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.



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).

COSRX has made a name for itself with sleek, minimal products for sensitive skin.

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

Pyunkang Yul

Developed by Korea’s renowned Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic, Pyunkang Yul is a cruelty-free Korean be