Korean Beauty or otherwise known as K-Beauty have been in the spotlight globally for their innovative goodness and their many skin benefits.
But have you noticed how many of the products in the market have some features in common? This is not a coincidence or a trending factor among the Korean brands but a mandatory Korean law that states for a cosmetic to be functional it has to meet at least one of three conditions which are:
1) Brightening of Skin
2) Improving Wrinkles in Skin
3) Protection from Sun UV
Without meeting the above criteria the products will only meet the general cosmetics guide in which marketing is extremely difficult as you cannot state any benefits that a cosmetic might have to the public.
While personally working in the Korean Cosmetic Industry, the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDA), formerly the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) have strict guidelines and regulations amending the Cosmetic Act which was first issued in 1994, 14 times which the latest revision coming into force in 2014 as of writing.
To even start manufacturing functional cosmetics, manufacturers are required to undergo an evaluation on the safety and efficacy of cosmetics and submit information necessary for such evaluation to MFDS. Only after getting approval are manufacturers of functional cosmetics permitted to manufacture. Before marketing the products, manufacturers need to get separate approval before marketing to the public through all channels.
If ingredients used are for the first time in Korea and not listed in the MFDS database and have not been designated or publicly notified as cosmetic ingredients are required to undergo an evaluation before manufacture, but as of now (excepting sunscreen agents, preservatives and colourants) new cosmetic ingredients can be used without any approvals from MFDS. In this case, manufacturers or importers are fully responsible for the safety.
So next time you shop, you now know why so many K-Beauty products have those 3 common functions in them!