With K-Beauty gaining global success, it only begs the question: What comes next? More so, will there even be a next?
The Korean beauty phenomenon has come, seen, and conquered—but it comes as no surprise. With its skin-first philosophy and combination of traditional ingredients with cutting-edge techniques, the category has revolutionized the world’s priorities with skincare routines. “Korean beauty philosophy is holistic,” says Pia Ylisa, E-Commerce Executive of Amorepacific Philippines. “It goes beyond the skincare steps that we know. It’s more focused on prevention that simply makes it an effective way to achieve beautiful skin.”
Its popularity, as we all know it, is felt in full force in our beauty landscape. “It’s definitely in courtesy of the Korean Wave,” says Ylisa, who perceives the aftermath as a canon event. “Filipinos warmly welcomed the culture—from shows, music, food, and of course, beauty. More so, when we see idols with fresh, dewy, and glowing skin, we can’t just help but admire.” The world’s pursuit of the coveted complexion resulted in the category becoming a mecca for skincare innovations. But with the beauty world continuously evolving, it only begs the question: What comes next?
What makes K-Beauty so influential?
“The Korean beauty market is extremely competitive,” says Ylisa. “And with this kind of business environment, it’s a challenge for brands to consistently step up their game and release products that work.” In a sense, her insight brought clarification as to why the category remains influential—its commitment to extensive research and rigorous testing. The reason why, compared to other approaches, Korean skincare methods often dictate beauty trends rather than following one.
Decoding its popularity practices and ingredients
Korean skincare methods today are usually rather simpler than before. Eschewing the infamous 12-step routine, the focus is on integrating the right natural and active ingredients. As for the popular? “Retinol is one of the most popular skincare ingredients because it is proven to help with a lot of skin concerns like acne, fine lines, and texture,” explains Ylisa. “But this ingredient could [cause] side effects, especially to those with sensitive skin. As luck would have it, K-beauty brands were able to make mild formulations of retinol to avoid the irritation.”
“Hyaluronic acid is also among the popular ingredients that can help achieve the coveted complexion,” says Ylisa. “Many products indicate the molecular size of the ingredient that is in the formula. Keep in mind that the smaller the size is, the deeper it can penetrate the skin!” Elsewhere, the beauty expert recommends for enthusiasts to consider Vitamin C. “It is teeming with antioxidant benefits—perfect for enthusiasts who are exposed to environmental stressors,” she explains. “It also helps brighten the skin and lighten discolorations like sun spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.”
Our point of view
It is undeniable that its influence has already extended across the globe, including our local beauty landscape. Yet with the influx of homegrown and international offerings that are said to mirror the culture, it only begs the question: Is it at risk of being left behind? More so, does it indicate that the market is surprisingly losing its luster? The short answer is no. As the beauty world continuously evolves, so does the category. Think global stores and e-commerce expansions. But if there is anything, its growth indicates more than what is perceived by the data.
There’s a lot of crossover between the category’s skin-first philosophy and overall cultural impact that skyrocketed its success. However, its effort to offer products that are more personalized to its consumers’ cultural preferences helped retain its position in the beauty market. K-beauty never gatekeeps. Instead, it continues to challenge and influence global routines to shift its focus on skin health, quality, and innovation.
So what comes next for Korean beauty? Only time will tell. But for a skincare category that remained true to its beauty traditions, it’s only fair to say that it has nothing to prove to anyone.
Featured Image: MEGA ARCHIVES