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K-Beauty's Big "Women" Problem

May 24, 2022

K-Beauty's Big "Women" Problem

K-Beauty's Big "Women" Problem 


Episode Description:

On this week's K-Beauty news headlines episode of the Korean Beauty Show podcast, Lauren discusses why the lack of representation of women on the boards of Korea's big beauty companies is ultimately harmful for K-Beauty's competitiveness. Plus, indie beauty brand One Thing has been acquired by Aekyung Industries.





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 Korean Beauty News Headlines


Why K-Beauty's Lack of Female Representation is Problematic

  • An opinion piece in Beauty Nury discussed the controversy over the abolition of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in Korea. 

  • New President Yoon Seok-yeol has argued that Korean companies, "...need to hire talent based on ability without discrimination between men and women". This is despite the fact that Korea’s gender equality index is the lowest among OECD countries.

  • Female voters in their 20s to 50s did not have a high turnout for President Yoon, so female voters of the relevant age group are raising objections to his policies 

  • Despite the overwhelming majority of users of cosmetics being female, there is a glass ceiling for women at domestic cosmetics companies

  • As of 2021, there were no female executives at major cosmetics companies such as It's Hanbul, Leaders Cosmetics, Hyundai Bioland, Sehwa PNC, and Prostemics, and others had insignificant female executives.

  • What's the big deal about not having a female executive? Company structures that don’t consider women (who are the real users of cosmetics) could be a problem in enhancing K-beauty's competitiveness.

  • Cosmetics made by male executives for women end users are not going to be the same. 

  • In fact, according to the cosmetics industry, many export-oriented brands are often found to have made no progress after obtaining certification for export to China and the EU.

  • For cosmetics, it is important to make products that actively reflect women's opinions because they are the actual users of the products. 

  • If the quota system for female executives is abolished with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, this could serve as a major crisis for cosmetics companies.


K-Beauty's Big Women Problem

Korean Brand "One Thing" Has Been Acquired by Aekyung Industries 

  • Aekyung signed a contract to acquire a 70% stake in cosmetics company One Thing for 14 billion won.

  • They are planning to strengthen their portfolio of cosmetics businesses through the acquisition.

  • One Thing launched in 2019 and has grown on digital channels with high growth potential in Japan, China, the United States, and Southeast Asia 

  • The brand philosophy focuses on core ingredients and provide value to customers by excluding unnecessary price increases.

  • The brand’s main products are toners that focus on core ingredients like Centella, Heartleaf and Mugwort. The brand has recently been increasing its line up of products


Question of the week: I noticed on last week’s anti-aging episode that you didn’t mention fillers. Don’t Koreans get fillers?

Koreans aren’t really into facial fillers - my guess is that it’s because a lot of those can puff your face up and Koreans prize having a small face.


New K-Beauty Releases at STYLE STORY 

  • Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Mini Set

    • The perfect way to try Missha's best-selling serum & moisturiser before grabbing the full size.

    • Contains high-quality probiotics that have been put through a double fermentation process. This uses both warm and cold temperatures to yield the best results for your skin.

    • The set includes 1 x Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule (10ml) and 1 x Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule Cream (7ml)

    • It contains 10 different types of probiotics, with Bifida Ferment Lysate the star

  • One Thing Hyaluronic Acid Essence (150ml)

    • Combines hyaluronic acid at both a low and high molecular weight for maximum results.
    • Hyaluronic acid helps reduce the visibility of fine lines and assists your skin to retain moisture. It can also help to give skin a plumping effect.
    • One Thing's Hyaluronic Acid is a good option for those who struggle with tight, dry skin or have sensitised, reactive or acne-prone skin 


New K-Beauty Product Reviews

Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream 

"Great product
This feels amazing, soft & so moisturised on the skin. Love it 😍"

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

"Just what my lips needed 

I love this lip sleeping mask! My lips get dry and cracked easily and I'll put this on at night and wake up with nice soft lips in the morning. The scent is pleasant but it doesn't leave a taste, which is nice. I will definitely buy again when this one is gone." 


APLB Pink Sheet Mask

"Best sheet mask  
This sheet mask is really so good!
Whenever I use a sheet mask in our region (western style) my skin gets pimples and irritation. When you put on this mask it unifies with your skin. 
After using it your skin feels so hydrated and all the red spots disappear. Even the day after."


Recommendation of the Week - Superman Returns / The Return of Superman 

  • Celebrity dads are left to care for their kids alone for 48 hours without the help of anyone else while the mums are whisked away for time off. 
  • The celebrities include everyone from football players, to actors and TV personalities.
  • The Return of Superman has made celebrities of a lot of the children who now have their own TV shows, product endorsements etc. 


Did you enjoy K-Beauty's Big "Women" Problem? If so, we'd love for you to rate and review the podcast on your favourite app. 


STYLE STORY - Your Go-To for Kbeauty 

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"In the context of Korea's hierarchical corporate structure where decisions are made top-down, having a lack of female representation at the top directly impacts the types of products being made."

- Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast

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