Korean cosmetics and skincare products have been dubbed "K-beauty". Golda Arthur of the BBC wrote: If you have never used a Korean face cream made from snail slime, then you may be missing out. Likewise you may be being left behind if you don't spend an hour or two each week wearing a Korean face mask made from seaweed. These are two products at the forefront of the latest big trend to hit the global skin care and cosmetics industry - the boom in such items developed and made in South Korea.”

“South Korean women spend twice as much of their income on beauty products and make-up than their American counterparts. Meanwhile, South Korean men spend more on skincare than those in any other country. In 2015, South Korea exported more than US$2.64 billion of cosmetics goods, according to the Korea Customs Service, compared with US$1 billion in 2012, and US$1.91 billion in 2014. One of the biggest export markets for Korean skincare products is the U.S., where the big rise in sales has been led by small firms, often established by young Korean-Americans.

Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs. Elle UK, “Since checking out Seoul Fashion Week... we've become a little obsessed with the immaculate complexions of the K-Pop stars that populated the front row, and doll-like supermodels, such as the rainbow haired and cool AF Irene Kim. Smooth, poreless skin and with just the right level of dewiness, it's no surprise that bloggers & influencers everywhere are lusting for the Korean beauty look. [Source: Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs, Elle UK, April 4, 2016]

“Korean products have been influencing our skincare trends for years and you'll find one in the bag of every top skin & makeup expert. What are the best products to achieve this kind of dermatological perfection? And what do the weird ones actually do? We needed to know answers ASAP.

“South Koreans know their beauty products and are obsessed with skincare. We have South Korean super-brand Dr Jart+ to thank for the wonder of it's cult BB cream, which since its launch in 2011, has cut hours off our morning make-up routine and put Korea firmly on the cosmetics-industry map. Since then, brands like Tony Moly, Oh K! and Starskin have been making an equally impressive name for themselves, introducing new things like sheet masks and facial essence into our cosmetic vocabulary.

“Raiding the legendary pharmacies of South Korea on the hunt for scientifically advanced, charmingly packaged and relatively cheap skincare, we stumbled across a few eyebrow-raising ingredients (some quite literally). If you're not put-off and still curious, the good news is that the best of k-beauty is now available on our shores. Get ready to look gooood with our bizarrely awesome k-beauty haul:

Fast Beauty Formula of Korean Cosmetics Companies

Reporting from Seoul, Joyce Lee of Reuters wrote: “At an Innisfree cosmetics store in Seoul's popular Myeongdong shopping district, a saleswoman helps 21-year-old Chinese tourist Yang Hui carry her shopping baskets to the pay desk in front of a large display showing K-Pop star Yoona. "There's a lot to choose from," said Yang, confessing to having bought more than she'd planned from the store's range of around 900 products. South Korea's top cosmetics company Amorepacific Group launches some 400 new Innisfree branded products a year, about half of which are no longer available a year later. [Source: Joyce Lee, Reuters, Aug 3, 2016]

“It's one of dozens of Korean mass cosmetics brands with a short product development cycle - a "fast beauty" approach that is increasingly popular among Chinese and other Asian millennials, gaining exposure in the United States and Europe, and attracting high-profile foreign investment. South Korea has become a hot-bed for applying to cosmetics the "fast fashion" principles of shifting designs quickly from catwalk to Main Street to capitalise on new trends. Thousands of small cosmetics firms compete to get their new products to market, with third-party manufacturers cutting the time on testing and recipe alignment and providing the capacity for swift market launch.

“Korean brands have cut product development cycles to as little as four months, compared to over a year for global brands, industry experts say. "When we received an eyeshadow order from a major global client in 2004, it took us two years to begin production. Now it takes us one year from the word go," said Lim Dae-gyu, a director at Cosmax Inc, a cosmetics manufacturer with annual sales of close to US$500 million. "For South Korean mass brands, it takes less - just 4-6 months from planning to market launch is average," Lim added. "New ingredients, new packaging, new formulas come on the market continuously, and when something does well Korean brands respond quickly," said Jang Jun-kee, managing director of the Korea Cosmetics Foundation, an industry group. Amorepacific's 2008 hit product, the cushion compact - a multifunctional sponge applicator for anything from liquid facial cover and sun protection to make-up base and moisturiser - inspired follow-up products from global brands such as L'Oreal's Lancome and Estee Lauder's Clinique.

“Innovative, often cute, packaging also helps. The Face Shop, a mass brand from South Korea's second-ranked cosmetics firm LG Household & Health Care, said last month it sold out of its initial 130,000 cushion compacts featuring Disney characters - costing 20,000 won (US$17.82) - in just two days. It said it expects to launch about 600 new products this year.

Beyond popularising beauty trends such as facial cosmetic products "BB cream" and "CC cream", South Korea has a reputation for innovation and for using natural and Oriental medicine ingredients from flowers and tea leaves to donkey milk, snail and seahorse to differentiate its so-called K-beauty products. "Korean consumers are very sophisticated. Their interest in beauty and expectations of cosmetics are high and they are willing to try new concepts," L'Oreal Korea said in emailed comments to Reuters. "It's a market where new trends emerge before potentially going global."

Strange South Korean Beauty Products

Mizon Placenta 45 Anti Wrinkle Serum: Elle UK: you heard – placenta cream. As our skin ages, our cells do not renew as rapidly as they once did. This causes the skin to thin, lose elasticity and collagen. As gross as it sounds,, placenta contains powerful stem cells which are well regarded for their healing and repairing abilities. Using 45 percent placenta extract, this cream delivers the highest amount of nutrients directly to cells in order to stimulate skin renewal. £17.99 from Amazon. [Source: Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs, Elle UK, April 4, 2016]

Botanic Farm - Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet: Any beauty expert will tell you that the first key to having beautiful, flawless skin is cleansing your skin properly! Completely removing your makeup from the day is an important skincare step that will help keep your skin looking beautiful even without makeup. Botanic Farm’s Grain Ferment Sherbet may sound like something you would eat, but it is specially formulated to thoroughly remove face makeup without irritating the skin. It contains only premium natural ingredients that help to effectively melt down and remove makeup while providing balanced hydration to keep your skin healthy and smooth. [Source: KD Bonbon,, September 29, 2015]

Mediheal - Paraffin Foot Mask: Your face isn't the only part of your body that needs attention! You never know when a cute Korean man will offer to rub your feet and you want them to be extra soft and smooth just in case! Mediheal’s Paraffin Foot Mask contains shea butter, collagen, and urea, which are highly effective at exfoliating and moisturizing the skin. This foot mask gets rid of cracked heels and rough patches and softens and removes dead skin cells, speeding up the cell regeneration process to develop smoother and softer feet.

Skinfood - Coffee Body Scrub: You may think of coffee as simply something you drink, but did you know that coffee is known for its exceptional anti-oxidizing properties to promote better and healthier skin? Skinfood’s Coffee Body Scrub contains high-quality coffee beans perfectly granulated to be gentle on the skin. This coffee scrub also has a unique blend of brown sugar, salt, and natural sweet honey to fully nourish the skin while gently exfoliating dead skin cells.

Snail Skin Creams from South Korea

Mizon Snail Slime Range: Elle UK: According to South Korea's big selling beauty brand, Mizon, the high concentration of Snail 'secretion' (sorry) has significant protective and nourishing qualities. Slather the Snail Wrinkle Care Night Cream on at night and wake up to a plumped and lifted complexion. The texture is slightly tacky upon application (again, sorry) in order to create a protective barrier beneath which the active ingredients can work their rejuvenating magic. £21 from [Source: Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs. Elle UK, April 4, 2016]

COSRX - Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence: Let's talk about snails! While snails may be one of the last things you want to put near your face, snail mucin (aka snail slime) is scientifically and dermatologically proven to be highly effective and beneficial when it comes to skin cell regeneration and repair. COSRX’s Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence contains 96 percent of snail secretion filtrate blended with other nourishing herbal extracts. The snail mucin can help repair skin from acne, sun damage and scars by promoting skin cell regeneration and giving the skin proper moisture and nourishment needed for its full recovery. [Source: KD Bonbon,, September 29, 2015]

Benton - Snail Bee High Content Essence: If snail slime isn't strange enough for you, Benton’s Snail Bee High Content Essence combines snail mucin with bee venom to bring abundant hydration and nourishment to your skin. It is specially formulated to help the skin recover from damage while also promoting the development of healthier skin cells. You can expect softer, smoother skin texture and a brighter complexion. Bonus: Benton's Snail Bee High Content Essence also contains antibacterial herbal extracts that prevent the skin from getting damaged or irritated. [Source: KD Bonbon,, September 29, 2015]

Besolbo Royal Salmon Egg Sleeping Renewal Pack: Elle UK: If snail slime isn't for you, how about salmon eggs? The little pink pearlescent balls you'd normally find as a sushi accompaniment are used by South Koreans with skin troubles such as acne, fine lines, dark spots or rough skin. Besolbo claim their Royal Salmon Egg Sleeping Pack can regulate moisture and nutrition production with its high vitamin and mineral content. Repeated use enhances the skin's tone, texture, and overall condition. Hold the wasabi. £10.55 from Amazon [Source: Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs. Elle UK, April 4, 2016] Salmon eggs may be something you usually enjoy with your sushi, but apparently they can also help with skin troubles such as acne, fine lines, dark spots or rough skin! Who knew? Besolbo's Royal Salmon Egg Return Cream/Sleeping Pack uses salmon eggs as its key component and works to regulate moisture and nutrition production to enhance your skin's color, texture, and overall condition. Besolbo say their product is great for hypersensitive skin, aging/sagging skin, and dull skin as it has nourishing properties that can help eliminate skin imperfections. [Source: KD Bonbon,, September 29, 2015]

Jelly Packs and Cheese Creams

Tony Moly Pure Farm Pig Collagen Jelly Cream: Elle UK: Any veggies reading this should probably skip ahead. We're all well versed on the face-plumping benefits of collagen, but apparently the 70,000 ml of topical pig collagen found in these 80g pots is almost as potent as any syringe-administrated version. The collagen is extracted from 'pasture-raised organic pigs,' said one in-store beauty consultant. Enhanced hydration, and significantly increased skin elasticity are the promises here. We'll leave you to decide whether you're game to try it though. £15.99 from YesStyle [Source: Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs. Elle UK, April 4, 2016]

J.One Jelly Pack: The Jelly Pack is a best-selling beauty staple in Korea. It's unique jelly-textured formula provides skin with a hit of moisture for a firm, plumped up complexion. Known as the 'corset mask', it has an immediate lifting and firming effect. It also contains a powerful antioxidant called fullerene, which helps to provide the skin with protection from environmental aggressors. Just apply two or three pumps in an upward sweeping motion until absorbed £42 from Cult Beauty

Emprani - Dear By Bounce Cheese Cream and Dear By Melted Cheese Cream: Now, I love cheese. But putting cheese on my face? I'm not so sure... Still, the beauty masterminds at Emprani have two cheese-based skincare products that adventurous skincare lovers should definitely try! The first one is the Dear By Bounce Cheese Cream, which has a unique formula blend of cream cheese fortified with proteins that promotes skin firmness and elasticity while also tightening the pores to make the skin looking smooth, soft, and trouble free. If you are having problems with dry and dull skin tone, give the Dear By Melted Cheese Cream a try. The cream contains 10 percent of whey cheese extract, which is rich in proteins and vitamins A, B, and E to keep the skin radiant while also protecting it from the harsh elements found in the environment. This cream also effectively evens out skin tone, moisturizes it, and keeps it firm with its rich formula blend of adenosine and rice extract. This suits all skin types as it is formulated to be gentle to the skin. [Source: KD Bonbon,, September 29, 2015]

Coconut, Tomato and Kale Masks from Korea

Kale & Grapefruit Juice Cleanse Mask: Elle UK: South Koreans are obsessed with sheet masks. Check out Rita Ora's sheet mask selfies on Instagram if you're not familiar with how ridiculous/scary they look on. Despite their odd appearance, they're worth the awkwardness of being caught wearing one as your skin will literally drink them up. This one uses the principle of a nutritious juice cleanse, with its mix of kale, grapefruit, broccoli, carrots and other fruits and veggies which brighten hyperpigmented skin. You might think Kale is just for eating but it's also great on your skin, Leave the sheet on for up to 40 minutes and simply massage in any leftover serum. £2.50 from [Source: Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs. Elle UK, April 4, 2016]

Coconut Gel Mask with Tomato: Coconut sounds like a lovely skincare ingredient, but tomato? Don't worry! This coconut tomato sheet mask smells only like coconut but contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes that gives the skin elasticity and resilience by keeping harmful environmental factors out and locking moisture in, thereby counteracting the effects of aging. Lycopene also reduces redness, minimizes pores, and revives the skin’s natural healthy glow. Leave the mask on for 20-40 minutes, or the duration of an episode of your current favorite K-drama, for maximum absorption. [Source: KD Bonbon,, September 29, 2015]

Imselene Donkey Milk Holic Sleeping Mask Pack: I'm not sure who in Korea decided they would put donkey milk on their face, but it is very beneficial for the skin because it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Instead of going out and milking a donkey on your own, try Imselene's Donkey Milk Holic Sleeping Mask Pack. Other nourishing ingredients include taro alkali extract, whey protein, amino acids, and EGF. This sleeping mask pack has whitening and firming properties, which promotes softer and brighter skin. It also helps in keeping the skin properly hydrated to prevent roughness and damage from occurring.

Holika Holika - Pig-Collagen Jelly Gel Mask: Oink oink! Rich in nutritious elements, this pig collagen gel mask is made with 10,000 ppm collagen from pig skin. Why pig collagen you ask? Pig collagen, much like human collagen, helps to keep your skin hydrated skin and enhance it's elasticity. This mask can help diminish fine lines, increase your skin’s luminosity, and promote supple, baby soft skin. Leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes and catch up on the latest episode of Twenty Again!

Lip Gel Patches and Apple Stick

Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch: Elle UK: If you thought the sheet masks were ridiculous, these novelty-looking lip masks are genius; we've included them for their humorous appearance over their unusual ingredients. Snapchat gold aside, if you don't mind looking silly for 10-15 minutes, the Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch offers targeted lipcare by eliminating dead skin cells and regenerating new, healthy cells for for firmer, softer lips. Unlike scrubs which are actually pretty harsh on the lips, these are formulated with cherry extract, and are rich in nutrients that will repair chapped lips and leave an added layer of moisture film to protect them from further damage. Once removed, lament your Jessica Rabbit pout momentarily, then softly tap onto the lips to soak in any excess serum £2.35 from [Source: Gillian Brett and Zoe Dubs. Elle UK, April 4, 2016] Our favorite K-drama leading ladies always seem to have perfectly soft and smooth lips. Harsh lip scrubs can be damaging to your lips, so if you don't mind looking silly for 10-15 minutes, give the Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch a try to get the same supple lips as your favorite K-drama stars! This lip gel patch offers superior care for your lips by eliminating dead skin cells and regenerating new, healthy cells for for firmer, softer lips. Formulated with cherry extract, this lip patch is rich in nutrients that repair chapped lips while leaving an extra layer of moisture film to protect the skin from further damage. [Source: KD Bonbon,, September 29, 2015]

Peripera - Tint Jelly 005 Apple Stick and 006 Sky Stick: After you repair and protect your lips with the gel patch above, you need the perfect K-drama lip tint! Don't be afraid of the bright green and blue colors of these Peripera tint jellies — these lip products will change color on your lips and give you that perfect, long-lasting K-drama lip color. Formulated with argan oil and grapeseed oil, your lips will be coated in a hydrating lacquer with a jelly-like finish.

South Korea's Skincare Success

South Korea has long been obsessed with skincare and, according to the BBC, it is“at the forefront of research into new skincare products, and its exports of such items are soaring. And the ingredients aren't ones traditionally found in American or European products. Snail extract, for example, is supposed to stimulate the formation of collagen and elastin, is used in moisturisers and spot treatments. [Source: Golda Arthur BBC News, January 28, 2016]

“BB cream is a hybrid moisturiser and foundation that Korean women had been using for years. Still, there are some major differences between the Korean and the western approach to beauty. For example, while in the west it is typical for women to follow a three-step facial regime of cleanse-tone-moisturise, in South Korea there are 10 different steps, including the use of "essence" and "ampoule" creams, and a "sheet mask".

Male Cosmetics in Korea

Male beauty became a big thing in South Korea in the early 2000s. Television commercials show men compliment each other for their nice skin. Sometimes it seems like all the make actors in Korean dramas wear lipstick and all male singers in K-pop groups have dyed hair. Entire lines of cosmetics and skin lotions have been introduced exclusively for men. One line of skin care products was pitched by Korean soccer superstar Ahn Jung Hwan

A South Korean cosmetic company boss told the Los Angeles Times, “Why shouldn’t men want to look beautiful and take care of their skin? Especially as they get older, they have to wear make up if they don’t want to look shabby.” A salesman of Ester Lauder told the newspaper that the link between men and make up has always existed. “Men would wear a little of their wives’ or girlfriends’ makeup. It is just that now it’s in the open and respectable.”

In the early 2000s, almost all the commercials for make up were geared for young men but the cosmetic companies found that most of their customers were older men. It is quite common for men over 50 to dye their hair. Many South Korean politicians — including Nobel-Peace-Prize winner Kim Dae Jung — have done it. Kim Young Sam’s hair suddenly became gray when he became president. In the early 2000s, young Korean men started streaking their hair with copper highlights. These days a wide variety of hair styles and colors can be found on Korean men, especially in the K-pop world, but not in the chaebol, salaryman world. By the 2010s, Korean male college student were routinely using black eyebrow pencils to lengthen and accentuate their eyebrows. Salarymen were using skin conditioners and less obvious high

History of Male Beauty and Cosmetics in South Korea

Hye Soo Nah of Associated Press wrote: “ The ideal South Korean man used to be rough and tough. Things began to change in the late 1990s, when the South Korean government relaxed a ban on Japanese cultural goods, exposing South Koreans to different ideas on male beauty, including popular comics featuring pretty, effeminate men. [Source: Hye Soo Nah, Associated Press, September 17, 2012]

“James Turnbull, a writer and lecturer on Korean feminism, sexuality and popular culture, said the economic crisis that hit South Korea in 1997 and 1998 also played a role in shifting thinking. Struggling companies often fired their female employees first, angering women who had already seen their push for equal rights take a backseat to protest movements against Japanese colonizers and the autocratic governments that followed. "The times were ripe for a sea-change in the popular images of men in the media," Turnbull said. Women, as a result, began questioning the kinds of men society told them they should find attractive.

“In 2002, large numbers were attracted to a hero of South Korea's World Cup soccer team, Ahn Jung-hwan, who became a leading member of the so-called "flower men" — a group of exceptionally good-looking, smooth-skinned, fashionable sports stars and celebrities who found great success selling male cosmetics. Men everywhere began striving to look like them, with the encouragement of the women around them, and a trend was born. A decade later, ads featuring handsome, heavily made-up male celebrities are an unavoidable part of the urban scenery.”

Male Cosmetics in South Korea in the 2010s

Hye Soo Nah of Associated Press wrote: “This socially conservative, male-dominated country, with a mandatory two-year military conscription for men, has become the male makeup capital of the world. South Korean men spent US$495.5 million on skincare last year, accounting for nearly 21 percent of global sales, according to global market research firm Euromonitor International. That makes it the largest market for men's skincare in the world, even though there are only about 19 million men in South Korea. Amorepacific, South Korea's biggest cosmetics company, estimates the total sales of men's cosmetics in South Korea this year will be more than US$885 million. [Source: Hye Soo Nah, Associated Press, September 17, 2012]

“The metamorphosis of South Korean men from macho to makeup over the last decade or so can be partly explained by fierce competition for jobs, advancement and romance in a society where, as a popular catchphrase puts it, "appearance is power." Women also have a growing expectation that men will take the time and effort to pamper their skin.

“Evidence of this new direction in South Korean masculinity is easy to find. In a crowded Seoul cafe, a young woman takes some lipstick out of her purse and casually applies it to her male companion's lips as they talk. At an upscale apartment building, a male security guard watches the lobby from behind a layer of makeup. Korean Air holds once-a-year makeup classes for male flight attendants.

“While U.S. cosmetics companies report growing sales in male cosmetics, American men are often wary of makeup. "Men Wearing Makeup a Disturbing Trend" was how American columnist Jim Shea titled a recent post. In South Korea, however, effeminate male beauty is "a marker of social success," according to Roald Maliangkay, head of Korean studies at Australian National University. Amorepacific Corp. offers 17 men's brands, with dozens of products to choose from, and operates two Manstudio stores in Seoul that are devoted to men's skincare and makeup.

South Korean Men Who Use Cosmetics

Hye Soo Nah wrote: “ Cho Won-hyuk stands in front of his bedroom mirror and spreads dollops of yellow-brown makeup over his forehead, nose, chin and cheeks until his skin is flawless. Then he goes to work with a black pencil, highlighting his eyebrows until they're thicker, bolder. "Having a clean, neat face makes you look sophisticated and creates an image that you can handle yourself well," the 24-year-old college student said. "Your appearance matters, so when I wear makeup on special occasions, it makes me more confident." [Source: Hye Soo Nah, Associated Press, September 17, 2012]

Cho's meticulous efforts to paint the perfect face are not unusual in South Korea. "I can understand why girls don't like to go outside without makeup — it makes a big difference," said Cho Gil-nam, a tall, stocky 27-year-old insurance fraud investigator in Seoul who starts important days by dabbing on makeup after finishing his multistep morning cleansing and moisturizing routine. He carries a multicolored cosmetics pouch so he can touch up in public bathrooms throughout the day.

“South Korean men are barraged daily with messages in popular media suggesting that flawless skin is a crucial part of any plan to get ahead at work and romance. "In this society, people's first impressions are very important. A man's skin is a big part of that impression, so I take care of my skin," said Kim Deuk-ryong, a 20-year-old student.

“Kim Jong-hoon, a 27-year-old tech industry worker in Paju, said the endless media exposure to famous men with perfect skin helped steer his progression from soap and water to an elaborate regime that includes as many as eight steps, from cleanser to eye cream and lotion to a small amount of makeup powder. "My skin wasn't bad, but the media constantly sends the message that skin is one of the most important things, so I wanted to take care of it," Kim said.” Make up s also a good source of conversation, said Kim Ae-kyung, 35, a female office worker. "I feel like I have more to talk about with guys who use makeup — we have more in common," Kim said.”

K-Pop and K-Drama Help Spreads Korean Beauty Products

K-pop and K-Drama stars frequently are the faces for top South Korean brands and simple using a product in a drama or music video can earn the star and the sponsor big money. Hideo Shinada of Nikkei Entertainment wrote: “The Korean wave has a ripple effect beyond the content industry. TV shows and movies feature a wide array of South Korean home appliances, cars and cosmetics, creating demand for those products among overseas audiences. A growing number of consumers have likewise developed an interest in South Korean food and fashion through entertainment, and many of them shop at South Korean chains. [Source: Hideo Shinada, Nikkei Entertainment, January 8, 2015]

Ryan General of Nextshark wrote: “A huge part of the world has collectively embraced two of South Korea’s main exports: K-pop and K-drama. Their influence has so far transcended into fashion and even beauty standards in many countries, creating a huge market for Korean beauty products and fashion brands. International companies, including top luxury brands, have started pouring investments into Korean products after realizing the enormous market potential brought about by the “Hallyu” phenomenon, according to Asia One. [Source: Ryan General, Nextshark, September 4, 2016]

“TV drama celebrities and K-pop artist endorsements have played huge roles in Korean companies’ international success in the cosmetics and fashion industry. L Capital, a subsidiary investment bank of LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Fendi and other brands), for instance, invested US$50 million into Korean brand CLIO, according to Reuters. The brand, which was founded by Han Hyun-ok in 1997, had its products initially manufactured in Europe before moving its production to its own manufacturer. When Korean actress Kong Hyo-jin wore CLIO eyebrow liner in the movie “The Producers,” the company earned a record sales of 100 billion won, or about US$90,485,000, in 2015, registering more than double of what it sold from the previous year. The movie was an international success, especially in China where it was a huge hit.

“Similarly, Goldman Sachs Group and Bain Capital Private Equity have made some significant Korean investments by acquiring a stake in Carver Korea, a popular cosmetics firm in South Korea, Reuters reported. Carver Korea owns several cosmetic brands, including Vivito, Dr. MJ, Shara and A.H.C., selling over 1,000 products sold through various channels. Since 2013, company earnings have surged from 27.3 billion won (US$24 million) to 156.5 billion won (US$140 million) in 2015.

“South Korean company Have & Be Co. Ltd, the parent company of cosmetics-maker Dr. Jart which produces the hugely popular BB cream, is also set to get a huge investment, this time from renowned cosmetics brand Estee Lauder, according to The Telegraph. Founded by young entrepreneur Lee Jin-wook, the company will get international exposure through Estee Lauder’s global network. Lee currently owns 66.7 percent of the company, which is worth around 17.8 billion won (US$15.9 million).”

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons.

Text Sources: South Korean government websites, Korea Tourism Organization, Cultural Heritage Administration, Republic of Korea, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Library of Congress, CIA World Factbook, World Bank, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, “Culture and Customs of Korea” by Donald N. Clark, Chunghee Sarah Soh in “Countries and Their Cultures”, “Columbia Encyclopedia”, Korea Times, Korea Herald, The Hankyoreh, JoongAng Daily, Radio Free Asia, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, AFP, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in July 2021

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