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The Kbeauty Product That Sold 12 Million Units in a Year

May 03, 2022

The Kbeauty Product That Sold 12 Million Units in a Year

The Kbeauty Product That Sold 12 Million Units in a Year


Episode Description:

On this week’s K-Beauty news wrap-up Lauren covers the K-Beauty product that has sold 12 million units in a year thanks to Korea’s “untact beauty” trend, some bad news for Sephora in Korea and concerns over the future growth of Hallyu (the “Korean wave”). Plus she shares her top picks for Mothers Day and the new guide to TGA advertising of skincare products in Australia 



Episode Summary - The Kbeauty Product That Sold 12 Million Units in a Year


Korean News Headlines

Sephora Korea has recorded losses 2 years in a row  

  • Sephora has felt the negative impact of the COVID 19 pandemic
  • Industry watchers say that it has failed to keep up with domestic beauty trends
  • There is speculation that Sephora may retreat from Korea 
  • Sales were down 12.7% last year, at $9.8 million
  • Plans to open more stores appear to be on hold 
  • Many offline beauty stores in Korea are feeling the pinch as a result of the pandemic and low profitability 


Seoul aims to become a global hub for beauty and cosmetic businesses  

  • Seoul has announced it will provide support to SME companies trying to enter overseas markets 
  • There will be a focus on beauty and cosmetics with a "Beauty Trade Week" to advertise K-Beauty products to foreign buyers.
  • Seoul Business Agency will assist to offer job opportunities to foreign residents in Korea


The Korean Beauty Product that Sold 12 Million Units in a Year 

  • Multi Balm Sticks are the hottest K-Beauty Trend at the moment 
  • Sales of the products have been spurred on by Korea's untact beauty trend 언택트뷰티 (aka "contactless beauty") 
  • Kahi's Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm sold more than 12 million units in just a year
  • Kahi is the top-searched skin-care brand on Naver, Korea's version of Google 


The Kbeauty Product That Sold 12 Million Units in a Year 

Concerns around the growth of Hallyu 

  • K-Pop insiders have stated that innovation is critical for continued growth of Hallyu overseas but the current trend is too "youth focused"
  • Korea won’t be able to grow the market or extend its influence overseas unless Hallyu broadens its base appeal
  • Hallyu buyers are valuable to Korea because they spend up big


Question of the Week: If I’m using one product that has retinol in it can I use another product like a cream that has retinol in it? Or is that too much?

The answer is yes, you can combine them but more is not necessarily better. 

I would say it also depends on whether the cream is a prescription or cosmetic. If it’s a prescription product, I would exercise even more caution. 

  • Retinol products on prescription are more powerful and work faster. Retinol in cosmetic products takes longer to work, but does give the same results over time.
  • Prescription retinol increases the risk of skin irritation. These irritations can be so persistent for some that they can no longer use the product.
  • Cosmetic products with retinol have a lower risk of skin irritation.
  • It is a question of experimenting to see the how often you should use retinol for the most effective and attractive results.


Mother’s Day Gift suggestions 

If you’ve left Mother’s Day to the last minute then jump onto the STYLE STORY website nowand check out our special curation of gift ideas. We’ve got everything from moisturisers to gift sets, masks, treatments and more. For every budget. 

My personal pick? 

  • For my mother in law our Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream - she and my grandmother in law adore it. They’re staying at my house at the moment and they are raiding my supply so I will be giving them more of their own. 
  • My own Mum loves a good powder cleanser so Subi Brightening Powder Cleanser is for her. 


New Korean Beauty Products at STYLE STORY

  • We have a bunch of new brands landing soon, including I Dew Care. 
  • The big product release i wanted to talk about this week is the Therapeutic Claims Guide 

Cosmetic vs Therapeutic Claims Guide 

  • Are you an influencer or skincare brand? If so, it's more important than ever to make sure you're on top of the regulations about marketing beauty products. In 2022 there have been some important clarifications about how marketing works for therapeutic goods and who is subject to the regulations. This has been clarified by the Australian government body responsible for regulating the marketing of therapeutic goods, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (the TGA)
  • In order to know what kind of content and what kinds of skincare products are covered by the laws, you'll need to have a basic understanding of them.
  • If you're not a lawyer or a specialist working in the beauty industry, chances are you will have a hard time getting your head around the requirements just by Googling everything yourself. 
  • The Cosmetic v Therapeutic Claims Guide covers
    • How to work out whether a product is a cosmetic or a therapeutic good?
    • What is a cosmetic claim?
    • What is a therapeutic claim?
    • When you will be held responsible for making claims about products
    • The scope of permitted advertising with therapeutic goods
    • Third party therapeutic claims
    • Giving and accepting therapeutic goods as freebies and samples
    • Common ways some people try to get around making therapeutic claims...and why they don't work

New Korean Beauty Product Reviews

"Incredibly Radiant Skin
I love the texture of the product, very light and high absorption that my skin just lapped it up! I used it at night, first morning I had some purging around my chin but quickly disappeared after a couple of days.  Aside from that, I have noticed after a few days when I wake up in the morning my skin is glowing and radiant, especially around my forehead so smooth!  I've had a few people comment how my skin glows and have asked if I was wearing foundation (which I was not, just tinted spf moisturiser).   I'm 45 years old and to be complimented like that is really nice to hear but personally I have been won over by this product."


"Retinal, Vitamin A cream.
The cream has made my face look much smoother. I still have some red marks on my face though."
The Kbeauty Product That Sold 12 Million Units in a Year

Recommendation of the Week: 

  • If you’re interested in cooking some Korean recipes at home I can highly recommend checking out Maangchi 
  • Real name Emily Kim or (Kim Kwang Sook), Mangchi means ‘hammer’ in Korean 
  • She was born in Yeosu and moved to America
  • Her recipes are excellent and easy to follow
  • She has lots of recipes for traditional dishes like japchae, kimchi, ddeok galbi 

Did You Enjoy This Episode - The Kbeauty Product That Sold 12 Million Units in a Year? If so, share it with a friend! 


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APLB Retinol Vitamin A Moisture Cream
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APLB Retinol Vitamin A Moisture Cream

$90.00 AUD
KAHI Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm
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KAHI Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm

$40.00 AUD

"Spurred on by the pandemic, there has been a spike in sales of so-called "untact beauty" products, contactless products you can easily apply without touching your face."

- Lauren Lee, Australian Korean Beauty Expert

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