The Korean beauty and skincare industry is one of the biggest and hottest trendsetters across the globe. According to data, Korean beauty-product exports were recorded at $510 million in 2018! Korean beauty startups especially have been very successful as the companies have gone beyond the surface and infused technology, R&D, and innovation in their products. While affordability is a key factor, high importance is placed on quality and effectiveness.
Koreatechdesk.com examines five commercially successful beauty startups and the reasons behind their popularity.
Korean beauty startup Memebox became a household name in Korea as it focused on beauty influencers such as Hye-Min Park (Pony), who is Korea’s top beauty vlogger. Launched in 2012 as a subscription box service for Korean beauty products, it soon branched out into the US market. The company has transformed itself into a mobile e-commerce platform selling over 170,000 cosmetics and beauty products.
The founding team is the alumni of Y-Combinator, the top startup accelerator in the world known for its massive database on skin types and beauty trends from 5 million monthly active users. The company plans to build the next generation of personal care brands by using Korean technology in 2019.
2. L&P Cosmetics (MediHeal)
MediHeal found instant popularity due to its partnership with the globally famous K-pop group BTS. With the singers becoming the faces behind the Mediheal line of moisturizing masks from L&P Cosmetics, the company’s sales have skyrocketed. Before BTS, the company had Korean movie star Hyun Bin as their spokesperson. MediHeal is one of leading sheet mask brands and has sold over 1 billion sheet masks since 2017.
3. Glow Recipe
Korean beauty startup Glow Recipe specializes in sleeping masks, which are so high-in-demand that they have a waitlist of over 5000 customers! Their most famous product is the watermelon mask, which consists of AHAs, watermelon extract, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and peony root that hydrates the skin at night. The company pays attention to its ingredients, and most of its products have a fruit concept from watermelon to even pineapple.
Korean beauty startup Reziena’s USP is its intense, focused, ultrasound (IFU) technology. It develops personal homecare beauty IoT devices, and most of its products are customizable and handheld, which makes it convenient for consumers to use.
Rezeina is developing a smart sheet mask with LED and iontophoresis technology and are planning to enter the North American market. Their focus is also to continue developing their Big Data platform based on the user’s data to provide a personalized beauty care service at home.
5. Zakdang (Zamface)
Zakdang, the Korean startup, launched Zamface, a mobile app that helps users choose a streamer who offers the best beauty tips based on the user’s skin type, contours, and tone. The app uses Artificial Intelligence and facial recognition to match with the user and then cuts the streamer’s video into sections for easy step-by-step viewing. It recommends streamers via their face-matching function. It also shares a list of the exact products the streamer is using.