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