Cost Comparison: Korean Beauty Products in South Korea vs Philippines

The Korean beauty (or K-beauty) craze in the Philippines is overwhelming! My officemates are all into it. The officemates of my mom are willing to spend thousands on it! I, a low maintenance woman who do not pay much attention to expensive beauty products, am suddenly caught by its magic.

At the same time, Filipinos are much into traveling to South Korea nowadays. Welcome remarks, such as "good morning!" or "welcome!" in famous tourist destinations in South Korea now include a Tagalog translation.

With these hype going on these days, I bet all you ladies are thinking that it would be best to splurge on K-beauty products while you are traveling the beautiful country of South Korea. You are actually thinking of hoarding, since you'll be able to save a notable amount of money than buying it from online sellers here in the Philippines. However, you have a limited budget for your South Korean trip. You then start to ask,

A. How much cheaper are Korean beauty products sold in South Korea? Is it worth it to allocate a portion of my travel allowance to K-beauty?


B. How much more expensive are Korean beauty products sold in the Philippines?


C. Is it worth it to splurge for Korean beauty products while I am in Seoul, South Korea?


D. Is it worth it to spend my allowance on Korean beauty products while I am there, or would it be okay to just allocate my money on legit Korean food and buy Korean beauty products in the Philippines?


E. Can I possibly resell to my friends? Will the returns be worth it?

We traveled South Korea last November 2017, and I bought a multitude of Korean beauty products. I was able to take down some of its prices, and I have compared its amount with the same products sold in online shops here in the Philippines.

Below are my findings, which might give you a little bit of insight. I have included my recommendation here, but again, the decision is still solely up to you!!!

General Conclusion:

  • If you are really looking into buying these items, then buy in Korea by all means. It's cheaper, you're already traveling the streets of Myeongdong or Hongdae, and you have ample baggage space - what else is there to consider?
  • If you are planning to hoard, you can't go wrong with face masks. Just take note of its expiration dates.
  • If you are planning to resell a few quantities to your friends, take note of extra baggage costs. Will it still be worth it?
  • If you don't have much money left and you feel like you've already overspent on K-beauty products, then consider buying some items in the Philippines instead. Prices in the Philippines will naturally be higher, but I believe they are still very reasonable. Just find a reputable, cost-friendly online seller and you're good to go!


  • If you are thinking of hoarding for a year's supply of K-beauty products, take note of expiration dates!
  • Also, have you tried the product before? Is it safe and effective?
  • We found that face masks in Lotte Mart are cheaper than those in Myeongdong. Lotte Mart's Buy 1 Take 1 promo was cheaper than those in Myeongdong. (Myeongdong is a hot tourist spot, so they'll naturally increase prices there as the demand is high.)
  • Take note that travelers leaving Korea are only allowed to bring out goods (clothes, food, beauty products, etc.) worth PHP 10,000. 

I hope you find this post useful! Feel free to share to your friends who are traveling to South Korea soon!



This is based on my own personal experience during the latter weeks of November 2017. Prices and exchange rates used were all gathered during the same time. The prices and exchange rates in this post may change in time, depending on the vendors, on the current economy, and other factors beyond my control.

This is assuming that you are buying K-beauty products while traveling South Korea. The case/factors/analysis are different if you are visiting Korea for the sole purpose of buying K-beauty products for the K-beauty business you're eyeing, as you have to take certain overhead costs (eg: flight, airfare, food, transporation, importation costs, customs regulations, etc.) into account.

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1 comment:

  1. Usually i never comment on blogs but your articles is so convincing that i never stop my self to say something about it you're doing a great article keep it up