Well known for setting beauty trends, South Korean men are expanding the industry further with the desire for natural makeup.
Shawn Jung, who works at South Korea’s largest cosmetic company Amorepacific as a makeup artist became interested in skincare and cosmetics before this role – “Even in the military (which all South Korean males have to do) men are putting on sunblock and BB cream” he said.
South Korean men are now the world’s biggest spenders on men’s grooming products, data shows they spend about US$45 per purchase. According to a Global Data report in 2018, three quarters of South Korean men have a beauty treatment done at least once a week and sales of men’s cosmetics hit about US$1 billion last year.
Analysts say the face of male beauty is changing in South Korea due to the popularity of K-pop idols and K-dramas, and that has also helped to promote Korean men’s cosmetic products not just in the country but around the world.
Apart from wanting to look like idols, South Korea is becoming an aging society, mature men are now taking better care of their skin in a bid to look younger. A survey conducted from July to October 2018 showed that sales of beauty products for men in their 40s were up 28% from a year ago. For men in their 50s, the growth rate was 53%.
With the promising growth potential, cosmetic companies in South Korea and other global brands are coming up with more varieties of men’s products to meet the growing demand. They believe the ones to target in the coming years are men in South Korea, which is currently the eighth largest cosmetics market in the world.