It’s Valentine’s Day, and never think chocolate is the best and the ultimate present for men. Cosmetics can be a good present for men, at least in South Korea.

On Valentine’s Day, men’s interest in makeup increases rapidly in South Korea, according to the data provided by cosmetics information provider app Bird View (in Korean).

In fact, Korean men are the world’s top per-capita consumers of skincare products, and the grooming industry is worth more than 1 billion USD.

Bird View’s flagship app Hwahae (shortened word for ‘interpreting cosmetics’) analyzed the cosmetics 20 million search traffic in the app for the month before and after Valentine’s Day last year, and it turned out that the percentage of men seeking men’s make-up cosmetics increased significantly during the period.

According to the Hwahae app, men’s search amount on men’s cosmetics increased by 133% on average on the week before Valentine’s Day. Especially, the search for makeup products such as concealer and the eyebrow pencil more than doubled during the period.

So why do Korean men put on make-up? Most Korean men get interested in skin care products and sun protection items during military service, due to frequent outdoor activities with strong sunlight. According to AmorePacific, a Korean cosmetics company, 70% of South Korea’s military men use cosmetics. Even after the military service, men continue to use cosmetics for their daily life and for special occasions such as a job interview.

“Men’s grooming is so common now, and the male cosmetics market is growing by 30-40% every year,” said Yoonjin Jung, chief marketing officer at Hwahae. “Now that there is a wider choice of men’s cosmetics in the market and the needs for segmented information on men’s cosmetics is growing, we will try to provide more information relevant to them.”

The app provides information on over 70,000 components in 87,000 cosmetic products made by 9000 brands and allows its users to give feedback on the products. The company recently introduced ecommerce function to make money from its 3.5 million users.

In Japan, Atcomse, a Japanese cosmetic portal provides information on cosmetic ingredients and user reviews. The portal has more than 10 million users and runs brick-and-mortar cosmetic shops in Japan.

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at