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Why are beauty influencers and brand owners moving to South Korea?

South Korea is the new hot-spot for beauty influencers and brand owners.

The skincare world is rapidly changing and South Korea is no stranger to fast-paced beauty innovation. During the early 2010’s, Korea was able to make a mark on the American beauty market thanks to companies from Soko Glam to Peach & Lily. Since the introduction of Korean beauty, Korea has proved to provide gentle, elevated and advanced skincare products. 

SEE ALSO: Korean beauty has never been a trend. Here’s why K-beauty is here to stay.

As Korean skincare grows in global popularity, influencers and brand owners are packing their bags and heading to Seoul. Very Good Light spoke to creators and brand owner Mehdi, Ben Neiley, and Sophia Hong of Mask Moments to dive deep into the reason why South Korea is the new hot spot for beauty influencers and brand owners.

Why Korea? 

Yes, Korea has advanced skincare formulations and innovations, but why is everyone moving to Seoul? Ben Neiley, skincare TikTok content creator, explains that, “a lot of the brands that I really wanted to work with were based here.” Even though there were American brand that Ben loved, they were “few and far between” in comparison to Korean brands, “and I was eager to work on projects with these brands, which wasn’t possible when we were across the ocean from each other,” Ben tells Very Good Light.  

 

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A post shared by Ben Neiley (@benneiley)

Not only has Seoul provided a space for Korean brands to collaborate with international creators, but the increase in creator travel to Korea is building an ex-pat community, perfect for building friendships. Sophia Hong, Founder of Mask Moments, explains how the “ex-pat community here is relatively small” and due to the increase in K-beauty creators moving or visiting Seoul, “we have an opportunity to collaborate a lot.” Sophia has even worked with these incoming K-beauty creators on projects like her “Face Behind the Mask” series on YouTube where she has heart to hearts with favorite beauty creators. 

Korea first, beauty second 

While beauty may be the initial catalyst for some, Mehdi, YouTube content creator, and WishtrendTV co-host, was not initially inspired to travel to Seoul for K-beauty. Before heading to Seoul, Mehdi was working in France, “but I was bored out of my mind,” he tells Very Good Light, “I was like, I’m so young. I’m supposed to be traveling. I’m supposed to be having fun.”  

 

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A post shared by Mehdi (@thejipdori)

After leaving his office job in France, Mehdi headed to Seoul. From there, he started creating content on YouTube and was later discovered by Wishtrend. Although his original goal was “just to live abroad,” his life in Seoul quickly became centered around beauty through YouTube content and his new opportunity at WishtrendTV.

Superior formulations and fast-moving innovations

Alongside creators, brand owners are making their way to Korea to expand their skincare knowledge and become immersed in the prevalent skincare culture. Sophia Hong, Founder of Mask Moments, a biodegradable sheet mask company, grew up around Korean skincare her entire life, “but I got a closer look when I relocated to Korea.” 

In Korea, skincare is more than just a routine, it is ingrained in the culture. “Everyone seemed to have amazing skin,” Sophia tells Very Good Light, “and I recognized that a lot of it came from the approach and routine habits that were built into the culture.” The Korean skincare culture inspired Sophia to center her brand around the common Korean practice of sheet masking.

“As a Korean American, it’s always been a mission for me to bridge the two countries that make up my identity,” Sophia explains, “Innovation occurs when you take a concept and apply it in a different context, and you’re supposed to share good things with everyone you know.” 

Whether it blossoms from a love of Korean beauty or just the need for adventure, South Korea has found a way to bring people together under one common theme: skincare.