Big spending millennials in China and Asia are driving forward a demand for greater choice in skincare products fuelled by the KPOP craze and a desire for greater diversity. Scientist Dr Sola Idowu is working with leading skincare and cosmetic companies to develop new ranges of fully personalised products and says the skincare industry is about to undergo a revolution.

By Dr Sola Idowu, Chief Executive of Hexis Lab

Until recently, the world of luxury skincare has been overwhelmingly marketed towards the white population.

But now this is changing as skincare and cosmetic companies seek to tap the potential of a huge new international market.

Pioneering scientific techniques used by Hexis Lab are enabling the skincare industry to move away from the one size fits all approach by solving the conundrum of creating individualised skincare products.

Historically, it was the wealthy customers who could afford the best skincare products and brands. These wealthy customers were mainly white people living in North America and Europe. Naturally, this is where luxury brands focused their marketing and sales efforts.

Luxury products tend to focus on sagging, fine lines and wrinkles as problem areas which mostly affect white skin types.

The types of blemishes that have been of concern to people with darker and Asian skin, such as dark spots, have not been addressed by skincare companies in the past largely because it was just too difficult to provide individualised products.

But this is changing and different skin types have started to be catered for by cosmetic and skincare companies and the market is booming.

Luxury skincare brands are finally waking up to the amazing world of different skin types and realising there is no single solution to skincare.

Asia has been shown to be the promised land for cosmetic sales. It has been calculated that China has more millennials than the entire population of the United States. As of late, millennials have become the influential demographic that has led to new growth in the skincare industry.

While China is the lead country in cosmetics, Korea has overtaken the industry as the leaders in skincare. Korean skincare has taken the world by storm, especially their use of sheet masks and their 12-step skincare routine.

There is online delivery, subscription boxes and even stores that exclusively sell Korean skincare products like the Mask House in my home town of Newcastle upon Tyne.

We have to ask ourselves why Korean skin care has all of a sudden taken over the cosmetic market, after some research the answer is simple: KPOP.

KPOP as a music genre has blossomed in the last few years and bands such as BTS and Blackpink are becoming household names.

Young people watching their videos are not slow to notice the bands’ immaculate complexions. The first thing they ask is what is their skincare routine because their skin is flawless. This has led to fans buying Korean skincare products and driving the market forward with renewed impetus.

Another side of the market that has boomed lately is the increase in dark skin cosmetics and skincare. This increase was brought forward by Rihanna’s cosmetics company Fenty, which was launched in 2017.

She revolutionised the cosmetics market by launching a foundation that is available in 40 shades, she crosses all boundaries of skin colour and gender as she believes cosmetics should be accessible for everyone.

Also, in the beginning of 2020, the Black Lives Matter Movement propelled the cause for fair treatment for the Black community. This also translated into the cosmetics and skin care market as people were calling for better support for brands that are owned by the black population.

Finally, the skincare industry is now taking ethnic skin types seriously and realises that skincare has to cater for all and not by having one product for everyone. This is where personalised skincare comes into play, as it allows skincare to be exactly what an individual person needs.

Until recently, developing fully personalised skincare and cosmetic products was just too complex but that is no longer the case.

Complex network analysis, as delivered by Hexis Lab, is promoting a new generation of products that address specific requirements for individual customers as well as the benefits being backed up by sound science.

Thanks to machine learning technology, where computers can rapidly analyse huge amounts of scientific data, we are now able to decipher the amazing complexities of the skin.

This is how companies can now promise to deliver a wider range of customised products that can meet the needs of all skin types.

At the same time, Hexis Lab is developing technology that allows individuals to analyse their skin type enabling them to choose the skincare product which will work most effectively for them.

The skincare revolution is underway!

Dr Sola Idowu is CEO of Newcastle based Hexis Lab and is at the forefront of skin- care personalisation in the UK. He is an accomplished scientist with many scientific publications and patents. He was a research fellow at Stanford University, California and Newcastle University.

Hexis Lab is a research and product development company working with the international  skin care industry. More information can be found at