Bubble tea cream: Aussie online K-beauty retailer inspired by popular Asian beverage for first in-house brand
Marketed as a moisturising cream with the colour and aroma of bubble tea, Jelly Ko’s bubble tea steam cream is formulated and produced in South Korea.
Currently the bubble tea steam cream is the only product in the Jelly Ko line, and the brand is planning to launch a sleeping mask (jelly) by the end of the year.
Founded by Lauren Lee in 2014, Style Story distributes 40 Korean brands from big names like Laneige, Innisfree, Etude House, Tosowoong, Benton, Skin79 and acts as an incubator for emerging brands like Subi Beauty, APLB, and JJ Young.
According to Lee, K-beauty was not widely known or available in Australia six years ago. She said that Korean cosmetics have a massive following in many countries for its advanced formulations, high quality, use of natural ingredients, innovation and affordability compared to Western cosmetics.
Bubble tea steam cream
Style Story conducts the research, manufacturing and safety tests for Jelly Ko, before the products are shipped to Sydney where its warehouse is based.
Lee, who is based in Style Story’s office in Seoul, South Korea said: “We wanted this to be a Korean beauty product, and the manufacturing capabilities of the technology in Korea is so much ahead of Australia, even for packaging.”
Lee added Jelly Ko was not just a white label product, “We work alongside Korean cosmetic manufacturers to develop the product. We come up with the formulation, fragrance, packaging etc.”
The R&D for Jelly Ko’s bubble tea steam cream took about one year.
Lee said she wanted Jelly Ko to be a fun to use, feed your skin concept. It is a moisturising cream meant for applying twice a day, at the last step of the skin care routine.
“Bubble tea is one of our favourite drinks. We wanted to encapsulate the colour and scent of bubble tea in a formula but for your skin.”
Lee said the goal was to produce an aesthetically pleasing texture but also a functional product that was suitable for all skin types.
“Personally, I have sensitive acne prone skin, so I find it difficult to find products that don't make me break out. We wanted to make a formula that was free from sulphates, mineral oils, parabens, PEGs and EDTA because we know people like to avoid these in their skin care products.”
The steam cream contains ingredients like grapeseed oil which is hydrating and moisturising for oily and acne prone skin types, beta glucan an antioxidant for brightening functions, sodium hyaluronate which is a more moisturising ingredient than pure hyaluronic acid, vitamin E for protecting the skin from free radicals, as well as panthenol (vitamin B5), ariginine, allantoin and adenosine with soothing functions.
It also contains pearl extract for brightening the skin.
Lee explained: “We wanted to make a formula that had different benefits in it, so that even if you don’t have time to apply 10 steps in your skin care routine, you'd still be getting the benefits in just a single product.”
The bubble tea steam cream is currently sold on Style Story’s online store, the firm is looking to enter Asian markets such as Singapore with Jelly Ko products soon.
The firm is working on launching two more products in its Jelly Ko line next year.
This year, Style Story recorded its best year, with sales quadrupling in certain months, despite the pandemic.
Lee said it was attributed to people spending more time at home and finding skin care as a way of self-care.
She added that consumers sought a skin care routine as a comforting feeling despite the uncertainties. “There are a lot of steps in the K-beauty routine, so I think that has been a real source of comfort for a lot of people during the pandemic, to have something that they can focus on themselves.”
“We've definitely noticed a massive increase in our sales and also the general interest of people in skin care.”
While Australia is its key market, it exports the products to markets including New Zealand, Germany, US, Canada, Singapore and more.