Everyone loves the glass skin filter, right? From snail mucin essences to fermented toners, K-beauty is known for infusing different combinations in their skincare products. It’s been a few years since Korean skincare hit the Indian market, and with every new brand, the interest and intrigue in achieving hydrated, good skin has only peaked, even for men. Grooming products for men are no more a new thing. Yes, you’ll occasionally find some still using their girlfriend’s face wash, but hey, you’ll also find some of them masking after a heavy night out, to replenish. It’s all about balance.

According to market research firm Nielsen, the size of the branded male grooming segment has crossed the Rs 5,000 croremark in urban India. While shaving and face care products continue to account for over 50 per cent of the male grooming pie, new categories such as body care and hair care, are also fuelling the growth. Innisfree launched in India, in 2013, and became all the rage once it became even more accessible, through online portals. Mini Sood, assistant director and marketing head, says male consumers want personal consultations as well. “As a lot of men view online video tutorials on skincare regimes for men, and we have also started targeting and working with male influencers,” she says, adding that they have curated men’s skincare line with products suited for them as well. While Innisfree brought the goodness of Jeju to us, The Face Shop is one of the brands that introduced sheet masks. The brand has witnessed men taking interest in the importance of skincare, but believes that there still a market for men that’s untouched. Their customers include 14 per cent male consumers. “Our products are made keeping in mind the customer’s skin concern, that is what has helped us grow,” the brand explains.

Nykaa’s specialised website for men, titled ‘Nykaa Man’, has been instrumental in making K-Beauty a household phenomenon in the country. “We were the first to make leading Korean brands available online to customers across India. The trend has had a significant impact on beauty routines, introducing customers to new products like sheet masks, and to new ingredients like green tea, volcanic clay, snail essence etc.,” said a spokesperson. Ritika Sharma, founder and CEO of e-commerce beauty website Boddess that was recently launched by House Of Beauty, says Korean brands make for some of their top sellers on the platform. “15-20 per cent of our male customers purchase Korean products, as compared to 50 per cent of female customers, and we expect this number to increase as our brand mix evolves in the coming months and years. We do expect that an average skincare routine for men will include one to three K Beauty-led products in their regimen.”

Founder and CEO Dr. Aditi Sinha Nigam, of Flawless Coat Boutique, an emerging beauty e-commerce platform, explains that within the last five years, the South Korean skincare industry for men has grown to become the world’s largest. “Many Korean brands now produce all manner of cleansers, toners, moisturisers, and more specifically, for male clients. These beauty products resonate with millennials and the Gen X population. It’s an advanced beauty market with advanced products that satisfy skincare needs of men,” she explains. Another beauty website, Maccaron.in, discusses, “Due to the popularity of K-Pop & drama, the visibility of Korean skincare for men is becoming more outwards. We have seen a very bleak dierence in the percentage of male and female consumers when they purchase Korean skincare products from us. During the pandemic, our male users spiked from five per cent to 20 per cent.” There are a few brands that are not o¢cially available in India, but buy products from international markets directly, or some resellers provide them to the consumers through Instagram shops. Kbeauty India (@kbeautyindia) has a variety of brands that are not available here. The most popular brands from the store are Tiam, Purito, and Krave.

The industry’s unique products, ingredients, pairing products, and layering techniques have gradually gained awareness in India through the entry of more brands. Men are doing their research, and thinking about how to feed their skin the right products. Vineet Shah, a practicing chartered accountant, never used any kind of skincare products before being introduced to K-beauty. He started off with popular brands like The Face Shop and Tony Moly, and his favourite products are Tony Moly’s Egg Pore, The Face Shop’s Sheet Mask, Neogen Dermalogy Pore Toner and Serum Set. Similarly, 27-year-old Rahul Jaisinghani got his information from Reddit and subreddits, and started o with products from Etude House and Hydro Barrier Cream. He adds that the products have made a huge dierence on his skin, and would continue to use them. Celebrity make-up artists and grooming influencers also have only good things to say about the onwards and upwards trend of Korean skincare products.

Rashmi Shastri, a celebrity make-up artist, has a great personal experience with the products. Fashion and grooming influencer Abhinav Mathur has used sheet masks, and has seen a change in his skin texture. “I have seen a lot of Indian men who go through skincare issues, and they have a hard time finding the correct products. Korean skincare is renowned, and I highly recommend it,” he says. The concept of skincare for men in general has seen tremendous growth, and Korean brands ensure that it will continue. All you need to do is religiously follow the skincare steps to get the glow. Here’s to hydrating, and glowing some more.