Sunny outlook: Dr. G doubles down on SEA expansion on the back of sunscreen popularity

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Dr. G is continuing to expand in South East Asia with a new store in Malaysia. [Dr. G]
Dr. G is continuing to expand in South East Asia with a new store in Malaysia. [Dr. G]

Related tags Sunscreen Skin care K-Beauty Korea SEA Malaysia

K-beauty brand Dr. G is continuing to expand in South East Asia with a new store in Malaysia, where its sunscreen range is enjoying significant success.

The firm unveiled a physical outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It partnered with health and beauty retailer Sa Sa to open a shop-in-shop at Sunway Velocity Mall, a popular tourist destination.

The South Korean company said this move was capitalising on Dr. G’s growing influence in the SEA region as a derma beauty brand as well as a sunscreen expert.

According to the firm, its Brightening Up Sun+ sunscreen has become the number one product in the sun care category since the second half of last year. Overall, sunscreen sales in Malaysia increased by 165% year-on-year.

The brand believes its sunscreen range is optimised for the local climate and skin needs. In addition to Brightening Up Sun+, Green Mild Up Sun+ is also gaining momentum in Malaysia. The products resonate with consumers for their high UV-protection rating and their skin toning benefits.

The company highlighted that the opening of a shop-in-shop within Sa Sa is unique and a testament to its success in the Malaysian beauty market.

Dr.G is a derma skin care brand best known in Korea for its best-selling R.E.D Blemish range of skin care products as well as its line of sun care products. It is owned by cosmetics firm Gowoonsesang Cosmetics, a subsidiary of Swiss company Mibelle Group.

In February, CEO Lee Joo-ho announced that the firm’s goal was to increase its exports overseas to 20% of total sales.

The brand has been focusing on developing its business internationally to drive future growth and was targeting markets in Asia, most recently in Japan and Vietnam.

“Following Japan and Vietnam, the response to Dr.G’s sun care products in Malaysia has been enthusiastic, so we decided to open a store in a large local shopping mall to expand the market in earnest,”​ said Yuri Kwon, head of overseas sales, Gowoonsesang Cosmetics.

The opening of the new store marks the start of plans to expand its local contact points and double down on the Malaysian skin care market.

“Starting with the opening of this store in Malaysia, we will actively secure Dr.G's brand awareness and K-Derma cosmetics' position in the Asian market,”​ said Kwon.

Going strong

For the past three years, Gowoonsesang has recorded double-digit sales increases. In 2022, sales grew by 12% to KRW197bn (USD149m).

The company attributed this strong growth in the past three years to the increase demand for R.E.D Blemish skin care range as more consumers contended with sensitive skin issues as a result of the prolonged use of protective face masks.

The company’s retail partner, Sa sa, has also been experiencing success in Malaysia, where sales grew by 16.4% to HKD72.6m (USD9.2m) in the last quarter ending March 2023.

Sa Sa’s business in Malaysia is sustaining its recovery at 79.3% of pre-pandemic levels despite a decrease of 11 stores.

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