Asia dwarfing other regions in male grooming thanks to South Korea

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Asia dwarfing other regions in male grooming thanks to South Korea

Related tags South korea Skin Korea

With sales of male grooming products, particularly those in the skin care segment, on the rise in Asia, the region is now positioned as one of the fastest growing markets for male personal care. 

At 9%, sales of male grooming products in Asia are now growing faster than the beauty segment as a whole, which according to research from Kantar Worldpanel, is now increasing at 5%.

The latest Euromonitor International analysis aligns with this: the APAC region makes up 64% of the $3.3 billion spent globally in 2013 on male skin care products, including moisturisers and skin-whiteners.

This growth is particularly thanks to the boom in cosmetics being seen in South Korea, where, according to Kantar, the average male consumer uses three products daily, while the number in Indonesia and the Philippines is just one.

Male grooming

After China, South Korea is the second largest market globally for male skin care, coming in at $635 million.

Speaking to Cosmetics Design, Simon Duffy, founder of male grooming range Bulldog, explained the motivation behind the brand’s expansion into the country last year, citing its huge potential for growth.

“In Korea the opportunities are vast, and they are also growing quickly too,” ​asserted Duffy.

The male grooming expert noted South Korea consumer trends are likely to have a knock-on effect in the wider APAC region.

“As you also see in areas like Korean pop music and electronics, the Korean beauty industry is the major trend-setter in Asia. It's highly likely that you will see the ripples from Korea's growing momentum spreading to other Asian markets as well,”​ he told

South Korea exports, too!

It isn’t only the male grooming sector boosting beauty sales in South Korea though, as the booming market now owes much of its increasing growth to exports.

South Korean products continue to perform strongly internationally, and the latest data from the Korea Customs Service show growth in the last decade has seen the country’s cosmetics exports rise to reach $1.05 billion, six times that of 10 years ago. 

Cosmetic products from the country topped $288 million during the first quarter of this year, which is a rise of almost 25% percent from the same period a year earlier.

For the inside story on what’s new in the fast-moving skin care ingredients category, join the Cosmetics Design team and  a host of industry leaders at the upcoming Skincare Ingredients webinar on June 18th – register here now​ to attend for free. 

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