Article by: Kelly Dobos

The K-Beauty trend shows no signs of slowing down. Information from Mintel indicates that Korea’s beauty market will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 65% over the next five years to reach $47.2 billion in 2020.  And according to Kline Group, U.S. K-Beauty sales rose 27% from 2015 to 2016. 80% of that total is attributed to skin care and 17% to color cosmetics.

When it comes to developing K-Beauty inspired formulations, here are 3 key aspects to getting it right.

Design Multi-step Regimens

While a 10 to 15-step skin care routine may not be embraced by most consumers in the U.S., new treatments like essences and sheet mask  that work in concert with a suite of traditional products is are becoming increasingly popular.  K-Beauty giant AmorePacific just launched a crème fluid creating a new category of moisturizer in the west. It is a light weight formula inspired by the traditional fluids in the Korean market to “pre-hydrate” prior to application of a traditional moisturizer. K-Beauty e-tailer provides an overview of typical products in the Korean beauty routine and extra treatments for when skin needs an additional boost.

Explore Unique Textures and Experiences

Enhanced sensorial qualities are another key attribute of K-Beauty trends. Unexpected textures and transforming textures bring the wow factor.  Croda’s “cloud” concept is a unique formulation with a fluffy texture that transforms into a moisturizing crème as it’s rubbed into the skin. Here’s a link to a video where you can watch Croda’s cloud cream come to life.

Leverage Natural Ingredients

Natural ingredients are emerging as drivers of purchase in the cosmetics industry. According to a survey by US brand Kari Gran, 57% of US women said it is important that their skin care products are natural.  A purported 69% of skin care products launches in South Korea during 2016 made natural ingredient claims according to Mintel.

Natural ingredients can be used in novel ways like cleansing oils that can be used alone or as part of a Double Cleanse, the practice of using an oil-based cleanser to loosen makeup from the face and followed with a foaming cleanser.  An oil-based cleansing balm fits into all three of the key aspects for K-beauty formulating and because it’s waterless, it’s perfectly portable to today’s consumer on the go. Check out this link to find a cleansing balm formulation and request raw material samples.

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Kelly Dobos

About the Author

Kelly Dobos

Kelly Dobos is a cosmetic chemist and expert in both skin care and make-up product formulation. She has the coolest job and a passion for teaching others the smartest ways to express their creativity through cosmetic chemistry.

One comment

  1. Ju

    Been meaning to write something on “what makes a product K-Beauty?” despite it being made in Korea. This is great insights!

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