January 06, 2020 13:51
Powder rooms are no longer limited to use by women as more and more young Korean men spend time primping and grooming. Seoul's Samgakji subway station opened a powder room for men for the first time in Korea in 2018. It has a big mirror and three shelves.
"I felt uncomfortable when I had to do my hair in public restrooms before, but now I can do that here," said one 24-year-old university student as he worked wax into his coif.
Men in their 20s and 30s can regularly be spotted moisturizing here. A Seoul Metro staffer said, "We opened the men's powder room because of numerous requests from commuters."
Yoon Sung-san, a 25-year-old office worker, said, "I use a dozen cosmetics products including foundation, eye shadow and mist. People tell me I look nice when I go out with makeup on and it's now become a daily routine."
According to market researcher Euromonitor, the market for men's cosmetics here grew from W730 billion in 2010 to W1.3 trillion in 2018 (US$1=W1,168). Korean men spend an average of W52,000 on cosmetics at a time, the most in the world.
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