South Korea is about 99 times smaller than the United States. This easily overlooked Asian country is also about seven times smaller than Texas, four times smaller than California, and 1.4 times smaller than Florida. However, like tae kwon do, South Korea packs a mighty punch. Just within the past decade, K-drama, K-pop, and K-beauty have carved out a large niche on the global front. Korean beauty has become a heavy hitter in the skin care industry, and Western consumers and the entire world are loving it, as evidenced by the statistics. The global market for Korean beauty products is expected to register a 10% increase in the compound annual growth rate from 2022 through 2030.1 The rising interest in K-beauty is reinforced by exponential surges in e-commerce as well as the infinite ways of sharing experiences over social media platforms. K-beauty offers curious consumers all the innovation, red-hot trends, and unusual ingredients they could ever imagine.
According to the Asian ideal, skin care is more important than makeup. Good skin is defined by hydration and radiance. In fact, the magic words in Korean beauty are “chok chok,” translated as “glowing, moist, flawless.” This ideal skin has a glass-like quality, described as “mul-kwang-pi-bu” or “watery glow,” which refers to a plumped, luminous, dewy glow. The typical multiple-step K-beauty routine might seem a bit complicated, but the innovative products and interesting ingredients keep Western consumers fascinated.
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Founder and CEO of Le Mieux Cosmetics and PurErb Herbology-based Skincare & Aromatherapy, Janel Luu has over 35 years of experience in the beauty industry as an educator, researcher, and formulator. She has taught over 37,000 skin care professionals and physicians on topics ranging from antiaging cellular technology to centuries-old meridian techniques.