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Men's Skin Care Booming in South Korea

Posted: August 7, 2013

Addressing the male beauty and personal care market, which has long been a segment beauty and personal care brands are hoping will grow, Min Ji Kim, a research analyst with Euromonitor International, discussed the popularity of beauty products for men in South Korea in a video on the Euromonitor website.

She says, “Men’s skin care in South Korea was $565 million US dollars in 2012. This was the largest market size around the world, taking 21% of global sales for men’s skin care. China is expected to overtake South Korea as [having] the largest market size in 2013. However, in terms of per capita spending, South Korea will retain the top [place] for the next five years.

“Men are no longer outsider[s] in the beauty and personal care market. They are actively purchasing their own beauty and personal care products, becoming called a ‘Grooming Joe’ in South Korea. This new term, Grooming Joe, refers to men who are willing to spend and invest in their facial and beauty products.

“Men’s skin care in South Korea has been driven by two major factors. Firstly, there was a continuous marketing message from market players that it is okay for men to use skin care products. Secondly, the men themselves want to get [the] benefits from looking better [by] using skin care products in the workplace or in the job market.

“Men’s skin care is already mature in South Korea, so in the next couple of years the manufacturers are expected to expand their footprint to men’s cosmetic products. This trend will start from the basic cosmetic products, such as BB cream and CC cream, and will expand to other cosmetic products. Domestic market players have already taken action in this trend. For example, one of the market players, The Face Shop, launched a men’s cosmetic line with a BB cream in 2010. That company is continuously launching the full range of men’s cosmetic products such as an eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, concealer and CC cream, which many of the other players haven’t launched yet.

“In the next five years, the other domestic players and international players are expected to promote the use of men’s cosmetic products. However, South Korean men [haven’t been shown to be] accepting the trend actively yet. So although this is trend that many men will follow in the next five years, the growth rate isn’t expected to [rise] as fast as men’s skin care,” she concludes.