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House passes Microbead-Free Waters Act
Korean beauty moves into mass
Snails made big beauty headlines in 2015.
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Snail creams, which gained traction in Korea, crawled into the U.S. market this year and websites, such as Peach and Lily, couldn’t keep them in stock. At first, Alicia Yoon, CEO and founder of the online site, which sells Asian beauty items to North America, was reticent to add snail extract creams. But after she took a chance with what she considered the best of the genre, Mizon, she had a sales bonanza on her hands. “And no snails were harmed,” she added.
Yoon is at the forefront of an explosion of interest in Korean beauty, an industry she said she’s not surprised is expanding since Korean women take pride in skin and beauty regimens. Emerging in addition to snail creams are more cushion applicators, hydrating masks, Botox-in-a-bottle products and more stick formulations.
Specialty stores embraced Asian beauty trends early, adding such lines as Dr. Jart+, AmorePacific and TonyMoly.
Asian beauty products are filtering into the mass market, too. Of course, the BB cream invasion a few years ago was a tease of what was to come. Cushion technology is used in the Laneige skin care collection sold at Target. Water formulas are seemingly everywhere after success in Asia, as seen in such mass items as Boots No7 Hydrating Water Spray and, once again, Laneige Water Base CC cream. And at this summer’s National Association of Chain Drug Store’s Total Store Expo, several drug store buyers noted lines with Korean heritage.
In addition to a bevy of masks and water formulas inspired by Asian beauty, retailers also singled out Absolute New York, a color collection from Nicka K.
Alex Chung, director of marketing for Nicka K, said the company takes its cues from Korea, but adapts for the U.S. market. Some styles are too bold for America, he added. Nicka K is sold in Ulta Beauty and CVS, among other stores. The Absolute collection encompasses 300 SKUs and retails for between $4.99 and $12.99.
Retailers anticipate mass skin care extensions inspired by Korean concepts in 2016. But some cutting-edge experts noted they are already onto other countries for inspiration. “There’s so much attention on Korea, but I’m finding my customers interested in what’s selling well in Australia now,” said Jessica Richards, founder and beauty brand adviser for the curated beauty emporium Shen Beauty.