Natural beauty products are having a moment all over the world, so it’s little surprise Korean Beauty products are also turning towards nature.
But what’s prompted the change from cutesy to natural in K-Beauty products?
STYLE STORY investigates.
FROM KITSCH TO CRUELTY-FREE
If you were familiar with Korean Beauty products five years ago, you’ll recall the endless stream of kitsch, cutesy products (think macaron lip balms, tomato-shaped face masks, tangerine hand creams and endless Disney collaboration lines).
While they all still exist, these days you’re more likely to find K-Beauty products with minimalist packaging, minimal ingredients, cruelty-free certifications and more.
So what prompted the change?
There’s no doubt that K-Beauty’s kitsch, unique packaging was one of the things that sky-rocketed it to fame. These days however the emphasis has undoubtedly shifted towards a more natural focus.
Korean Beauty brands are promising everything from a “5 Free System“, with products that are free from 5 different preservatives (+ more), ECOCERT approval, EWG certification, and even cruelty-free certification.
Although the changes are linked to the maturation of the K-Beauty industry, one of the biggest drivers of this change is consumers themselves.
While everyone loves the odd cute hand cream (or five, but who’s counting), obviously it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
The next big thing in beauty
Korean Beauty companies have been on the cutting edge of beauty for a long time, with experts estimating K-Beauty is 12 years ahead of the game compared to western beauty.
A big part of this has to do with the responsiveness of Korean companies to customer’s demands.
Most K-Beauty companies are extremely active online and on social media, taking time to directly engage with consumers, seek feedback and find out what they really want.
Case in point – COSRX.
Putting the Customer First
Korean Beauty label COSRX has made a name based on sleek, simple products that contain high percentages of active ingredients tailored for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin.
COSRX’s direct marketing approach includes communicating with its customers through Instagram, Facebook and email.
Several years ago, the label introduced a new brightening essence, “White Power Essence” (which they hoped would identify it as a skin-brightening product).
Western consumers however were quick to point out the negative connotations of the term “White Power” and COSRX took the hint – quickly – changing the name to “Whitening Power Essence”.
In the same way, consumer demand for products that are skin-friendly, environmentally-friendly and animal-friendly has also driven the demand for natural Korean Beauty products.
The ability of K-Beauty companies to quickly create, market and distribute products at competitive prices has given them an edge over other western companies attempting to do the same.
So what are STYLE STORY’s favourite natural Korean Beauty products? Check them out:
STYLE STORY’s Top Natural Korean Beauty Product Picks
Developed by Korea’s renowned Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic, Pyunkang Yul is a cruelty-free Korean beauty brand that creates cosmetics designed to get skin glowing.
Based on their natural beauty philosophy, Pyungkang Yul rejects the notion of cosmetics as simply another “shopping” item, and instead carefully select each and every ingredient in their products to ensure they are gentle and safe for skin.
Another beauty label from South Korea, TFY is founded on the principle of honest, natural beauty.
With thousands of new products being created each year, Thank You Farmer doesn’t promise endless miracles and magic spells. Being a farmer is an honest job and there are no shortcuts when working with nature.
Thank You Farmer’s goal is to make cosmetics with the heart of a farmer. They focus on good quality cosmetics to restore skin’s natural strength – this is also the way to healthy skin without burdening it.
B-LAB (“Bathroom LABoratory”) is an eco-friendly Korean Beauty company committed to researching and developing all the products needed in our bathrooms!
B-LAB products contain natural ingredients, are animal experiment-free, ECOCERT approved and EWG Stability approved.
Soroci takes a slightly different approach.
Their brand story starts in the relaxing beauty of southern Korea, where mild climate and fertile soil gives life to plants with special efficacies.
Through its natural skincare collection, Soroci extends an invitation to modern people to have a taste of the slow southern life. Soroci extracts only the active elements from its plant extracts to minimise damaging their nutritional value – this also ensures those nutrients are delivered directly to the skin.
Have you hopped on board the natural Korean Beauty train yet?