India embraces K-beauty: Korean sunscreen, glass skin among top searches by consumers

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

A surge in consumer interest for Korean sunscreen and glass skin has prompted Indian retailer Nykaa to curate K-beauty products. [Laneige]
A surge in consumer interest for Korean sunscreen and glass skin has prompted Indian retailer Nykaa to curate K-beauty products. [Laneige]

Related tags India K-Beauty Nykaa

A surge in consumer interest for Korean sunscreen and glass skin has prompted Indian retailer Nykaa to curate products, content, and events to cater to the growing demand for K-beauty in India.

According to the beauty retailer, the search terms ‘Korean sunscreen’ and ‘glass skin’ increased 148% and 61% this quarter.

It has also observed a 50% growth for its top Korean brands. The company retailer global K-beauty brands such as Sulwhasoo, Innisfree, Cosrx, and TonyMoly.

“We have the largest selection of Korean beauty brands available in the market today. And we are the destination of choice for consumers looking for this particular set of brands,”​ said Anchit Nayar, executive director and CEO, beauty e-commerce.

The latest trends observed on the platform signalled a growing affinity for K-beauty products among India’s beauty consumers.

“Nykaa is the platform where trends in beauty are identified very early on before they become mainstream and one of those trends which we've seen emerge this quarter has been the trend of Korean beauty brands,”​ said Nayar.

In response to the growing demand for K-beauty, Nykaa launched a dedicated K-beauty store, showcasing K-beauty products on its platform.

Additionally, the company produces dedicated content and hosts K-beauty events to educate and guide consumers on the intricacies of K-beauty routines, brands, and products.

“The Nykaa consumer is starting to gain a lot of interest in Korean beauty. As a result, to better serve our consumers and to stay ahead of the trends, Nykaa has launched a dedicated k-beauty store. We are creating dedicated Korean beauty content on-site and hosting Korean beauty events,”​ said Nayar.

Awareness: India’s big beauty challenge

However, awareness remained a large barrier to beauty consumption – and K-beauty – in India. In particular, Nayar noted that most Indian consumers do not have a skin care routine.

“One of the big challenges in India today for skin care consumers has been that Indian consumers don't actually follow a skin care routine… Our consumers told us that they were very confused by the sheer number of products which were available and did not understand what was the right assortment of products for them to use.”

The company collaborated with over 100 dermatologists to develop I-Beauty, a routine inspired by K-beauty but tailored for Indian skin.

“It's India's daily skin care routine. It consists of four steps, CSMS – cleanse, serum, moisturise, and sunscreen. It is specifically tailored for the Indian skin and climatic conditions, and this has been a great growth driver for certain categories within skin care. It has helped us to expand the basket. It has helped us to expand the frequency of purchase, as well as drive deeper penetration of skin care usage in the Indian market.”

Based on this, Nykaa developed an awareness campaign across all major social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

“In terms of our brand partners and customer adoption, 60% plus of Nykaa's customers shop skin care on our platform and because of this new routine which we have created – CSMS –we have seen a 35% growth year over year in serum sales and 85% growth year over year in sunscreen sales.”

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