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In Booming Skin-Care Market, Korea Takes a Unique Approach

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Skin-care is a booming market all across Asia, but nowhere more so than in Korea, where female beauty regimens on average include as many as 18 different products. This focus—or perhaps obsession—with flawless skin dates back to royal aspirations of yore, according to Dr. Seung Yoon Celine Lee, a dermatologist based in Seoul. “Bright skin meant that you came from a noble family. The concept carries on,” she explains.

Korean manufacturers respond to this demand, and as a result, the rest of the world has begun to look to Korea for skin-care trends and technologies. “They’re [South Korea] about 12 years ahead of the States in terms of technology,” said Mary Schook, New York-based owner of M.S. Apothecary.

On a recent visit to Korea, we noticed an interesting category trend: brands using male celebrities and models in female skin-care retail communication, even packaging. Additionally, we observed that the salespeople employed by these brands were often male. Certainly it’s feasible that male celebrities are being used in skin-care communication simply because they have great skin, but we suspect brands and retailers might be employing some different strategies to motivate their female shoppers. And, seeing as Korea is the top market for men’s skin-care, there is a good chance that these brands might be looking to appeal to male shoppers as well.

Contributed by Integer Singapore

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