Tony Moly is also known for its unique packaging designs. These include red lip-shaped lip balms, peach or fruit-shaped hand creams and perfume bars shaped like small rabbits. Such products are priced under KRW 10,000 and are easy to carry, as they are small and have cute designs that attract wanted attention. Thanks to their popularity, Tony Moly recorded sales worth some KRW 330 billion in 2014. Its products are on the shelves at Sephora, a global chain of cosmetic stores, in Europe, a first for a Korean cosmetic brand.
Missha’s BB creams are also very popular overseas. On Nov. 11, 2014, a consumer holiday known as Singles' Day, Missha sold a total of 56,123 packs of BB cream in China. Unlike regular BB creams, which are oily and have too much of a grey undertone, Missha’s BB creams are white. They aren't greasy and they brighten the skin.
Missha has received recognition for its anti-aging products, too, in consumer surveys. In a quality test conducted by Consumers Korea, Missha’s Time Revolution Immortal Youth Cream was ranked second in a test of anti-wrinkle and whitening creams, among the 12 anti-wrinkle creams, including some imported and luxury brands. This product became is now one of top sellers among anti-aging skincare products.
Snail creams and snail mask packs from It’s Skin are also must-buy items for Asian consumers these days, especially Chinese and Japanese shoppers. These products contain mucin, a thick and slippery extract from snails, which moisturizes and helps to regenerate the skin. Once applied, it's absorbed lightly and smoothly by the skin. These products also contain arbutin and adenosine, which reduce wrinkles and help the skin whiten.
Another hit item from It’s Skin is its Power 10 Formula. This is a highly enriched essence that can help improve as many as 13 kinds of skin problems. This product is particularly popular among consumers from the U.S., Europe and Russia. Each of the 13 products contains healthy ingredients for the skin, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, yeast extract, collagen and coenzyme Q10, all in one ampoule so that users can select from 13 varieties personalized for their individual skin.
Skincare products made from gold and other luxury ingredients are also popular. Nature Republic received a lot of attention for its facial cream made from 99 percent pure gold, royal jellies and gold silkworms. This product is a gel-type cream with gold glitters. It moisturizes, nourishes the skin and makes the skin smoother and firmer.
Aloe soothing gel is also a big hit from Nature Republic. This product is made from 92 percent natural aloe and contains vitamin C. When it's absorbed, it moisturizes the skin and calms any skin troubles.
International media outlets have eyed the rising popularity of Korean skincare products and cosmetics. The U.S. broadcaster NBC focused on Korean cosmetics in its story “Korean Beauty Products, Once Niche, Are Entering the U.S. Mainstream” published on Jan. 6.
In the story, NBC said, “Over the past year, Korean beauty products -- from toners to sheet masks -- have grown in prominence at U.S. stores.”
Mentioning the popularity of Korean BB creams and sheet mask packs, it added, “While beauty bloggers have raved about the skin care options from Korea for some time, more mainstream companies like Sephora and L'Oreal have now taken notice.”