K-beauty products, originating from South Korea, have revolutionized the global beauty industry due to their innovative formulations and unique approach. Known for their emphasis on achieving healthy and radiant skin, these products are gaining traction mainly owing to their natural composition, coupled with the integration of cutting-edge technology. According to Inkwood Research, the global K-beauty products market is estimated to register a CAGR of 9.71% during the projection period of 2023 to 2032. The market is set to record a revenue of $29285.70 million by 2032.
The K-beauty fad is gaining popularity globally, especially in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, as well as the Western world, focusing on hydration and an emphasis on brightening effects. Moreover, its all-inclusive range of products further contributes to its widespread appeal. Korean businesses are also investing in R&D to create personalized cosmetic and skin care products with positive cosmeceutical outcomes.
Blending Innovation & Personalization: AI, AR, and K-BeautySome of the most recent innovations in K-beauty incorporate the latest tech solutions, such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analysis, and augmented reality (AR). Their swift adoption and development on a global scale are significantly influenced by the shift towards digital space in the Korean cosmetics sector. These advancements highlight how the nation’s strength is not only aesthetic procedures, such as plastic surgeries, but also cosmetic products with advanced innovation and promising results. So, let’s explore the role of AI & AR in the K-beauty products market and how they are transforming the international beauty & cosmetics space –
- Personalized Skincare & Makeup: AI-driven skincare apps and devices analyze individual skin types and concerns in order to recommend personalized products. For instance, L’Oreal Perso, the world’s first AI-powered device for skincare and cosmetics, uses artificial intelligence to create custom skincare formulas based on user-specific needs. The device’s future makeup offerings are expected to be able to incorporate real-time trend information, in addition to color-matching technology. Likewise, AI chatbots and virtual beauty advisors offer personalized recommendations, tips, and skincare routines, helping consumers navigate the vast K-beauty product landscape. Estée Lauder’s (United States) Facebook Messenger bot, for example, provides a complete shopping experience for customers. Through this, users can search for products, try lipsticks on, browse collections, and purchase cosmetics – all within the same Facebook Messenger environment.
- Virtual Try-Ons: AR-powered virtual try-on tools allow consumers to ‘test’ K-beauty products virtually. These solutions enable users to see how different makeup products will look on their skin before they make a purchase. Sephora’s augmented reality feature enables users to upload a still selfie to virtually ‘try on’ products that can be purchased from the store. Additionally, a new update to the feature (from the developer ModiFace) will allow users to view themselves moving in real time with the digital makeup. As per Parham Aarabi, the CEO of ModiFace, “We believe the ability to see yourself with products can impact sales online; and thus, the integration on Sephora will, based on our expectation, result in increased conversions and user engagement,” Accordingly, Inkwood Research anticipates that e-commerce is expected to be the fastest-growing distribution channel with a CAGR of 10.04% between 2023 to 2032.
- Interactive Shopping Experiences: AR-enhanced shopping experiences, like those by K-beauty brand AmorePacific (South Korea), enable customers to explore product information, watch tutorials, and virtually apply makeup in-store, enhancing engagement and decision-making. During the COVID-19 pandemic, given the restrictions, the brand placed QR codes next to all products on display in order to limit the risk of virus spread. Through this, customers could directly check product details using their mobile phones instead of interacting with the staff. In another development, the brand’s in-store augmented reality (AR) mirror provides consumers the ability to virtually try on products, effectively minimizing contact time and resolving the need to offer in-store sampling and try-on experiences. The AR mirror works by taking a photograph of the customer’s face and analyzing it. Subsequently, it recommends products based on skin texture, while addressing blemishes, dark circles, and wrinkles. Customers can also see a computer-generated image (CGI) of what they would look like wearing a wide range of eye products, foundations, blush, and lipsticks.
Emerging trends in the global K-beauty products market include a higher inclination toward sustainable, clean beauty products, as well as the significant influence of social media and celebrity endorsements.
North America is set to be the fastest-growing region in the global market during the forecast period, 2023 to 2032.