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The skin care phenomenon

Digging through holes and pores to find where the craze of skin care really started

Yara Mohamed, staff writer

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The majority of teenagers deal with acne. Whether it be cystic acne or a few minor breakouts, whenever a new blemish appears, most slather on an acne spot treatment from the nearby drugstore and call it a night. If there are more than just a few breakouts, a dermatologist  prescribes intensive acne medications such as the infamous Proactive.  Using acne medications is the end for most, but for others, it’s just the start.

The craze for skin care originally started in South Korea and slowly carried itself over to America. Korea is one of the largest consumers of skin care products, so it’s no surprise that skin care is seen as an essential and important facet of daily life. Korea spent 2.6 billion in 2015 on cosmetic goods, including skin care. Korean women spend twice as much as women in America, and Korean men spent the more on skin care than any other male demographic in the world, spending a massive 495.5 million in 2011 alone.

In Korea, it is considered important to invest in skin care as opposed covering up blemishes with makeup. Sana,11, agrees saying “It’s important [to have a skin care routine] because it makes you feel good about yourself and have confidence. Your skin also depends on what you eat because that’s part of your skin care routine.” There’s a daily multiple-step routine that spans from morning to night, with focus’ on hydrating, smoothing, restoring, erasing blemishes, and unclogging pores. There are a multitude of products to suit each individual depending on their skin type and particular needs.

In America, before the influence of Korean and international products, many focused on covering blemishes and imperfections with makeup instead of resolving them. But recently, more brands have gotten inspiration from Korean skin care and beauty, and have begun to make similar products more readily available for American consumers. Companies have eagerly started pumping out product after product inspired by popular Korean brands and ingredients. From snail mucus to egg whites, and even salmon enzymes, there are products with any, and every ingredient possible. Skin Food,a popular Korean brand, makes egg white masks, gold caviar eye creams, and many other products that contain outrageous ingredients.


In America, the diffusion of Korean skin care techniques has been greatly assisted by the internet and social media. It has never been easier to find oneself an individual skin care routine that targets the personal desire of the consumer. There are infographics, articles, and websites dedicated to teach skin care. Mario Badescu and Paula’s Choice,both American brands, have skin care tips and info graphics on their website to help their customers. For many, it is also possible to buy products directly from Korea in the form of monthly subscription boxes customized by, and for, each customer. There are hundreds of thousands of reviews on a variety of products, international or local, to readily inform skin conscious consumers about the pros and cons of a cream or treatment, making the industry neophyte friendly and easy to get into.

The American skin care industry recently has become dependent on Korea for innovation. Korea is where most skin care products are created, mostly due to the social pressure to maintain a good complexion to the country’s residents. It’s easier for companies and consumers to access the information, since social media is greatly used to market their products.  The companies model their products after popular Korean products while the customers have better direct access to Korean products. Yes To, an American skin and hair care line, is most famous for their sheet masks. The sheet masks are inspired by Korea because that is where they originated. Also, since international products are becoming more well-known, American chain stores have started to carry Korean brands or you could buy directly online from Korean stores such as Tony Moly. Korean products are popular because it’s been known to work and restore consumer’s skin. The excess steps work together to deal with all and every skin problem. And all it takes to have that perfect complexion is just a click away.

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The skin care phenomenon