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South Korean men spent half a billion dollars on cosmetics last year

New data shows South Korean men are huge consumers of cosmetics - in fact, the largest cohort of male consumers of cosmetics on Earth.
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South Korean men are the largest consumers of male cosmetics in the world both per capita and in total. (Choo Youn-Kong/AFP/Getty Images)

It was once believed that the Taliban were the only men who wore eyeliner.

Not true suggests data that shows South Korean men are huge consumers of cosmetics.

Indeed, South Korean men spent $495.5 million on skin care last year - one fifth of global sales, said Businessweek.

That number is expected to near $1 billion in the coming years, reported Newser.

The statistics mean that South Korea is the largest market for men's skin care on Earth.

As there are only 19 million males in South Korea - meaning that they must be the freshest-faced men in the world.

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It is believed that social advancement and attracting women are the top reasons for make-up's popularity in the country.

The Associated Press interviewed a number of young South Korean men about the phenomenon.

"Having a clean, neat face makes you look sophisticated and creates an image that you can handle yourself well," a 24-year-old college student told the agency.

"Your appearance matters, so when I wear makeup on special occasions, it makes me more confident."

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