Formulators flock to Seoul show

in-cosmetics Korea celebrated a very successful show last week, with personal care professionals from across the country seeking out inspiration for novel beauty products that will keep the K-beauty phenomenon growing around the globe.

Over three days, according to the organisers - Reed Exhibitions -  9,044 personal care professionals – an annual increase of 29% - joined the event which put the booming Korean market in the spotlight and celebrated the biggest Innovation Zone in its history. Demonstrating its continued importance to the global personal care industry, brands such as L’Oréal, P&G and Dior were all in attendance. 

However, with South Korean chemists formulating some of the most ingenious products over the last few years, such as oxygen bubble masks, the majority of visitors (88% of the total) hailed from within the country, representing brands such as AmorePacific, LG and Aekyung.  They benefited from the extensive programme of informative technical seminars and inspiring consumer trend presentations on everything from how Halal beauty is redefining the Asian cosmetics market to new beauty innovations in the Japanese market. 

International and homegrown exhibitors
Visitors to this year’s show were rewarded with more exhibitors than in previous years. A total of 294 suppliers including Dow, Evonik Specialty Chemicals, Lubrizol, Nouryon, Seppic Asia and SK Bioland showcased their latest advancements, with 63 joining the show’s enviable line-up for the first time, showing an all-important insight into the industry’s future ingredients. 

Bolstering its reputation within the local market, Korea was well represented amongst debuting exhibitors including the likes of Astech, Gaon Chemicals, Neo Chem and Ziko. A host of international suppliers from around the globe also exhibited for the first time at this year’s show, including Laboratoire Expanscience and Laboratoire Soniam representing France, as well as Blue Diamond Almonds from the United States and Granasur from Chile. 

Focus on K-Beauty 
One of the most talked about areas of this year’s show was the K-Beauty Inspiration Zone, that helped visitors better understand the country’s impressive formulation expertise. Showcasing new products that are driving the market forward as well as future trends affecting the Korean market, the new area encapsulated key aspects of the “Korean wave” including strategic information about the positioning of K-Beauty products around the world. During a live demonstration, official partner Mintel presented an insightful talk on 20 future beauty trends that will affect K-Beauty such as chemophobia and clean beauty.

The K-Beauty Inspiration Zone was also supported by specialist consultancy and media partner, The K-Beauty Science. It revealed Korea’s top ten best-selling items, alongside ten of the latest products that have disrupted the market so far this year. 

The biggest Innovation Zone 
The Innovation Zone at this year’s event was officially the biggest that the show has ever seen, led by 34 trend-driving ingredients launched within the last eight months. Among those attracting the most interest were launches from Dow Chemical, Gattefossé, Givaudan Active Beauty, IFF-Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, KCC, Lubrizol, Rahn and Res Pharma Industriale. 

The Innovation Zone was located in the centre of the exhibition, acting as a pivotal setting for R&D professionals to identify the most inspirational ingredients and product concepts.  The experiential zone allowed visitors to see, touch, feel, test and be inspired by a number of formulation prototypes on display, such as Dow Chemical’s DOWSIL™ 3903 Liquid Satin Blend, a mixture of a high molecular weight polymer with unique rheology and texture in quick dry carrier fluid, Isododecane.

The in-cosmetics Korea 2019 Awards
in-cosmetics Korea hosted another highly regarded awards ceremony at the Innovation Zone on 27 June, with all entries judged by an independent panel of judges including You Ah Kim from Kolmar Korea, Belinda Carli from the Institute of Personal Care Science, Mike Sohn from KCII and Chaewon Lee from BeautyStreams. 

The Innovation Zone Award was split into ‘active’ and ‘functional’ categories, to celebrate the most pioneering new ingredients that combine innovative science and beneficial product features. 

The Gold Innovation Zone Award for active ingredients went to Givaudan Active Beauty for its Agefinity product. IFF-Lucas Meyer Cosmetics won both the Silver and Bronze awards for active ingredients, with SKINectura and IBR-UrBioTect respectively. 

Res Pharma Industriale scooped the Functional Ingredient Gold Award for its Moripure Silk Aqua ingredient. A worthy runner up, Gattefossé took the Silver award for its Emulium Illustro ingredient, while Lubrizol secured the Bronze award for its product, Carbopol AQUA SF-3. 

Shining a spotlight on the industry’s best newcomers, the ‘Rising Star Award’ was given to newcomer, PnP Biopharm Co. Ltd. The company was recognised for its expertise in the field of protein production and engineering, with products including Cellcurin Hair Ampoule, Protectide, Actinidin and Rubysco Moisturising Cream. 

Educational seminars
A three-day educational programme offered visitors key market insights, giving companies the industry intelligence to tap into trends and opportunities in South Korea and the wider Asian region as well as globally.

In ‘Decoding the latest Chinese cosmetics regulations: filing policy and cosmetic supervision & administration regulations (CSAR)’, Jason Chan from REACH24H Consulting Group explained the difference between filing and registration, and the effect current regulations have on cosmetic companies. Sachi Kimura of Euromonitor International utilised statistics and consumer insights to explore similarities and differences between regions in Asia, such as changes in consumer purchasing behaviour and the rise of male grooming.

Florence Bernardin from Information et Inspiration led a session on ‘The new beauty innovations in the Japanese Market’, highlighting a shift towards simplicity, minimalism, natural and organic. Focusing on Indonesia and Malaysia, Florence returned on the second day to discuss ‘How Halal Beauty is redefining the Asian cosmetic market’, explaining how these dynamic markets are redefining beauty as local, halal or Insta-friendly. 

The Marketing Trends & Regulations Theatre also included Korea as the key subject of four tailored presentations, including ‘Korean Advertisement Regulations’ delivered by SooYoung Chin from Chin Soo Young Consulting. Mike Sohn from the Korea Cosmetics Industry Institute presented a case study on ‘Korean cosmetic brand strategies in China’, looking particularly at the Chinese market – with a focus on policies, consumers and distribution – and how K-beauty brands can comply as China reframes regulations. In a session on ‘US beauty consumers’ expectations of K-Beauty’, Denise Herich from The Benchmarking Company revealed original research into purchase motivators, product assortment, ingredients and benefits, plus insights into how Korean brands can grab the attention of US beauty shoppers. Finally, a session from Sumit Chopra of GlobalData evaluated ‘innovation trends and opportunities in the South Korean haircare market’, including the ingredients, textures and individualism that are driving the market. 

Leading experts delivered a series of Technical Seminars on new approaches to product development processes, including Nam Kyoung Kim from Radiant Inc who spoke about advanced skin rhythm based on microRNA and circadian rhythm, and Jin Xie frim Bloomage Biotechnology Corp who examined solutions for mild repair, skin barrier protection. Other experts included Junseong Gwon from Spec-Chem Industry who addressed the application of peptides in cosmetics, and Fanny Tanaka from Seppic Asia who highlighted sustainable marine sourced waters for eco-responsible cosmetics. 

A series of educational seminars, organised by the Foundation of Korea Cosmetic Industry Institute, also shone a spotlight on Ingredients Regulations, Science and Technology. The first case study focused on new ingredients in the industry, a next-generation ceramide promoting the maturation of the skin barrier, a photonic crystal-based functional ingredient and a natural, safe and preservative-boosting humectant. The second case study examined current issues in the industry including problems surrounding the Nagoya protocol, the importance of safety management systems for all cosmetics and the safety requirements for natural cosmetic ingredients.  

Sarah Gibson, Exhibition Director, in-cosmetics Korea, commented: “The Korean cosmetics market is experiencing continuous growth, which makes it a really exciting time for the industry. The momentum was certainly recognised at this year’s show with record numbers of visitors, exhibitors and some of the leading players in the industry present. We are passionate about bringing together the very best in the industry on an annual basis and are incredibly proud to deliver our biggest Innovation Zone to date, offering unrivalled insight into the suppliers, trends and ingredients of the future.” 

in-cosmetics Korea 2020 will return on 17-19 June at Coex Exhibition Centre, Seoul.

 

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