[reporter's notes] Korean cosmetics without Korean letters. Who is this product for?
[reporter's notes] Korean cosmetics without Korean letters. Who is this product for?
  • Hayoung, Chang Reporter /Yohan, Bok Reporter
  • 승인 2023.03.15 13:26
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Photos of Seolhwasoo and Happybath product. It's not easy find Korean. (Photo: Amorepacific)

[Consumerwide_ Yohan, Bok Reporter] We definitely know that it is Korean cosmetics, but it is not easy to distinguish whether it is. Just like a Korean food restaurant with an English menu. This is what customers point out regarding domestic-branded cosmetics.

When you purchase the product, you just can't see any Korean letters; starting from the name of the brand, product name, and efficacy printed on the package, they all are in English. Not even written Korean following the regulation of loan orthography. Just English. This means that if one doesn't know English, you can not read while it is a Korean product that is purchased in Korea.

Those cases can be found easily among the products of Amerepacific, which is one of the major cosmetics companies in Korea.

In particular, products of Seolhwasoo and Happybath became an issue recently. Because there have been notable changes as the product package and BI have been replaced. Before the change, the former product didn't have much Korean either. However, now there is no Korean letter nor Han-ja(Chinese-based Korean).

Seolhwasoo is a brand that's been loved by customers of various age groups, not only by 20-30th generations. Hence, some even say this is a brand that mom and daughter share.

It probably means that it has got characteristics of oriental cosmetics while it's being sold for a high price. We have got to think over whether the new design has reflected the needs of customers at various ages. Silver customers (elderly customers) are required to wear magnifying glasses in order to check the purpose of the product, and this makes them capable of reading details printed in tiny letters on the back of the product. This is the only way to find Korean.

It is remarkable progress that their new package is environment-friendly, which suits ESG. Using recycled plastics and containers with less glass is an advantage for value-based consumers who care about the environment.

Nevertheless, it doesn't become a reason for Koreans to disappear. That can't be the reason to open a restaurant with an English menu only. Just like the words '1인 1메뉴는 반드시 시켜주세요.'(one person orders 1 menu at minimum)' written on the English menu board in Korean at the restaurant with english menu, tiny Korean letters can not be an excuse which they print for the sake of cosmetics law in Korea.

Hanyul (한율), which is evaluated as a design that reflects both legible Korean prints and environment-friendly packaging, is also a brand of Amorepacific. They were supposed to know how to catch two rabbits. They surely can.

I am hoping that there won't be evaluations like 'They think about the environment, but Korean..' or 'If you don't know English when you purchase cosmetics, you become illiterate.' any longer. What if it became the first Korean cosmetics that anyone who knows the Korean language can purchase easily, before being the K-beauty which rules the world?

Photo of Hanyul product. They've printed clearly brand and the product name in Korean. (Photo: Hanyul)



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