Having experienced a 9.1% growth in 2012, the upswing of South Korean cosmetics companies has been attributed to the influx of Singaporean and Chinese tourists, as well as the fact that over a third of Korea’s population are over the age of 65 – a ripe demographic for anti-aging products.
Currently, the former stalwarts of South Korean industry – Samsung and Hyundai – are trailing behind Amorepacific Corporation, South Korea’s pre-eminent manufacturer of cosmetic products. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amorepacific’s share prices increased by 127% throughout the course of 2014. Add to this the fact that innovations such as BB, CC and DD creams have boosted the international profile of cosmetic companies in South Korea, and it is clear to see how shares in South Korean cosmetics companies have become very lucrative investments.
But what accounts for the bulk of the home grown beauty boom which has afforded protection to the rest of South Korea’s stock market?
According to a 2014 Mintel report, “more and more people are turning to in-home beauty and self-care products in the hair colourants market”. While it’s logical for foreigners to assume that South Koreans are spending a fortune on cosmetic and beauty interventions at clinics and hospitals, the trend for DIY beauty seems to account for the explosion of consumer activity.