The hottest industry for the last few years in Korea has been the beauty and skincare industry. South Korea has been the trendsetter in makeup and skincare in Asia. However, they have gotten a lot of attention from the West as well. Innovative beauty startups in Korea have created Korean skincare brands that are starting to get a lot of attention not just in South Korea but around the world.

Korean skincare brands are looking to bring a lot of innovation into their beauty products. Their focus is not just on affordability but effectiveness as well. Therefore they put a lot of time into research and development, as well as acquiring the best ingredients. Lastly, they focus on branding and making sure the packaging is attractive to buyers. Since Korean beauty startups creating their own cosmetic brands have a lot of competition, they need to grab the consumer’s attention right off the bat.

Korean Beauty Already Popular in the US

Korean beauty exports were at $60 million in 2012, however, in 2021 it was over $6 billion. There were many Korean beauty importers in the US like Peach & Lily and Soko Glam which showcased Korean beauty to the States. Many Korean beauty startups were able to show the 10-step skincare routine which involved serums and essences. Soon Amazon started to pick up the Korean beauty trend and has been the main driver of Korean beauty brand sales in the US.

10 Innovative Korean Skincare Brands to Watch

L&P Cosmetic (MediHeal)

Korean Startup MedihealKorean Beauty Startup MediHeal has become a household name due to its partnership with the global K-pop group BTS. Global Kpop superstar group BTS will provide the new faces behind the Mediheal line of moisturizing masks from L&P Cosmetic. They have been collaborating with BTS since 2017 on their face masks which feature BTS singers. Before they landed BTS, they have Korean movie star Hyun Bin as their spokesperson. Currently, MediHeal is one of South Korea’s leading sheet mask brands. Furthermore, they have sold over 4 billion sheet masks since late 2017.

Mediheal now sold at Walgreens

Mediheal has taken off in America and it is now being sold on Amazon, Soko Glam, and Walgreens.

“As the K-Beauty phenomenon spread globally, many Korean beauty brands rushed to the US market. We waited until we understood the market enough to offer the right products and chose distribution partners who embraced our core value-making the most cutting edge, effective beauty products accessible to all,” said Sunjoo Lee, Mediheal U.S. CEO.

Baram International – Dear Dahlia

Korean skincare brand Dear Dahlia is a vegan cosmetic brand. It promotes clean beautiful makeup products. They are known for their lipsticks, eye shadows, and blushers. It is operated by Baram International Co. which began as a cosmetics distributor back in 2014. Dear Dahlia is continuing to expand outside of Korea. So far they are available in over 25 countries and plan to expand their global presence with major high-end retailers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition, the number of stores located worldwide stands at 200 and is expected to grow to 800 by the end of 2023.

“Growing global audience and achievements demonstrate the scalability and sustainability of its work; as a leading luxury vegan brand, Dear Dahlia will continue redefining luxury vegan beauty with quality products and conscious innovation,” said the CEO of Baram International, Ray Park.

Dear Dahlia had $27 million in revenue in 2021 and is projected to do $40 million by the end of 2023. They have raised $14 million during their Series B round from Quad Asset Management. They have already gotten investment from Amore Pacific Group and ES Investment. In total, they have raised over $34 million to date. Now, Dear Dhalia is valued at over $80 million.

Glow Recipe

glow recipeKorean beauty startup Glow Recipe is a Korean beauty brand that focuses on sleeping masks. The masks are so popular that they are sold out constantly. Therefore they have gone to creating a waitlist that attracts more than 5,000 people. They have over 1 million followers on their Instagram page.

Their most famous product is their watermelon mask which consists of AHAs, watermelon extract, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and peony root that hydrates your skin as you sleep. Glow Recipe focuses a lot on its ingredients. Most of their products have a fruit concept from Watermelon to Blueberry to even Pineapple.

“Korean products and technologies were always considered standouts at industry events where beauty execs and employees would compare hundreds of cosmetics formulas and packages from around the world,” said Christine Chang, Co-Founder of Glow Recipe.

LYCL Inc. (unpa. Cosmetics)

LYCL Inc. has gotten over $5.2 million in investments to date from Lotte Home Shopping, Lotte Accelerator, Beiersdorf, and Woori Homeshopping. They were able to partner with Olive Young and their most popular product Bubi Bubi Lip has sold over 200,000 units. Their focus for 2023 will be building up exports to countries like Singapore and the United States.

LYCL Inc. gets investment from Beiersdorf AG

German consumer goods firm Beiersdorf AG became the 2nd largest shareholder of LYCL Inc. Beiersdorf AG is known for its personal care brand Nivea. LYCL Inc. was one of 5 startups that were selected by Beiersdorf AG for its K-beauty accelerator program (NX). Therefore, they will continue to help LYCL Inc. by providing marketing, retail, and financial support.

“We’ll keep up efforts to create synergy by cooperating with Beiersdorf AG with various sales channels at home and abroad,” said Jeon Ji-hoon, CEO of LYCL Inc.


Korean Skincare Brands

rom&nd, a Korean beauty brand known for its inexpensive price points, is now Korea’s fastest-growing cosmetics company, with popularity among Millennials and Gen Z. Since the start, rom&nd has utilized social media and community to collaborate with other beauty bloggers such as one of Korea’s largest beauty YouTuber Saerom Min (Gaeko). This lets rom&nd get closer to beauty customers and develop a thorough understanding of their needs and desires. rom&nd continued to dominate the digital world by developing a devoted beauty community.

Korean brand rom&nd was created from the bottom up to convey and reflect customers. The most significant difference rom&nd has with other K-beauty skincare companies is its ability to connect and interact with clients through content and product as a means of communication. At its center is the consumer. Design thinking approaches are used to develop new items and versions that are tailored to customers.


KuocaKorean skincare brand Kuoca features ingredients like white Truffle or Chaga mushroom, both of which are inspired by fine dining, in its products. Not only do the ingredients and blending for these products resemble fine dining, but also the distinct manufacturing technique. By employing small-batch manufacturing from a boutique factory, Kuoca has transformed conventional production and distribution by providing order-made skincare since 2019. All goods are produced and sold within 30 days in order to assure freshness. The continuous production and consumption cycle enables formulations to be potency-centered rather than storage-oriented.

The overall recipe, the blend, and the production combined to give consumers a one-of-a-kind fine dining experience but for their skin. The objective for 2023 is to develop internationally and introduce distinct culture-specific product lines combining ingredients commonly utilized in local fine dining.



FEMMUE is a high-end Korean skincare manufacturer that follows flower therapy and self-care as inspiration. Flowers are a highly valued natural treatment in South Korea, particularly for health problems. Moreover, flowers may be employed as a natural method to add color and fragrance while also providing healing benefits. The company’s mission is to provide healthcare through the use of flowers. Flower therapy combined with cosmetics delivers soothing effects to the skin. It also helps to fortify the skin. As a result, FEMMUE experiments with a wide range of flowers and textures to develop skincare products that not only improve the consumer’s physical health but also his or her mental well-being.


Beigic is a minimalist vegan skincare brand that incorporates coffee as its main ingredient. Green coffee bean oil, in particular, is promoted by the company for a variety of health benefits. It also aids in anti-aging and regeneration, thanks to antioxidants, amino acids, vitamin E, and other components. While it has the ability to decrease redness, sun spots, and fine lines, beige peels also have the ability to increase skin radiance and vitality. Beigic’s brand identity is built on the idea of “release, recharge, and defend your skin.”

Thank You Farmer

Thank You Farmer

Thank You Farmer is a cutting-edge beauty brand that develops high-performance goods using 100% natural and animal-free components. They’ve made a name for themselves in South Korea for their expertise in developing items that beautify and improve the vitality of healthy skin. Their primary slogan is “honesty, earnestness, and thankfulness,” which is the sum of three points: they are honest, serious, and grateful. In addition, Thank You Farmer is a company that was founded on the four principles of thank you farmer: natural ingredients, safe and innovative hypoallergenic formulations, product development to deliver the correct ingredients to the skin, and providing the perfect solution for every skin type.

Their Miracle Age Line has been praised by media giants Vogue and Allure. Furthermore, their product line includes skincare products, BB creams, and sun protection essentials.


ICE Creative

ICE CREATIVE does not have its own Korean skincare brand. Instead, they are a prominent beauty influence network that collaborates with influencers to develop cosmetics. The startup’s unique selling proposition is that influencers can describe their development process and receive input from their followers. Furthermore, companies may use the site to promote new product releases by collaborating with a network of over 100 influencers. They want to expand their network of beauty bloggers from all around the world.


Need a Stronger Global Presence?

Learn more!