Why American Women Are Obsessed with Korean Beauty Products

For years, industry insiders have known that some of the most interesting things in beauty come from Korea. Everything was kept under wraps until the digital revolution allowed for American women to take notice. It all started with BB cream, the single product that put Korean beauty, also known as K-Beauty, on the map. Since then, interest in K-Beauty has piqued. Want to know where it all stemmed from and what’s slated to be the next big thing? We’ve got the story right here.

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K-Beauty is really all about skin care.

Skin care is the main focal point and it’s presented in a way that makes it more enjoyable and relaxing than a chore. Healthy skin is the essence of a beautiful look, and Korean women go above and beyond to get it. Hydration is so major that you will actually see women measuring their moisture levels with pocket-size moisture-level testing devices to keep a pulse on when their skin needs an immediate hydration boost.


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Not all products are kitschy.

Sure, some K-Beauty products are known for their cute packaging, but most items are packed with powerful ingredients and solid at reasonable price points. 


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Korea is the new beauty superforce.

Korea is the leader in beauty innovation, pacing about 10 years ahead of the rest of the world. “Until retailers began making Korean beauty products accessible in the U.S., American consumers hadn’t taken note of all that was offered over there. Then, the dialogue about Korean beauty rituals, new ingredients and product categories—as well as word-of-mouth buzz from consumers—started to take off,” says Alicia Yoon, founder of Peach & Lily, a K-Beauty e-tailer.


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Korean beauty consumers are savvy.

According to Charlotte Cho, founder of SokoGlam.com, Korean beauty companies are at the forefront because consumers are super picky about what they want and are quick to make judgments on products. “Korean beauty consumers are savvy, so cosmetic companies need to be on their toes and constantly churn out the best product at the best price. In the Western world, there’s not this same sense of urgency to innovate. For a product to ‘make it,' it has to contain awesome ingredients and have eye-catching packaging so that it really stands out."


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It’s more than a trend.

“If it were just one product or trend that were popular, this whole K-Beauty sensation would just be a blip, but it’s not. It’s become a lifestyle and a mindset,” says Cho.


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New products are on the horizon.

There are a lot of new things coming out of Korea, and one of the newest is splash masks to improve skin texture. Splash masks contain botanicals, fruits and lactic acid to retexturize skin. “They take the 10-minute facial to a 15-second splash. You get an instant effect,” says Christine Chang of GlowRecipe.com. Get it in Blithe Patting Splash Mask ($48).


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And, new textures are coming out, too.

Products that provide a 4-in-1 multitasking benefit are big, and some, like Shara Shara Honey Bomb All In One Ampoule ($40) have unique, jelly-like textures, too. 


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