Brands like Innisfree, Etude House , Laneige and Sulwhasoo have become familiar names in SIngapore, especially with those who have a penchant for Korean beauty products. But did you know they all come from one South Korean powerhouse beauty company?
The Amore Pacific story is Disney-esque. In fact, if you ever get a chance to visit the Story Garden by Amore Pacific, at the Osan Beauty Campus, you’ll get to see an inspiring animated short movie of how Suh Sung-Whan founded the company over 70 years ago. It all started with his mother, a woman ahead of her time, who believed in sustainable sourcing, creating pure hand-pressed oil from the camellia nut tree, and selling it. Sung-Whan continued the business with the same philosophy, to provide a healthy and beautiful life to customers around the world with the Korean company’s beauty products.
From its beginnings, the brand has established itself as an Asian Beauty Creator (ABC); and one that has a deep connection with nature. That same camellia oil the founder’s mother used to sell now features in many of the company’s products, including Mamonde’s Age-Control Camellia Oil, Sulwhasoo’s Camellia Hair Oil and Hera’s UV Mist Cushion.
As a company that prides itself on research and development, it’s no surprise that it has brought many firsts to the beauty world. Amore Pacific is the first company to create skincare products with green tea and ginseng. When founder Sung-Whan saw how the green tea culture was slipping away in his country, he bought plots of land in Jeju Island and converted rocky patches into fertile green tea farms.
No trip to Jeju Island now is complete without a stop at Osulloc, where you get to learn more about tea culture at the Osulloc Tea Stone and Tea Museum, as well as have delicious green tea sweets and beverages at the Tea House (order the green tea roll cake). And close by, is the Innisfree Jeju House, selling the brand’s products including its famed green tea range of skincare, as well as Jeju exclusives that are must-buys if you’re there (you can’t get them anywhere else).
Product innovation is a cornerstone of the company which saw the potential of the ginseng root, a renowned Asian herbal remedy. Knowing that ginseng has prized healing properties, the late founder steered the company and research teams to further explore how the root could be used in skincare. And in 1966, the ABC Ginseng Cream was introduced, a world’s first, and later iterations has led it to become the much-loved Sulwhasoo signature, the Concentrated Ginseng Cream.
Almost every established beauty brand now has a cushion compact, but it was Amore Pacific which launched the very first with IOPE in 2008. The sleeping mask category was also sparked by the introduction of The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. Senior Researcher Jean Choi, who leads the Customer Research Team of Amore Pacific’s Singapore R&I, says, “We have high standards and are pro-active about the usage of products, and we develop new products to change the beauty regime of women in the world.”
And it looks like people in Singapore and our neighbouring countries are lapping up these innovative Korean beauty products. Since its launch in Vietnam over 20 years ago, Amore Pacific’s Asean business has been on the up and up. Robin Na, Head of Amore Pacific’s Asean Business, shares, “The overall sales volume of the Asean business has increased 10-fold over the last six years, and has shown a steady annual growth of over 50 per cent.” Impressive considering the annual growth rate of the beauty and personal care product markets of Asean countries, including Singapore Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, is on average about 9 per cent.
So what are the Amore Pacific products that K-beauty lovers can’t get enough of? We asked the company for their top sellers, and here’s the insiders’ list of Korean beauty products – skincare and makeup – you’ll love. Some are already available in Singapore, but some you’ll just have have to pick up on your next trip to Seoul!