Fascinating Korean Glass Skin: Why Korean Skincare Is Taking The World by Storm

Korea is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the beauty industry, but the popularity of Korean beauty is not limited to Asian countries; it is also creating a huge boom in the North American market.

Similar to the words “K-Pop” and “K-Drama,” the English-speaking world uses the term “K-Beauty” to refer to all beauty products, including skincare and cosmetics, originating from Korea. Currently, K-Beauty is captivating North American-based influencers and the wider audience, especially the younger generation including Gen Z and Millennials, who are increasingly interested in the Korean way of skincare.

According to a research report by Straits Research, the global market for “K-Beauty” products held sales of $8.3 billion in 2021. It is also expected that by 2030 its market size will reach $18.32 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.2% over the eight years 2022-2030.

When we talk about Korean skincare, the key term that cannot be missed is “glass skin.” Glass Skin refers to the glassy, glowing, flawless skin seen on K-pop idols. Many North American consumers who are currently obsessed with K-Beauty aspire to have this glass skin, and this ideal of skin is setting the trend for new skincare products.

Peach & Lily achieves $100 million in sales in 5 years in business

One of Korea’s most popular skincare brands, Peach & Lily has experienced rapid growth over the past five years due to its growing success in North America.

Peach & Lily

In November, the brand organized the “Power of &” campaign in Los Angeles and New York City with an interactive tour bus called the Peach Party Bus. Visitors could play roulette, win prizes, and receive personalized skin consultations from Peach & Lily educators.


Peach & Lily(@peachandlily)がシェアした投稿

The brand’s annual net sales of Peach & Lily in 2023 are reported to reach $100 million, thanks to the success of its marketing strategy through various channels such as social media, OOH, and pop-up stores.

Government Support Behind the Korean Beauty Boom 

Meanwhile, the Korean government is also vigorously supporting this trend. Previously, Korean beauty brands such as Dr. Jart+ and Innisfree have been making inroads into major U.S. skin care retailers such as Sephora.

This is due to the growing demand for Korean beauty brands in the U.S. and the Korean government’s initiative to prioritize cosmetics exports. Export-only companies do not have to pay taxes, and there are several government funds to assist exporters in fighting international litigation costs.

In 2022, the export value of makeup and skincare preparations exported from South Korea amounted to approximately 6.69 billion U.S. dollars.

K-Beauty Attraction: Natural Ingredients and Effective Skin Care

On the other hand, the reason for the worldwide popularity of “K-Beauty” also lies in its ingredients and effectiveness. Korean beauty products have been handed down through a long history, using natural and non-irritating ingredients that have a very mild composition. While the emphasis is on skin care, the products are reasonably priced, making them easily accessible to many young people.

“I would say Korean beauty is far more gentle than American products, Korean beauty focuses on one or a few star ingredients in each product,” said Kelley Liu, the owner of the K-beauty Online store “Song of Skin.”

“For example one of the most notable products right now is the ANUA 70% Heartleaf Soothing Toner, this toner is #1 in Korea, Japan, and America, it contains 70% Heartleaf extract that intensely soothes the skin. Korean beauty focuses on high-quality ingredients that are meant to enhance your skin,” Liu explained.

Liu’s decision to start Song of Skin, which specializes in Korean skincare products, was based on her personal experience. Liu first encountered Korean skincare products on a trip to Korea with her mother. At the time, products sold in Korea had not made it to North America and were difficult to find. Liu, who had always suffered from acne-prone skin, tried all kinds of American products, but her skin never got better and even worsened and became inflamed, however, after switching all of her skincare to products made in Korea, she found that her skin had improved dramatically.

Song of Skin, which was launched as a result of this experience, currently has 90% of its clientele as women between the ages of 18 and 45 living in North America. Although it is often assumed that most of its customers are Asian, Song of Skin serves a wide range of skin types, regardless of their ethnicity.

“Korean beauty is dominating the beauty industry, and the demand for cleaner, gentle yet effective products is becoming increasingly popular. At first, it was difficult to explain what Korean beauty is and why each step is essential, I used TikTok to explain each category with a video to further explain and educate on Korean Beauty. With the increase in viewers on TikTok it led to a direct demand for the products I was showcasing,” said Liu.

@songofskin #CapCut welcome to skintok ✨🫧⭐️ #skincare #glassskin #glowyskin #koreanbeauty #kbeautyroutine #acne #texturedskin #blackheads #pores ♬ original sound – Song Of Skin

Currently, the most popular Korean skincare brands on Song of Skin are ANUA, Beauty Of Joseon, TIRTIR, Torriden, and Manyo. The most popular categories are toner pads and serums.

The Korean beauty industry is growing with a focus on health, moisturizing, and brightening effects, and is constantly incorporating new developments, especially in raw materials. In addition, unusual ingredients used in production include snail slime, bee venom, starfish extract, and pig collagen.

“K-Beauty is not just a trend, it will be the future of beauty. Korean beauty is a powerhouse, and its 10-step routine, heart leaf, rice extract, and products made from snail extract are just the beginning,” Liu added.

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