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South Korean men get the make-up habit

By - | December 3rd 2012 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

South Korean men have a particular kind of image - hard-drinking, hard-working and prepared to fight bravely for their country. But now major cosmetics companies are seeing a different side to Korean manhood - a growing interest in skincare products, and even foundation.

Two years of compulsory military service and centuries of Confucian culture have left many South Korean men with a deeply traditional sense of gender - something young Korean women often complain about these days.

So their new appetite for skincare and make-up comes as a slight surprise.

Despite the global economic troubles, the market in South Korea's male skincare products grew 10% last year, according to London-based market research firm Euromonitor International.

The country's biggest cosmetics company, Amore Pacific, estimates growth is now even higher at around 14%, and puts the market's annual value at almost $900m (£562m).

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Yu-jin, a 26-year-old student of business management, uses a popular type of foundation known as BB cream on his face every day, as well as five different skincare products including facial cleanser, anti-ageing moisturiser and eye cream.

"I used to have bad acne, but the BB cream made me look much better, and now people say I look more handsome," he said.

BB cream was originally used in the plastic surgery industry to hide patients' scars after treatment. It is now widely marketed as a daily cosmetic to both men and women.

Yu-jin's brand comes in a bright yellow plastic tube, and is marketed as a practical, down-to-earth product with sun protection.

There is no mention of make-up, but the beige cream does what any other foundation does - covers blemishes and evens out skin tone.

-BBC


Cosmetics Makeup Korea
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