The old formula for men when it came to skincare was toner, lotion and not much else.
That is soon set to change in Korea.
Following government figures released last week that revealed men in their 20s use an average 13 cosmetics products a month, local companies are gearing up to hone and expand their men's skincare lines.
The men's cosmetics industry has grown 62.8 per cent in the past five years, according to market statistics, totaling about $1,030 million last year.
Large cosmetics enterprises are racing to meet this rising demand from what Korea has dubbed "grooming-jok,' with "jok" standing for a collective group of people in Korean.
Cosmetics empire AmorePacific Group has already released successful men's skincare lines through their brands Laneige, IOPE and Innisfree under the subsidiary titles Laneige Homme, IOPE Men and Innisfree for Men.
Laneige Homme's top-selling package Homme Dual Action Set 2 contains skin toner and essence lotion for middle-aged men, while IOPE Men has a Men Air Cushion makeup product offering high UV sun protection for those who actively engage in sports.
Innisfree for Men, which has one of the widest product ranges for men, also has a Handsome BB cream for men.
A government survey showed last week that 20 per cent of male respondents aged 15 to 59 had used BB cream at least once in the past month.
AmorePacific plans to focus further emphasis on product development and marketing strategies for men, or women buying for men.
Currently, its brand Innisfree for Men operates "Innisfree Zone" tables and seats in open areas at baseball stadiums and has also held large-scale product sampling events at university festivals.
Rival cosmetics firm LG Household & Health Care also plans to overhaul its men's product designs and packaging in the latter half of this year.
"There is a rising demand for antiaging and nutritive cosmetics products among men in the higher age bracket," said an LG Household & Health Care spokesperson. "We plan to launch product lines that depart from the (typical formula of the) basic skin toner and lotion products."
Nature Republic Co., a smaller cosmetics company, revamped its men's skincare product design altogether in February, focusing on minimalist and sleek design.
"Men are more likely than women to continue using the same cosmetics products," said a company spokesperson, adding that "(cosmetics) companies are striving to expand their respective market shares" through research and product development.
Korea's top retailer Lotte Department Store reported Tuesday a nationwide surge in male shoppers, up 4 per cent from the same period last year.
"We plan to continue to expand stores specialising in (cosmetics and clothing) products for men, since we believe their potential buying power is huge," said Ryu Hyun-seok, a merchandiser at Lotte Department Store.