Indians have been adopting the skincare regime as well as other beauty trends set by the west since ages. More than Indian celebrities, they have considered western celebrities as their style icons. But, to our surprise, with the changing scenario, the flawless beauty, haircut, and fashion choices of Korean celebrities nevertheless, have become a new trend for Indians. The Korean brands formulate products using traditional Ayurvedic ingredients such as neem, tulsi, lemon, honey, etc., that India resonates with. Thus, the Indians are going along with Korean products as Indian beauty brands have eventually stopped recognizing the importance of Ayurveda.
Also read: 6 Benefits of Introducing Ayurveda in Life
Korean beauty products are not just typical CTM (cleansing, toning, and moisturising) routine but more about ‘flawless skin’. A combination of unique, natural ingredients and potent actives results in enhanced effectiveness of the products. Natural ingredients such as cica, avocado, ginseng, chia seeds, bamboo, rice water, and volcanic ash are combined with actives such as retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, AHAs, and BHAs to create products to match the glass skin standard.
Anand Ramanathan, partner – customer and marketing, at consultancy firm Deloitte India, says, “The idea of K-beauty is driven by two things. First is the concept of routine and the step-by-step process of applying the products. This means most brands are selling a portfolio of products, and not just one. Hence, once the initiation to K-beauty has happened, consumers are likely to make bigger investments at the product-purchase stage. Also, the entire step-by-step layering process is almost therapeutic in its own,”
“The second is the concept of using only natural products, something Indians are already very much into, considering our obsession with all-natural ingredients, and Ayurveda,” he added.
The main reason behind the popularity of K-beauty globally and in India is its marketing strategy and campaigns to promote the products. While the influencers demonstrate the elaborate K-beauty 10-step regimen to achieve glass skin and highlight the adorable and attractive K-Beauty packaging, multiple websites along with applications in India also helps them to create a lot of awareness among consumers.
Nykaa, the primary retailer to partner with Korean-beauty, has recreated the product with ingredients commonly used in India, such as besan, turmeric, amla, tulsi, camellia, and tea tree.
While Nykaa, Amazon Beauty, Purplle, Myntra and most other fashion e-commerce websites have an array of Korean-beauty products and brands, it’s the content created by beauty influencers that is making these products more desirable.
With most consumers working from home during the pandemic, the skincare category witnessed a sharp growth. Besides, the entry-level price point is a key factor in K-beauty to become a highlight in India.
Doyoul Lee, country head and general manager of a leading Korean-beauty company ‘Innisfree Cosmetics India’, says, “Indians, especially in north-east India, Delhi, and Mumbai, are already aware about the Korean-beauty regime. They love everything about Korea, K-beauty, K-drama, and K-pop. Historically, pristine skin has represented a devotion to self-care that could only be afforded by the wealthy. Thankfully, Korean brands have worked hard to make many different options in price ranges available for everyone.”
A spokesperson for Nykaa says,“K- beauty brands have been in the Indian market for a while. He also stated, “The Korean-beauty trend started a few years ago in the Indian market and has managed to keep consumers engaged with its unique ingredients and innovative product lines, all available at affordable price points.”
Ayurveda and Ayurvedic brands have been the centre of attention in India subce ages. From Forest Essentials to Kama Ayurveda and boutique, India has series of brands that comprises of natural ingredients and Ayurvedic herbs.
- Kama Ayurveda– Global favourite Kama Ayurveda is known for its quality ingredients, simple products, and effective formulas. Free of artificial colours, fragrances, parabens, or petrochemicals, the brand uses the Ayurvedic science of healing to create beautiful treatments for the face, body, and hair.
- Forest Essentials– The first and the only Ayurvedic label, Forest Essentials has been in our lives forever now. Their philosophy is simple, “If you can’t eat it, you can’t put it on your face”. The luxury Ayurvedic label combines efficacy with sensorial experience – a treat for the skin.
- Just Herbs- Just Herbs is a relatively new, affordable, and highly renowned Ayurvedic label. The label from Chandigarh, Haryana, comes with 100% Ayurvedic formulations and all the products are certified by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India.
Indians are willing to put time, effort, and money to look good. Influenced by the west and foreign countries, Indians find it hard to rely on Indian products. Despite availability of Ayurveda products in India and that too with more efficacies, Indians are more attracted towards the Korean skin care brands. However, the reason could be low efficacy due to improper formulation or poor marketing strategies of Indian brands.
Thus, it is high time Indians should recognize the importance of marketing strategies, campaigning as well as pricing and positioning for increase the awareness for their brands. Instead of adopting the ‘Korean skincare’ culture, India should utilize its ‘Ayurveda’ tool.