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How K-Beauty Took Over the Beauty World Part 2

July 22, 2022

How K-Beauty Took Over the Beauty World Part 2

Episode Title: How K-Beauty Took Over the Beauty World Part 2


Episode Description:

On today's final episode in our two part series on how K-Beauty took over the beauty world, Lauren discusses how Korean brands influenced western brands. She runs through the K-Beauty trends we've seen rise and fall, lamentations about some of the current trends in the industry and some predictions for the future. 





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Episode Summary:


If you missed Part 1 of this podcast series, tune in here


How Korean Brands Have Influenced Western Brands

  • 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.

  • But western companies weren't immune to K-Beauty's influence

    1. Australian beauty brand Go-To skincare launched basically an entire KBeauty routine, including a double cleanse, sheet masks, serums, oils and pads.
    2. Ponds started doing a cleansing balm alongside their iconic cold cream.The whole idea of double cleansing was really niche when K-Beauty first started taking off - not many people did it, talked about it and there weren't nearly as many product options
    3. Glossier - skincare first, makeup second. Very much a Kbeauty mantra
    4. BB Creams - most of the products on the market these days in western countries are not Korean but rather western versions of a Korean BB Cream. 
  • L’Oreal acquired Style Nanda
  • Estee Lauder acquired Dr Jart

How Kbeauty took over the beauty world Part 2

K-Beauty Trends we’ve seen rise and fall 

  • Sheet masks
  • Overly cute products like the tangerine hand creams and tomato shaped face masks
  • Really gimmicky products - like Elizavecca’s clay mask
  • Trends I wish would die down since they’re not a thing anymore in Korea:
    • Snail mucin 
    • Glass Skin 

How Kbeauty Took Over the World

Impacts of COVID 

  • The recent disruption of COVID may have significantly altered the way many consumers approach their beauty routine. 
  • It's too soon to analyse the lasting impacts 

Some lamentations about the K-Beauty Industry 

  • Rise of the ‘blands’ - not brands
    • EWG Certification 
    • A collection of products based on mugwort, centella, green tea
    • Vegan, cruelty free, fragrance free
    • All minimalist packaging 
    • Similar price points
    • Hard to distinguish between them 
  • How commercialised a lot of the industry has become; this influences the brands people talk about, especially on social media. 
  • Most of these are just the brands that have big marketing budgets. They’re just endlessly pumping out products and lines based around the latest ingredient.
  • If you jump on beauty forums these days it just the same kind of posts doing swatches of lip tints, asking if anyone has tried ‘the latest release’ from such and such brand, likely at the request of the brand. 
  • Ive heard of people being paid to go into forums and facebook groups and mention certain brands and sellers and they get paid for that. 
  • All of the people promoting Korean sunscreens, many of which are from brands that have been in trouble here in Korea for false advertising, and have previously had SPF formulas pulled from the local market because they weren't up to scratch.
  • In reality, most of these influencers have no idea how Korean regulations work, how products come onto the market here and as the Korean sunscreen scandal proved, they can’t really tell you if a sunscreen will be able to do its job based on just looking at the filters in it 


How K-Beauty Took Over the Beauty World Pt 2

Predictions for the future of Kbeauty 

  • I think we’ll continue to see the rise of the Amore Pacific brands overseas because they’ve got the marketing budget
  • I’m hopeful that the era of clean, green "blands" will come to an end in the next 5 years because I think consumers will be sick of it. I know i’m sick of it already. It really lacks in innovation and ultimately does nothing to improve Kbeauty but i think its an over-correction from the days where everything was cute. A lot of people have done a good job convincing everyone they’ve got sensitive skin, a damaged barrier and can’t stand any fragrances and I think that’s where most of the brands are focusing their energy 
  • I think Korea will lead the way in terms of innovative packaging options that are more environmentally friendly 
  • We will keep seeing new ingredients because so much time, effort and energy is focused on that. 
  • Cosmeceutical kbeauty? Maybe 


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"One of the things that saddens me about the way the K-Beauty industry has been trending is how commercialised it has all become. These days, it seems more about brands throwing huge marketing budgets behind their launches and paying every influencer in town to spruik their new sunscreen then it is about genuinely developing interesting and innovative products."

- Lauren Lee, Kbeauty Expert

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