SEOUL — According to the data examined by International Trade Administration in 2016, South Korea is the eighth-largest cosmetics market in the world, representing nearly 3.0 percent of the global market. When it comes to the total exports of the cosmetics, the amount increased approximately 61.6 percent from the previous year.
As more Korean cosmetics are being exported to foreign countries, the number of foreigners who buy and use cosmetics from South Korea continues its upward trend.
Emily Nguyen, a junior at Michigan State University, is a Vietnamese-American. After watching a YouTube video on skin care routines which consisted of a lot of Korean brands, Nguyen began to purchase cosmetics from South Korea. As a steady consumer who has used Korean cosmetics for nine years, Nguyen introduced her consumption on Korean cosmetics and the reasons that she use cosmetics from South Korea.
Below are questions asked by the reporter which was answered by Nguyen.
Korean Cosmetic Products on Nguyen’s Shelf
Q: Which Korean cosmetic products do you normally buy?
A: I normally buy skincare cosmetics, such as cleanser, toner, essence, serum, and moisturizer, sleeping pack, sheet mask, sunscreen, BB cushion and concealer.
Q: Which cosmetics brands do you use?
A: I normally like to use Missha, Belif, The Face Shop, Etude House, Tony Moly, Cosrx, and Innisfree.
Q: What percentage does Korean cosmetic products take in your makeup box?
A: I would say probably 25 percent.
Choice on Products
Q: What makes you decide to buy the products?
A: When there is a product that I am interested in buying it, I watch YouTube videos to see what the beauty community thinks of the product. Although many celebrities appear to have beautiful skin in advertisements, I am not easily fooled by them. I trust the recommendations from blogs and YouTube.
Spending on Products
Q: How often do you buy Korean cosmetics?
A: I would say it depends because I do not have a set date for buying the products. When I finish using the products, I pile them up on my shopping cart in the website and buy them at once. In that way, I can save the shipping fee. But when there is a sale or a deal on the product(s) that I would like to purchase, I cannot pass it up.
Q: How much do you spend at buying Korean cosmetics?
A: I normally spend around $50 every three months. If it is around Christmas time, I think I easily reach $100 as I purchase Korean cosmetic products for gifts.
Q: What do you think about their prices?
A: I think it depends on the brand whether it is a comparatively cheap roadshop brand or a luxury brand. However, I still that Korean cosmetics are much cheaper for the most part in comparison to American brands.
Ways of Purchase
Q: How do you buy Korean cosmetic products?
A: I usually buy them in online shops. My current three favorite online shops are Soko Glam, Peach & Lily and Style Korean. When I visit California or Vietnam, I purchase them at the offline shops there.
Reasons of Purchase
Q: What makes you keep on using Korean cosmetics?
A: I continue using Korean cosmetics because I see good results from them. Since I normally use Korean skincare products, I like how Korean cosmetics brands care about creating gentle and natural products for people’s skin. I also like that their websites always list their key ingredients and how useful they are to people’s skin. The relatively affordable price of the products is another reason for that.
Reaction of Surrounding People
Q: What do your family and friends think about Korean cosmetics?
A: I recommended my mother, aunt, and younger sister to use Korean cosmetics, especially the skincare products. In the end, my aunt became a fan of Korean skincare products! Although some of my friends have already known and used Korean cosmetic products from before, I kept my other friends informed to try on Korean cosmetics.