As Korean brands start to see international acclaim, 2016 is proving to be the year when brands make the leap from the domestic market to broadening unique designs, marketing campaign strategies and product innovations overseas.
Isoi, a South Korean cosmetics brand, combines Korean innovations and philosophies with safe and chemical-free products.
Adopting the slogan, “What made Snow White collapse was none other than a poisoned apple”, Isoi encourages the use of safe cosmetics, whilst remaining visually appealing through innovative packaging.
These two trends reflect two of APAC and global consumers’ biggest worries: How to ensure skin is taken care of and offering new and exciting products.
Entering new markets
As this demand now goes beyond APAC into the global market space, Isoi has decided to expand its presence into the US.
The brand is the nation’s first cosmetics label to have received verification from US environmental organisation Environmental Working Group (EWG), assuring consumers that its complete product ranges are developed without harmful chemicals.
Therefore, all of Isoi’s products are made of natural ingredients and are free from toxic chemicals such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), polypropylene glycol (PPG), sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and parabens.
The Korean natural skin care brand widened its consumer appeal by distributing its products in leading cosmetics retailer Sephora in China, before entering the US market through opening stores at Whole Food Market outlets in New York.
Lee Jin-min, CEO of Isoi, now plans to expand its US presence and build upon the relationship it has with Whole Foods Market by distributing its chemical-free skin care lines in additional outlets across the US.
Isoi also has plans to enter into the European beauty and cosmetics market space in 2017 via Germany.
As well as developing a research centre there, Isoi has already taken steps to ensure it fully understands consumer demands in the country and wider region.
Isoi has, for example, employed a leading researcher to head up the centre who previously led this year’s team at Germany’s Logona Naturkosmetik.
Isoi will build on the huge popularity of the brand’s signature product range, Bulgarian Rose Oil, which is made from Bulgarian government-certified rose oil and contains vitamin A and C.
In 2017, Isoi will continue developing a variety of make up and fragrance lines that, in keeping with the brand’s messaging and values, will be natural and free of harmful chemicals.
In June 2016, UK researchers announced they strongly advocated the use of a systematic review of chemical safety in cosmetics.
A chemical risk assessment would, therefore “resolve some of the biggest controversies in chemical risk assessment” said Dr Crispin Halsall, Guest Editor, Lancaster University Environment Centre.
Currently, the rules regarding chemical use remain unclear as there is “no universally accepted system for weighing up the available evidence”, added Paul Whaley, Lancaster University Environment Centre.
As a result, this may well provide a solution to consumers who are increasingly concerned about the use of chemicals in their cosmetics products used in daily beauty regimes.