Asian cosmetics are steadily gaining ground in the global market. South Korea is now one of the most dynamic and influential beauty markets in the world. With more than €11.3 billion  turnover, it is the ninth largest market in the world for cosmetic products, just behind France and India. The country therefore has the highest consumption of cosmetic products per capita in the world, with an average of more than 20 products used per month.

Cosmetics in Japan, the world’s third-largest cosmetics market, are estimated at €19.4 billion. Recently supplanted by China and overtaken by the United States, this market nevertheless remains one of the most dynamic in the industry with consumers always looking  for new products.

Five companies from the cosmetics industry in these two countries and leaders in their fields participated  in an online press conference, to present their strategies and innovations.

High on the agenda for all participants was sustainability and innovation.

Here’s our wrap of the companies below:


This South-Korean company, which was recording fast growth before the pandemic, plans further expansion through massive investments in the development of sustainable packaging solutions for the beauty and personal care market. The company plans to build on bio-sourced, recycled or even compostable materials, as well as refillable solutions. Unipack aims to offer a wide range of products that help to reduce the environmental footprint of packaging. The company is currently working on cellulose PP which contains pulp waste resulting from the production of stationery or commercial paper. The company also promotes its palettes, powders, etc, which are  based on PCR (post-consumer recycled), PP and PET material, which are in turn recyclable, creating a virtuous loop. Primary packages are not just bottles, boxes or palettes –  the company is expanding its range of laminated paper bags with a PLA film on the inside used for masks, a sector that continues to  grow in the skin care category.

CTK Cosmetics

A  new digital platform by CTK Cosmetics, CLIP, enables contactless collaboration for beauty brands. “CLIP is a digital platform for you to create your own beauty products, which is incredibly fun and amazing. The idea is that you can go into the platform and get inspired by all the different things we have done,” says Christine Ansari, VP EMEA division, CTK Cosmetics. The platform, which already has more than  5000 listings, enables a quick response, allowing brands to speed up product development. Since 2019, the company had been on a path to digitise its business. This need was brought to the forefront when the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted businesses and economies globally. Thanks to CLIP platform, the company can  connect with more independent or emerging beauty brands, which is a point of focus for the company.

Yonwoo HQ
Yonwoo HQ.


This is a pioneer company operating a Smart Factory with revolutionary automatisations including robots and next-gen connected software. It is drastically increasing the production capacity to fit the best lead time even for the largest volumes. By optimising every step of its production Yonwoo’s price competitiveness has  improved and has allowed it to exceed even pre-Covid year performances.  In terms of raw materials, Yonwoo highlights eco-friendly plastic, such as bio PE made of sugar cane, and is reducing the thickness of its containers. For example, its renewable 30ml Rimbase bottle allows a 32% reduction in plastic compared to the standard version. 

Glue-Free Makeup Brushes.
Glue-Free Makeup Brushes.

FS Korea

This South Korean firm sees strong need for recyclable make-up brushes to keep up with rising for sustainable beauty products and has shed light on a raft of projects that are helping it meet its eco goals. Like many businesses, the firm has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Covid-19 has changed the lifestyle of consumers. Make-up is not really a priority for consumers except for the eyes. Our current focus is the production of mascaras applicators and other applicators for the eyes,” says  JK Hwang, President of FS Korea. The company is also focusing on sustainable solutions. “Another key development has been the development of our Glue-Free Makeup Brushes which uses virtually no glue at the time of assembly, which minimises chemical exposure of operators during the assembly process,” said Hwang.

Nippon Shikizai

This Japanese, contract manufacturer specialises in the full-service offer of skincare and make-up products, in liquid, emulsion or powder form. It is one of the only company’s  in Asia to have chosen to make significant investments for the development and manufacture of products in France. In collaboration with its French subsidiary Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics and its unit dedicated to anhydrous products, Nippon Shikizai France, the group is a major partner for the development of natural, clean and hybrid formulations in Europe. During the pandemic, the company worked on several new products and in particular a new liquid foundation (Skin Veil Foundation) which creates like a second veil on the face when it is applied and helps to maintain a fresh complexion, even when a mask is worn all day long.

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