August 08, 2022

Dermocosmetics market fast growing in Korea: report

PUBLISHED : June 24, 2022 - 13:19

UPDATED : June 24, 2022 - 13:19

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Screenshot of Samjong KPMG’s report on dermocosmetics (Samjong KPMG)

With fast-growing interest in high quality skin and hair care products in South Korea, the market for “dermocosmetics” -- cosmetics that are just as effective as dermatological care -- has expanded in recent years to surpass the mark of 4 trillion won ($3.1 billion), a report showed Thursday.

According to Samjong KPMG, a Seoul-based consulting firm, the country’s dermocosmetics market size increased by 17.6 percent to 4.5 trillion won in 2020, compared to five years ago.

The report said new business trends are creeping into the dermocosmetics industry.

Previously, most cosmetics brands focused on producing anti-wrinkle creams, sun block and skin-whitening products. But following consumer demand for other sophisticated products, beauty companies are diversifying their business portfolios.

LG Household & Health Care, the cosmetics arm of LG Group, and Amorepacific, the nation’s biggest cosmetics maker, are launching products ranging from trouble care for sensitive skin to shampoos that help reduce hair loss and hair coloring shampoos.

The dermocosmetics industry is also showing active collaboration between firms, with mergers and acquisitions across different business players overseas -- cosmetics, biotechnology, retail and fashion, the report said.

After acquiring Taiguk Pharmaceutical in 2017, LG H&H acquired Physiogel’s business licenses for Asia and the US from GlaxoSmithKline in 2020. The company also added a stake of some 56 percent in Boinca, a US-based hair care brand, to its acquisitions list last year.

Shinsegae International, the fashion and lifestyle unit of Shinsegae, has been expanding its footing in the dermocosmetics market, acquiring the Korean business license for Garancia, a French pharmaceutical cosmetic brand, and Swiss Perfection, a Swiss-based luxury cosmetics brand, in 2020.

Inventing new cosmetics ingredients is another burgeoning trend in the dermocosmetics industry. LG H&H was granted a patent last year for using marine lactic acid bacteria in skin care products, which are effective for soothing and tightening the skin of the face. Dongwha Pharmaceutical in 2021 developed Fucidin Cream, which combines its patent-registered Fucidin ointment for scars and ingredients that help skin absorption.

“Since the overseas market is also showing great interest in dermocosmetics, I recommend local companies to seek business opportunities in China, Japan, Hong Kong and the US,” said Park Kwan-jong, director at Samjong KPMG, in the report.

Before entering the global market, companies must look into the required dosage of cosmetics substances for certification and other evaluation standards in the target country, Park added.

By Byun Hye-jin (

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