Men who moisturize boost online product sales

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Men who moisturize boost online product sales

Hwang Hyun-suk, a 27-year-old graduate school student, follows a skin-care routine every morning after washing his face. He starts with a toner, then adds a facial moisturizing cream from an ampoule and finishes with sunscreen. “I’m still pretty young, but I think when it comes to skin care, it’s always better to start early [before the skin starts aging],” said Hwang.

Men’s interest in beauty products is not a new trend, but recently their interest seems to be increasingly shifting from cosmetics to skin care, according to September sales of online shopping mall Auction.

The company said that its year-on-year sales of men’s skin products during September grew fivefold at most. Results included purchases made between Sept. 11 and Oct. 10.

Products relevant to facial masks had noticeable growth. Sales for clay masks rose 151 percent. DIY kits used to make the clay masks at home also rose, posting a fourfold growth. Mask sheets sold 13 percent more compared to last year.

Facial cleansers also proved popular: Sales of cleansing lotion rose 98 percent and oil grew 51 percent. Lip balm sold 52 percent more. The biggest increase came from body cream, of which sales skyrocketed almost five times.

“This year, we see more male customers buying skin-care products that function to moisturize and enhance the skin from the inside,” said Hong Soon-chul, manager at eBay Korea, the parent company of Auction. “This is relatively new compared to the men’s beauty trend in the past, which was more focused on cosmetics such as BB cream.”

Men in their 20s and 50s were responsible for the largest increase in purchases. The younger generation in their 20s had a fourfold growth in purchases. Men in their 50s followed, increasing sales by almost threefold. The latter bought four times more cleansing lotion than they did in the past, dispelling the belief that middle-aged men use facial soaps only.

“As people live much longer and work until an older age compared to the past, men in their 50s no longer perceive themselves as ‘elderly,’” said Kim Kyeong-hoon, head of the Korea Trend Research Institute. “This explains why they care more to groom themselves and keep in good shape.”

Korea had the biggest market for men’s beauty products, and it measured 1.2 trillion won ($1.06 billion) in size, according to a 2014 report by Euromonitor International.

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