With more and more South Korean men beginning to devote their time to enhancing their appearances with various skincare products, the Washington Post shed light on the growing trend of make-up use “pour les hommes.“
In an article by American publication titled, “In South Korea, beauty is skin deep(just make sure to pierce the stubble),” where they followed and interviewed a normal male citizen named Lee Woo Jung, a gym owner and trainer, who was out and about in Hongdae shopping for make up products and refills.
The article mentioned the growing demand for skincare products such as BB cream, moisturizers, essences, and toners that are stocked onto the shelves of many cosmetics stores in the streets of South Korea for young men—essentially those in their early to mid twenties.
The Washington Post highlighted a quote by the gym trainer, someone whom you would least expect to wear make up, “People look at me differently when I take care of my skin. It helps me when I’m working because I have a good image. When I approach other people (as a trainer), they are more open to me.”
The article reinforced how the South Korean cosmetic industry generates nearly $10 billion in sales from beauty supplies and cosmetic companies such as Etude House, Missha, Nature Republic, and Tony Moly. Though these companies have been serving many young, and not so young, women over the last few years, their main targets have now been switched over to men who are becoming more and more open to the idea of taking care of their skin for health and physical reasons.
“In South Korea, being young and active are considered very attractive qualities. Youth equals ability,” said Luel editor in chief Eric Mun, “So you get plus points here if you look younger.”
From snail mucus to animal placenta being incorporated into these skincare products for a more maximized effect of skin regeneration and toning, the South Korean cosmetic industry has been coming up with newer, stranger ways to keep up with the constant evolution of products from competing companies.
Some of these companies have even stepped up into using male celebrities to advertise their “pour les hommes” products, increasing the market of men wanting to enhance their appearances, which then affects other men into adopting the trend as well. “It’s a huge prospect in South Korea — and increasingly in other parts of Asia, thanks to the phenomenal popularity of Korean dramas and music — where the masculine ideal of beauty might be described as ‘metrosexual’ in the West,” says the Washington Post.
Not only have these men become more confident in themselves after using these products, but their dating lives have seen much more improvement as well. With their physical appearances becoming more handsome and appealing, many of these men say that meeting women has become much easier. A lot of women these days in South Korea also appreciate more feminine men rather than the old-fashioned “all men must be tough and manly” preference.
However, this trend of taking care of their skin doesn’t really last forever. In an interview with 37-year-old Choi Yong Son, it was revealed that men don’t really take this habit to their death bed.
Choi said, “During my military service, my skin got really ruined, so I started using my mom’s products, her special moisturizers. I only use my own toner and moisturizer now because my wife tells me to.”
Choi continued to state that Korean men don’t actually care much for their skin after marriage and that all the hard work and effort into enhancing it is for marriage-seeking purposes only, “I shouldn’t tell you this, but after they get married, Korean men don’t really care that much about their skin. Only before.”
Both American and Korean netizens who came across this article left comments such as, “This is Awesome. I keep going after my grandson who is 17; I told him his mother and I spent a lot of time diapering and lotioning his little bottom for many years, so do not let me down now…. Get to the lotion and keep your skin looking fresh.”
Others commented, “It’s okay when guys wear make up to maintain healthy skin or to cover up certain blemishes. I personally don’t like it when guys put full on foundation and draw in eyebrows and whatnot, but simple cover-up doesn’t hurt anyone.”
What are your thoughts on this booming trend?
Source: Washington Post