Restylane, a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler that helps reduce facial wrinkles and folds, has been rapidly expanding its customer base in South Korea.
In 2013, sales reached 25 billion won ($24.3 million) here to account for almost 40 percent of the 64 billion won domestic cosmetic filler market.
Korea is currently the third-largest market for the fillers, following China and Brazil.
Galderma Asia-Pacific director Scott Mclennan (second from left) poses with Korean actress Uhm Ji-won (second from right), who was named the brand ambassador, and other executives at Beyond Museum in Seoul last week to celebrate Restylane’s global sales of 20 million units. (Galderma Korea)
“Korea is strategically important because people are very sensitive to trends, and the performance by Korean physicians is superb,” said Scott Mclennan, director of Galderma Asia-Pacific.
Galderma is the distributor of the filler, which is manufactured in Sweden. Mclenann was in Seoul earlier this month to celebrate Restylane’s achievement of 20 million units in global sales.
The director added that he hopes to retain the annual 18-20 percent growth rate in Asia with the sales from Korea propping up the figures.
According to the firm, dermal fillers have several advantages that have helped them rapidly penetrate the local cosmetic surgery market.
“The biggest (advantage) is the short recovery time. You can return to your workplace in the afternoon after getting the injection in the morning. It is convenient and has minimal effects on your daily life. This is why, these days, filler injections are usually called treatments instead of an actual surgery,” said Park Kyung-min, a sales officer at Galderma.
Restylane is also the first U.S. FDA-approved hyaluronic acid filler for cosmetic injection into subdermal facial tissues.
In order to maintain market leadership here, Galderma said it has diversified its product portfolio. Restylane is given in five different doses depending on where the filler will be injected. It also is being used in skin care products that can be used on a daily basis.
By Bae Ji-sook and Kim Min-sik