Korean cosmetic boom rubs off on Australia

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Korean cosmetic boom rubs off on Australia

Related tags Korean cosmetics Cosmetics

South Korean cosmetics first became popular with consumers from China, but the appeal is exploding worldwide, and it seems that Australia is now under that same spell.

The K-Pop phenomenon and Korean fashion have helped provide a platform for Korea’s world class cosmetic and personal care, as word gets out about Korean women’s elaborate skin care routines that has helped give way to a reputation for immaculate skin.

Likewise, that message is being brought to Australia thanks to the growing population of Koreans living there, with in excess of 100,000 now making the country their home, most of whom reside in the biggest city, Sydney.

Imports of Korean cosmetics to Australia doubled last year

Indeed, Australian government figures show that sales of imported Korean cosmetics have doubled from 2014 to 2015, underlining just how significant that growth is.

A recent article in the Australian online news publication SBS News is typical of a long list of media that has focused on the phenomenon. The article specifically focuses on how Korean women living in Australia are helping to spread the message, while women from all over the country are getting that message and getting increasingly interested in the products.

One of the biggest retail platforms for Korean cosmetics  in Australia is the Korean-owned Face Shop, a retail chain that is already one of the biggest back in Korea.

Face Shop drives Korean cosmetic sales

The Franchise was started in Seoul back in 2003 and has been expanded into a global franchise that includes more than a 1,000 stores worldwide, with locations in Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, United States, Costa Rica, and Vietnam, to name a few.

In Australia, those stores currently amount to a total of 11 and more are planned.  Currently four of those stores are in Sydney, all stocking a wide selection of skin and body care, hair care and colour cosmetic products from a number of the biggest brand owners in South Korea.

Such has been the success of Korea’s cosmetics export market, the industry is now ranked alongside the country’s other biggest exports, which include technology, electrical and automotive, although the category did not make the top ten list of exports in 2015, when total exports were estimated to be valued at $527 billion.

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