During this period, makeup and skincare became more mainstream. Often, women were concocting their own products at home. They would store them in earthenware containers, later giving way to celadon.
Non-Asian-Americans, on the other hand, were completely unfamiliar with these products. That is until the Korean Wave came around.
The History of Cosmetics in Korea
As the K-beauty phenomenon continues to grow worldwide, it’s important to remember the rich history of this beauty tradition. The quest for beautiful skin is as old as mankind and throughout the centuries people have experimented with a variety of cosmetics ingredients, methods and practices.
From the Tang Dynasty to the Joseon dynasty makeup was used to enhance natural beauty and highlight facial features. But even at this time, there were limits. This was largely due to Confucian values and the preference for clean, well-groomed faces.
During the 18th century, women began to see Western influence increase and new trends appeared that were quite the opposite of traditional Korean beauty standards. For example, sleek long dark hair was replaced with short, brightly colored hair and makeup.
The Early Years
The Korean beauty industry has exploded due to worldwide popularity of products like BB creams and cushion compacts. However, the industry can be a double-edged sword as it promotes unrealistic beauty standards that can lead to unhealthy lifestyles for some consumers.
The first mass produced cosmetic item in Korea was Bakgabun, also known as Parks powder, which dominated the market in 1915-30. This product, however, contained lead and sales dropped significantly when safer alternatives appeared on the market.
Since then, many cosmetic companies have grown. Specifically, a few mid-sized cosmetic companies have grown to be leaders in the domestic market. The growth of the cosmetics manufacturers in recent years is mainly driven by changes in their distribution channels. This is mainly due to the emergence and growth of multi-brand store channels.
The Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was a time of cultural flourishing in China and it is considered one of the golden eras for literature, art, and beauty. During this period, people wore richly decorated hairstyles and used powders to create beautiful complexions. Pale skin and well-groomed eyebrows were considered important because it showed that a woman was healthy and in control of her own body.
Korean beauty brands continue to innovate and respond quickly to market trends. For example, when a new type of make-up applicator called a cushion compact was introduced in 2008, AmorePacific responded with a product that was a high-tech sponge with multiple functions.
They also partnered with universities, hospitals and research organizations in different markets to gain a deeper understanding of local women’s skincare needs. This helped them to develop products that were more effective.
The Joseon Dynasty
The 19th century saw the rise of Western culture and with it, new cosmetic styles. Bakgabun (Parks Powder) was the first mass-produced cosmetic product and was popular from 1915-30 until it was discovered to contain lead, which caused sales to plummet. In the 1920s Japanese brands dominated the market, preventing Korea’s beauty industry from growing until 1961 when the government banned foreign products.
In this era, women were encouraged to wear less makeup, instead focusing on neat appearances and elegance. A well-groomed face, healthy hair and white skin were the three criteria that were most prized in Joseon women. In particular, perfect eyebrows were considered a sign of virtue. This era was also marked by political instability and feuds between factions led by political masters.
The Modern Period
In the modern period, cosmetics manufacturing in Korea is booming thanks to a few key ingredients. One example is hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1000 times its own weight in water. This makes it ideal for fillers and a popular cosmetics ingredient.
In order to stay competitive, Korean companies are developing unique and high-quality products that appeal to a global audience. They are also investing in product packaging, which can highlight the benefits of a particular ingredient or technology.
As a result, the global market for cosmetics in Korea is growing at a rapid pace. And it seems like the demand for K-Beauty is only going to increase. This is partly due to the popularity of K-Pop and Hallyu stars, but it’s also because Korean beauty manufacturers are creating audience-pleasing products at a fast rate.korean cosmetic manufacturer