It all started with the BB cream, which was actually based on a German formulation, developed by a dermatologist in the 1960s to protect her patients’ sensitive, post-surgery skin. In the hands of Korean cosmetic companies, multifunctional beauty balms — revolutionary when they first launched — have become ubiquitous makeup bag staples. As an all-in-one product, BB creams function as sun protection and tinted moisturiser, regular foundation or primer, and was available in myriad textures suitable for a spectrum of skin types. There was a singular goal of letting women achieve flawless skin. Not just the appearance of flawless skin, but actual, real porcelain perfection that glows.
The strength of K-beauty lies in a holistic beauty philosophy that women have no problems buying into. That is, instead of focusing on using makeup to hide imperfections, find the right products that fixes problems from inside-out. Do that and you will be rewarded with a crystal-clear complexion to envy. And who doesn’t want that? We know we do, which brings us to all the other reasons why K-beauty is an obsession we can’t get enough of.
1) Cutting-edge skincare technology
It’s not just BB creams that have caught on and become beauty essentials with a global following. The same has happened with cushion compacts, which offer breakthrough textures and application method, as well as emollient sleeping packs that you do not have to rinse off before jumping into bed. The best example of the latter is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which remains a bestseller in spite of the many dupes that have followed in its footsteps, and which is currently available at a great price online. Even sheet masks, which was introduced to the beauty industry by the Japanese, only truly exploded into the global marketplace after Korean beauty companies made them highly affordable and in so many variations.
Eggs, avocado, artichoke and lemon. Korean beauty can sound like a yummy, wholesome brunch. The obsession with natural ingredients and harnessing the benefits of Mother Earth is hardly a bad thing. As with the food we eat, it is a relief to be able to recognise and pronounce the names on ingredient labels when it comes to stuff you’re putting on your face.
3) … that can sometimes be far-out, but never harsh on skin
Not that Korean beauty eschews science — far from it. Just like how farmers and chefs are pushing the boundaries of food science, Korean beauty companies absorb the best of western skincare technology and ingredients, and then take it to the next level with ingredients that sound just the tiniest bit crazy. Snail slime and bee venom, anyone? That said, while the focus may be on delivering results faster and better than before, it is equally important for formulations to be gentle on skin.
4) Affordability without sacrificing quality
Korean women are reputed to be incredibly demanding consumers, and there is the belief that beauty products that pass their muster (or that of the Japanese) can make it in any other market. The theory is that Korean women set impossibly high standards for themselves so beauty companies have to invest heavily in R&D to meet their demands. And in the mad scramble for dominance in a highly competitive market space, quality is delivered at prices that are kept low.
5) It’s fun, and it’s exciting
Korean beauty is famous for its 10-step regimen. Even if you find it difficult to buy into the argument that it is supposed to be enjoyed as luxurious pampering and quality own-time, there is no doubt that K-beauty makes taking care of your skin, well, fun. From adorable sheet masks that feature animal faces to egg mousse cleansers with a whipped, creamy texture and the cutest of packaging, K-beauty takes the chore out of wanting to be beautiful.
Agree with us? Love K-beauty too? Keen on trying out the infamous 10-step routine?
Find the above products at our Korean Beauty Shop today!