Monday, June 24, 2024

Korean skincare: do risks outweigh popularity?

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Social media has been bombarded with videos of Korean skincare. While many claim it to be a perfect skincare regime, some have also highlighted the disadvantages of this skincare. This week, for our weekly segment of FYI, The Pioneer brings you a detailed analysis of how this skincare could turn into a rue.

Shraddha Neware
Many well-known K-drama stars and K-pop bands use Korean cosmetic products, which are heavily pushed on television and the internet. Since the Korean Wave, Korean beauty businesses have begun to make their way! These products have a cult following among beauty bloggers and YouTubers who promote and highlight K-beauty goods.
As a matter of fact, according to Future Industry Insights, India is leading the charge in the Korean beauty industry, which is expected to develop at a CAGR of 7.90 from 2024 to 2034. The findings show that an increasing number of consumers are turning to K-beauty products. Their marketing efforts have had a significant impact on consumer demand!
Then, after the pandemic, individuals were highly affected by Korean culture, particularly cosmetic products. Many people were intrigued by the unusual products and layering procedures that help retain moisture. The fascination with Korean culture aided the Korean beauty market’s expansion into India.
Toinali Chophi’s search for a solution to severe acne problems led to the creation of a beauty and skincare platform, one of the first brands in India to capitalise on Korean beauty (K-beauty) products. But it’s understandable to be thrilled about designing multi-step skincare regimes, but educating oneself about Korean skincare is critical these days before you begin applying it. In spite of the fact that Toinali shares exclusively with us, “Most Korean skincare firms are honest about their ingredients and offer products for every skin issue and type, which is extremely beneficial for consumers with specific needs. It was quite effective in treating my skin issues, including acne, melasma, and pore issues.”
Some brands and retailers outside of the country are advertising what’s called a 10-step routine. This is, allegedly, a daily regimen that all Koreans religously do, and it includes 10 different products that tackle 10 different concerns. “The 10-step routine is a complete myth and is just marketing,” says London-based consultant dermatologist Dr Jinah Yoo. “Although multiple steps are used, they depend on your specific needs. In fact, layering 10 products seems a little excessive and I personally wouldn’t recommend doing so.”
Aishwarya Kandpal, a beauty influencer, emphasises: “Indeed, I am noticing how we are very intrigued by the concept of ‘glass skin’. But it does not apply to us because our skin contains far more melanin, our genetic composition differs from South East Asian skin, and our climate is extremely hot and dusty! While we can certainly practice 10- to 11-step Korean regimens, the luminosity and radiance our skin will achieve will not be the same as the Koreans’!”
Someone needs to raise awareness of the dangers associated with such strict beauty regimens, given how quickly their popularity is rising.
Numerous factors support the idea that not all Korean skincare products are appropriate for Indian skin. Statista’s 2021 data shows that 21% of respondents to a survey on Korean cultural contents mentioned that their items contained unfavourable elements. And 14.6% expressed dissatisfaction with the subpar products. Regarding how to use these items properly, Toinali says, “It can be difficult to determine suitability without testing the product because every skin type is different. We provide samples and tiny sizes for testing because of this. Patch testing and using samples can help you avoid using inappropriate products and save money on skincare that doesn’t work well together.”
Having an internet connection does not imply that you are aware of which skin care products or procedures work best for you. “Many of the products are formulated with high concentrations of active ingredients known for their beneficial properties, such as hyaluronic acid for hydration and niacinamide for brightening,” says Dr. Ruby Sachdev, a consultant aesthetic physician at Gleneagles Hospital. “However, not all products and treatments are good for everyone, and some may contain perfumes or substances that can irritate sensitive skin. The effectiveness can vary depending on particular skin types and circumstances.”
Without a proper knowledge of using Korean skincare products or treatments, people are highly likely to risk allergic reactions, pigmentation, or long-lasting skin problems. According to Dr. Kasana’s blog online, overexfoliation due to exhaustive routines is the primary cause for concern when dealing with such products or treatments. They also put emphasis on dependency on cosmetic procedures; over-reliance on beauty products leads to mental health issues such as body dysmorphia, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
Dr. Ruby expresses her reservations about Korean skincare, saying that there are potential health risks, even though many Korean beauty treatments are generally safe. Particularly when goods are misused or have components that could trigger allergic reactions! Excessive exfoliation, inappropriate application of retinoids and acids, and usage of unreliable products can cause skin sensitivity and irritation or worsen dermatological problems. She asserts that it’s critical for consumers to patch-test new products, closely adhere to usage guidelines, and see a dermatologist if they have any underlying skin concerns.
Concerning the cost-effectiveness of Korean cosmetics or procedures, she notes that more sophisticated procedures incorporating essences, serums, and specialist masks may be more costly. K-beauty is generally accessible to a wide variety of budgets due to its wide range of pricing points.
Considering all of this, when purchasing Korean beauty products, be careful to adhere to the recommended guidelines and consultations. You’ll learn what suits your skin type and save time and effort by doing this. And it’s not always going to be the trending thing!

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