The Korea Herald


‘Clean beauty’ pops onto global luxury brands’ radar

By Kim Da-sol

Published : May 28, 2023 - 16:00

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Vegan makeup brush by Gobrush (FS Korea) Vegan makeup brush by Gobrush (FS Korea)

From cosmetics to shampoo, global luxury brands have been labeling products as “clean beauty,” a buzzword that has proved popular in recent years.

While the term itself may not be new, its definition is largely subjective, and differs for each brand in the ever-evolving luxury industry.

Clean beauty has become a major selling point in the market, with brands like Chanel entering the fray, and industry giant Sephora creating dedicated sections on their websites for brands that meet specific clean beauty guidelines established by the stores.

Chanel entered the clean beauty chat last year with the launch of No. 1 de Chanel, the cleanest skin care and makeup line, according to the French cosmetics maker.

No. 1 de Chanel (Chanel) No. 1 de Chanel (Chanel)

The formulas are made with up to 76 percent of the anti-aging camellia petal and seeds and up to 97 percent ingredients of natural origins.

Not just ingredients, but the package has become lighter as well in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint from shipping. The French fashion powerhouse has also replaced solid plastic lids with an innovation that reduces plastic use. Eighty percent of the packaging is now glass instead of plastic. Jars and bottles are refillable. Chanel says it has also reduced paper use in its leaflets, and switched to organic ink.

But such a trend can go on only if there is evolving technology for makeup packages, according to FS Korea CEO Hwang Jae-kwang.

Venturing into the cosmetics brush manufacturing business 35 years ago, Hwang said the global luxury brand’s attention and the market need for sophisticated, high-quality makeup brushes has been shifting toward safe and nontoxic products that are also beneficial to the Earth, and even for those who manufacture.

FS Korea CEO Hwang Jae-kwang (FS Korea) FS Korea CEO Hwang Jae-kwang (FS Korea)

“FS Korea’s unique technique in manufacturing glueless and recyclable makeup brushes is not harmful for users as well as our staff who assemble them,” Hwang told The Korea Herald, adding that at least 20 metric tons of liquid glue are used to manufacture makeup brush tools.

The makeup brush's assembly means that it can be separately easily, suitable for washing the brush as well as recycling it when throwing away.

Such a clean beauty technique in makeup brush manufacturing is also in line with global cosmetics firms like L’Oreal’s pioneering stance on vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics and related products that do not use animal testing for more than 30 years.

Targeting global markets as well as top luxury cosmetics firms, Hwang said FS Korea’s establishment of some 250 patents on design and technology of makeup tools took 10 years, but it is just beginning to cater to ever-changing market demands in the luxury industry.

“In the future, luxury industry, as well as consumers, will pay more attention to environmentally friendly and innovative products that cater to different individuals’ value and taste,” Hwang said.