Cosmetics and personal care in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

South Korea is one of the ten biggest beauty markets around the world. Across skin care products, color cosmetics, and hair care products, its beauty and personal care industry has shown a constant growth for almost a decade.

It is estimated that the revenue of perfume and cosmetics wholesale in South Korea would amount to approximately 3.69 million U.S. dollars in 2018. In retail, South Korean consumers discover beauty and personal care products not only from online retailers, but via home shopping and door-to-door sales opportunities, also in flagship stores, department stores, health and beauty stores, duty free shops, aesthetic salons, and medical institutions and pharmacies and the rest.

The South Korean cosmetics industry has been dominated by local products, with over 85 percent of a market share. Based on sales revenue, the leading domestic companies can be said as LG Household & Health Care and the Amorepacific Group. Both have a number of sub-brands, for instance, the Face Shop, O Hui, Sum, and Belif under the former; Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Innisfree, IOPE, Hera, Etude House, and Mamonde belong to the latter. Another key player, Korea Kolmar, is mainly engaged in the original development and design manufacturing (ODM) and original equipment manufacturing (OEM) of cosmetics.

The country has caught the attention of the global beauty industry, with innovative products using untraditional ingredients like snail slime and pig collagen, or improving the practicality such as face packs and cushion compact foundations. As the cosmetics exports from South Korea have surged, its balance of trade turned into a surplus in 2012.

South Korean consumers like to try out personal care products from many different brands. The conventional norms of men are changing, which makes the male group more influential in the cosmetics market. The emerging popularity of dermatological cosmetics, atopic dermatitis skin products, and anti-aging solutions supports the fact that the beauty products in South Korea are increasingly tailored to the diversified needs of customers.

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