Why you should look to the east to spice up your grooming regime

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

South Korea has given the world many won­der­ful things. bibim­bap, for ex­am­ple, is so good that it more than makes up for “Gang­nam Style”. How­ever, it looks as though the coun­try’s big­gest po­ten­tial ex­port is only just start­ing to boom. The Korean beauty in­dus­try is worth a re­ported £7.5bn, and 10 per cent of that is at­trib­ut­able to men who, since the start of the decade, have upped their col­lec­tive spend in prod­ucts by a mas­sive 86 per cent. South Kore­ans are now the big­gest con­sumers of men’s grooming prod­ucts in the world, and the coun­try’s cos­met­ics in­dus­try is grow­ing ac­cord­ingly and many brands are ex­pand­ing into the UK. Sel­f­ridges re­cently es­tab­lished a new per­ma­nent de­part­ment ded­i­cated ex­clu­sively to Korean grooming. Gen­er­ally, the fo­cus is on skin­care and anti-age­ing, with serums and night creams and face masks lead­ing the charge, but there’s an em­pha­sis on Asian in­gre­di­ents, such as matcha and green tea, too.

Men’s makeup also con­sti­tutes a big part of the Korean in­dus­try, with prod­ucts such as Iope’s Air Cush­ion “com­pact” foun­da­tion and SPF mois­turiser out­selling the brand’s reg­u­lar SPF of­fer­ings three times over. So as the UK grooming mar­ket plays catch-up, it looks as though there’s a new player at the ta­ble, and he comes bear­ing con­cealer.

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