A rout of giant African and garden snails glide along specially crafted mesh and glass in dark rooms, leaving a trail of mucin that will be the centrepiece in “bare beauty” products. That these molluscs are delicacies in the form of escargot, valued by French and Spanish gourmands for centuries, is well-known. That their slime would be christened the next best thing by purveyors of beauty in Seoul’s Myeong-dong district was unforeseen.
Body and Seoul
How India got sheetfaced: Making sense of the K-beauty wave
From black-market import groups on WhatsApp to stores across the country, Korean “functional cosmetics” have well and truly arrived, snail mucin and all
In the past few years, Korean beauty products and 10-step skincare regimen have captured hearts, minds and wallets across Asia, the US and even Europe
India's no stranger to this—starting with the Northeast, where, for years, there was a black market for K-beauty items shipped in via Myanmar
In the past couple of years, it's turned into a flood, with Korean brands setting up shop and retailers like Nykaa stocking even more
India's K-beauty imports rose 72% to $9.5 million last year—and retailers and brands say this is just the beginning