According to global market research firm Euromonitor International, South Korea reigns as the male skincare capital of the world. In 2011 alone, South Korean men accounted for nearly 21 percent of global skincare sales, which is the equivalent to approximately $495.5 million.
According to Roald Maliangkay, head of Korean studies at Australian National University, effeminate male beauty is “a marker of social success” in South Korea and the trend has been growing steadily for the past decade.
Perceptions began to change in the late 1990s, when the South Korean government relaxed its ban on Japanese cultural goods. This exposed the South Korean community to new views of male beauty, including popular comics that featured effeminate-looking male characters.
Many South Korean men feel that male skincare products will increase their competitiveness in both the work and romance department.
“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.
Amore Pacific Corporation, a Korea-based company for beauty and skincare currently carries 17 different male brands, each with dozens of products to choose from. Amore Pacific anticipates that total sales for male skincare products will be more than $885 million by the end of 2012.
Male Skin Care Tips
Skin is the body’s first line of protection against disease, illness and microorganisms. And men, just like women, have to deal with issues like aging, acne and uneven skin tone. Unfortunately, skincare is usually just an afterthought for many men (who don’t live in South Korea).
- Cleanse Your Skin with Cold Water: Ideally, men should cleanse their skin with cool water and an appropriate cleanser 1-2 times per week. Softly working a cleanser into the skin will clean out the pores and improve skin texture.
- Wear Sunscreen SPF 15 or Greater: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Both men and women can benefit from a daily sunscreen SPF 15 or greater to protect their skin from harmful UV rays.
- Shave with Care: Shaving is one of the biggest skincare problems for men. Razor bumps, burns and irritation can be both uncomfortable and unattractive. Men should avoid shaving too close if they want to reduce these symptoms. Laser hair removal is also an option for men looking for permanent hair reduction.
- Drink Lots of Water: The majority of our body’s cells are made-up of water, so it makes sense that you should keep them adequately hydrated. Men should drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. Daily intake should be increased for those who drink coffee, alcohol or soda on a regular basis.