Electric Ink Tattoo Care launches in South Korea despite controversy

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Electric Ink Tattoo Care launches in South Korea despite controversy
Electric Ink is entering the South Korea market - despite the country’s complicated history with tattoos.

Electric Ink is a vegan and cruelty-free skin care brand that helps keep tattoos from fading and stay looking vibrant with active ingredients such as Inca Inchi oil and coconut oil. The range includes its award-winning Vibrancy Serum and Defining Oil.

The brand considers it a huge win that it managed to get stocked in Olive Young, the largest beauty retail chain in “the beauty capital of the world”.

“With Electric Ink, our aim is to push tattoo culture further into mainstream society and within the beauty sector, so that tattoos and looking after them become as ordinary as buying your makeup, skin or hair care," ​said founder Stu Jolley.

Tattoo taboo

South Korea may be highly progressive when it comes to pop culture, but for a country that is seen as the epicentre of beauty innovations, tattoos are still regarded as distasteful in a culture that reveres purity.

While having tattoos are not illegal, the practice of tattooing without a medical license is illegal as tattooing is classified as a medical procedure.

This law has forced tattoo artists and their parlours underground, while tattooed individuals keep their skin covered up in public.

Despite the strict regulations of body ink, Jolley was not deterred. Instead, it fuelled his determination to push his brand forward into South Korea.

Whilst it is seen as a taboo topic by some people, we see a massive demand for tattoo care in South Korea,” ​Jolley told Cosmetics Design Asia. There's still a huge tattoo community currently not being looked after or spoken for.”

Brand on a mission

Jolley believes that the brand’s presence in the country is a huge step in making tattoos acceptable in the mainstream Korean culture.

However, the brand’s founder is not planning to stop in South Korea, and already has plans to expand to other Asian countries.

"We have plans to expand further into Asia,” ​reveals Jolley. “Olive Young is a great cultural fit for the brand and allows us to build a case study before entering other countries within Asia-Pacific.

The tattoo trend is now a global phenomenon, so it will only be a matter of time before restrictions are lifted,” ​Jolley adds. “I think celebrities and social influencers are helping to remove any perceived negativity surrounding tattoos."

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