A survey says that 25 percent of Indian women use Korean skincare products daily.
It is 9:00 p.m. Sarika finishes her dinner and rushes back to her room. She has an organised cabinet. She takes out a small pouch full of skincare products and sits in front of her full-length mirror.
After taking out two cotton balls, she pours a little oil cleanser and applies it to her face. It takes her around 40 minutes. Sarika said that it will take her time to master the art of completing the ten steps Korean skincare routine in just ten minutes.
Online Korean cosmetic websites have seen an increase in sales in the past two-three years.
A study says that in 2019, 42.2 percent of respondents’ stated that the popularity of Korean beauty and skincare products has increased in the country.
Gopal Sharma, manager of Beautytalk India said their company’s sales have increased by 20-25 percent in the last one year.
Innisfree Cosmetics India Private Limited has also witnessed a significant growth in their sales for the past two years. Umesh Mishra, senior manager at Innisfree, said that now they get a traffic of around 40-50 thousand customers on their site every day.
Mishra said their conversion rate was constant at around two to three per cent before 2019. He added that now, the conversion rate of customers is around eight to nine per cent.
Harnoor Bhullar, digital marketer, said a conversion rate of two to three percent shows that a company is in profits. Anything exceeding two to three percent is a pointer that the company is performing exceedingly well.
Beautytalk and Innisfree are two leading organizations offering Korean skincare products in the Indian market.
Another survey said that 25 percent of women in India use Korean skincare products in their day to day lives.
The skincare products from South Korea are highly research-based, said Dhavall Jaain, a senior marketing manager from Kaya Limited. Kaya Limited is an Indian skincare, hair care, and body care treatment provider.
He added that the beauty industry in India is on the roll. K-beauty (as known in India) has just added to the already growing trajectory of the beauty industry.
Mohan Doifode, cosmetic formulation chemist, said that most K-beauty products contain active ingredients that have never been used by other markets. “Some special elements like snail extract and another one like rice ferment extract are examples of such ingredients,” he added.
Not just skincare products, people are including Korean home remedies as part of their skincare routine. Navkansha, a student, said that she is a regular user of homemade rice-flour masks. She added that this Korean home remedy acts as an antioxidant along with naturally exfoliating facial skin.
Niharika Jain, dermatologist, said that Indians resonate more with natural products. This expectation is fulfilled by Korean skincare with extensive research behind them. These products provide efficiency and long lasting results, she added.
However, a few people said that Korean skincare products are not affordable. Shrashti, a student, said that a 100 ml bottle of snail mucin essence costs Rs 2024.
“It’s just mere hype created by social media about the Korean skincare industry,” she added.
Niharika added that there is a negative impact too. “ One reason which attracts the Indian customers is the glass skin effect promised by many Korean brands. We tend to forget that genes and ethnicity play an important role in deciding the skin tone and texture. Not the type of product one uses,” she said.
Shrinidhi Sanil, content specialist at Disguise Cosmetics, said that people are more inclined towards Korean skincare due to the popularity it gained on social media. She said, “There is a Korean wave that has taken over the world. It’s not just skincare; but people are driven towards Korean food, makeup and cinema.”
She added that the increasing fan-base of Korean drama and k-pop in India has resulted in a gradual shift towards these products. “People see these big stars and want to be like them. They want flawless skin which is promised by these skincare brands. But it is not like Indian skincare brands are any less.”
Many websites have claimed that the Korean beauty market is among the leading cosmetic markets in the world. A report suggests that its sales reached an estimated worth of over $13.1 billion in 2017.