products highlight ingredients such as snail slime, bee venom and pig collagen.

Add to their unique ingredients the fact that they can keep their products highly affordable while keeping their cosmetics packaging cute and quirky, K-beauty seems to have hit a chord with the west.

Popular culture is just part of the Korean allure. From Korean dramas to Baby Shark, all things Korean are a hit today in the United States. But when it comes to Korean beauty, it was the antithesis of what we had come to see previously which was matte and very over-the-top.

Health and Beauty Intersect

Conversely, K-beauty is about youth, moisture, health and a glowing, fresh look or what they call “gwang”. K-beauty entrepreneur Christine Chang summed it up: “When your skin is so healthy, even-toned and plumped with hydration that it’s almost translucent, like a shard of glass.” Hence the concept of glass skin, or no-makeup makeup. And like many things that we have embraced from that part of the world, it takes skin-care and makeup from drudgery to ritual.

Historically, Koreans have taken their beauty very seriously. In fact, culturally, they have valued the health of their skin for centuries. Although it has become commercialized, it is a cultural philosophy to them. And despite the fact that we are seeing odd ingredients coming out of the K-beauty trend, this is also historically true. They have used ingredients such as mung beans and silkworm cocoons in traditional formulations as well as other natural ingredients that happened to be readily available. So snail slime is not all that strange to Korean beauty.

Protection From the Sun

Another focus of K-beauty products is keeping away the aging effects of the sun. While we have played with sunscreens in our products recently, in Korea it has been serious business for a good long time. In fact, Korea gives us some of the best sun protection products in the world.

Alicia Yoon of Peach and Lily puts it very succinctly. “Confusion values shaped Korean beauty ideals, and inner beauty and modesty became a virtue in comparison to showier makeup. To achieve the most beautiful, unadorned look, healthy skin became a priority.”

Even though you may not produce your skincare products or cosmetics with things like snail slime, but we are sure that you take your products as seriously as the Koreans. And your packaging will need to show off your own unique brand. At APG, we’re experts in the packaging industry with hundreds options, one that is sure to be right for your product. Contact us and let us help you with all your cosmetic packaging needs.

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