ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with Chaewon Lee of Beautystreams

The cosmetics industry moves fast and it’s vital that R&D professionals are informed of the latest and upcoming trends. Chaewon Lee, Marketing and Sales Manager for Korea at Beautystreams, will provide insights into the next big things at in-cosmetics Korea in Seoul next week.

She will cover innovative concepts in colour and texture across the cosmetics industry. (21 June 2017, 17:00-17:45 – Marketing Trends & Regulations Theatre)

Are there any common themes for the direction of Korean trends across the different markets? 

One thing that many Korean brands have in common is that they build their companies around a star product, rather than background and identity. As the novelty of Korean innovation eventually levels off, brand building will be a key differentiation factor in deciding which have more longevity. 

Currently, we are seeing more hybrid products designed to perform multiple functions including acting as a primer moisturiser, hydrate and tone products and multi-essence.

For example, innovative and targeted products in the hugely popular mask category will continue to grow thanks to new textures, formats and applications. We are seeing high-tech masks coming to market like splash masks, rubber masks, magnetic masks, dry sheet masks and even facial masks that change colour after application.

What texture profiles do you see as becoming more popular in Korea over the next year? 

Products with transformative textures like powder-to-serum, oil-to-foam, water-to-cream, dry powders that turn into liquid and cleansing balls that melt into liquid form. Ultimately, they bring fun and new sensorial experiences to consumers. Korea continues to lead the way with new formats like milk peels, solid cleansers, pressed serums and tonics in stick, all being developed by the country’s manufacturers. 

Are there any key ingredients that formulators should learn more about in order to keep up with these new trends? 

As consumers are becoming more health conscious, the natural sector has great potential to grow. However, the challenge is that consumers want the efficiency that science offers as well as the marketing story and emotional connection that is synonymous with natural ingredients. In the same vein, vegan cosmetics will also be key as consumers continue to place a greater value on health – whether the benefits are actual or perceived.

We also see products built around a single natural hero ingredient in a high concentration. Advanced technologies, such as fermentation, allow brands to offer really effective natural products and increase the efficacy of the ingredient itself. 
Which trend from your presentation do you think will most excite formulators?

Products that combat pollutants – like anti-PM2.5 with antioxidant – are already commonplace in Asia. Korean brands coming to the fore with innovative new formulas that boast anti-dust and dustless claims.  

We recognise that consumers are investing in the health of their hair and are now treating their scalp in the same way as the skin on their face. A routine that focuses on the scalp – like exfoliating, tonifying and moisturising – is where we see the next steps in product development. 

We are seeing many more at-home skin care products and devices. Beauty companies are developing devices that can provide salon-quality beauty treatments in the comfort of one’s home. Many professional products are now being developed for retail and easy at-home use. 

Pre-portioned, pre-dosed products are the next emergence, it makes travelling or after-gym care easy.  In general, athleisure and fitness-based beauty products are gaining in importance and there will be many interesting and innovative products developed in these areas in the coming months.

in-cosmetics Korea opens at COEX in Seoul from 20 to 22 June.


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