Why do Korean boys wear makeup?

The news came up recently that last year South Korean men spent $495 million on skincare; making South Korea the largest market in the whole world. This amount could increase by 75% this year according to Amorepacific, South Korea's biggest cosmetics company.

Compared to the total sales of skincare products last year, men now represent not less than 21%!

A common question

But why wearing makeup for men is getting more common in Korea than in any other country?
It looks like many people wonder about it: if you type "Why do Korean boys " on Google, the first suggestion to come up is "Why do Korean boys wear makeup". Surprising isn't it?

why do korean boys wear makeup

Appearance matters more in Korea

With and without Photoshop
The main cause can be summarized by "appearance matters". Basically these days appearance matters more and more in every country (thanks to advertisements, heavily using Photoshop to show us perfection). 

However more than anywhere, in Korea people are judged on appearance (Korea was ranked 1st in 2010 for plastic surgery use by the population).

First impressions are really important, and the competition to find jobs or love is tough in Korea. You have to be at your best and your skin condition is part of it. Moreover women also tend to have more expectations regarding men's appearance.

Broadcasting ads starring good looking male celebrities having a perfect skin is also increasing the phenomenon. But since the market is still growing fast, cosmetics companies will surely continue to push in that direction.

Don't get a wrong image!

Not like thisMost important: people shouldn't imagine that everywhere in Korea you can see men with strong makeup on their face. First, not every man uses makeup. And makeup users mostly use it carefully, the goal is certainly not to look like a woman but to have a clean and neat face.

For example, this article from the huffingtonpost describes a man putting foundation and highlighting his eyebrows with a black pencil. So please don't get a wrong idea of men wearing makeup.

Seoul - King Sejong statue in Gwanghwamun Seoul - Gyeongbokgung palace Seoul - Temple in National Cemetery Seoul - Jeon Tae-il statue