THE K-BEAUTY EXPO IN KOREA

 

Every year the STYLE STORY team is invited by the Korean Government to attend the K-Beauty Expo in Ilsan, Korea to see the latest Korean beauty products and meet with the companies behind them. In 2019, we saw over 750 booths packed with the next wave of Korean skincare and beauty trends.

From the cute and kitsch to the minimalist, the customisable and the medical, these are the key Korean skincare trends we’ll be seeing more of in 2019:

 

THE CUTE

From lip glosses made of jelly hearts, to character sheet masks and face masks that come in pieces like fruit slices, there is clearly a place left for the cute products of K-Beauty.

Unlike in previous years, where the packaging itself was the focus, the new breed of cute is bringing ingredients to the forefront, with packaging that shows you what’s actually in the product itself, like adorable slice masks shaped like fruits and flowers that contain the extracts of the ones they represent inside them.

 

THE MINIMALIST

If this year’s Expo is anything to go by, the trend towards minimalism in K-Beauty is not going away any time soon. Spurred on by the popularity of brands like COSRX and iUNIKminimalism remains popular, with brands focusing on sleek packaging and paired down formulas that avoid fillers and synthetics in favour of high concentrations of active ingredients.

The newer brands are widening their scope from a focus on acne-prone skincare to include a wider range of skin types, from dull skin and sensitive skin to mature and dry skins.

In line with this trend, other brands are condensing the skincare routine into as few steps as possible, with the use of all-in-one and pad-type products that do the job of several skincare products in a single pad, which you swipe across your face. These products are billed as the perfect skincare companions for both the time-poor and anyone who doesn’t want to pack an elaborate routine with them when they travel.

 

 

THE CUSTOMISABLE

The focus on customizable makeup and skincare has really taken off, starting with Etude House’s DIY lipstick and foundation service at their Seoul Color Factory.

The move towards customizable skincare was evident at the Expo too, with JJ Young by Caolion Lab about to release a set of mix-and-match face masks that let you tailor your mask to the top and bottom halves of your face so you can care for different skin issues. One brand has even created customizable soaps that can be pieced together from a combination of 50 different pieces, allowing you to create the perfect cleanser for your face and body.

 

THE SOAPS

Speaking of soaps, they’re clearly having a moment in K-Beauty with everyone from Benton to JJ Young throwing their hat in the ring to create the latest and best facial soap.

Unlike the soaps of days gone by, which were messy (and not always ideal to use on your face), this new breed suits a wide range of skin types and has plenty of special features; some don’t change shape even after use, others come in their own hygienic foaming nets and many can be broken into smaller pieces so you only use a little at a time!

 

THE MEDICAL

Another big trend at this year’s Expo was medical-themed skincare, and clinic style cosmetics that can be used at home. Brands are either theming their packaging around the medical, with cute syringe-shaped dispensers and IV-drip bags, or making at-home kits to replace a visit to an aesthetic clinic. These new medically-inspired treatments target everything from low-grade wrinkles, to acne scars, dry skin and pigmentation.

 

Which trend are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

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