, Singapore

Skin-lightening brands to fade out in APAC

Beauty brands have been urged to ensure inclusivity in their products.

Skin-lightening products are expected to decline significantly in the Asia Pacific as the beauty industry is reviewing its inclusivity in response to changing consumer attitudes influenced by social movements such as the Black Lives Matter (BLM), according to GlobalData.

Asia Pacific was the largest and fastest growing beauty market in 2019, dominated by the skincare segment that is projected to reach $94.4b by 2024 from $72.8b in 2019, whilst facial care is set to reach $86b by 2024 from $66.3b in 2019. This implies a huge demand for facial care products in APAC, and brands would be eager to gain a competitive edge.

However, GlobalData noted that brands will have to ensure that their products and marketing campaigns represent inclusivity, be it in terms of gender, age, or colour. Shagun Sachdeva, consumer insights analyst at GlobalData, explained that recent major social movements have pushed consumers towards values-based consumption.

Already, leading brands have discontinued fairness and skin-lightening creams, whilst others are removing words such as ‘white’, ‘fair’ and ‘light’ from their products. This is expected to trigger a domino effect in other brands as well.

“With more emphasis on the need to build diverse and inclusive landscapes, beauty brands are undertaking commendable efforts to retool their portfolios and make amendments in their marketing campaigns,” Sachdeva said.

Customisation will become a key differentiator for beauty brands to be truly inclusive. However, beauty brands in APAC might face challenges in certain markets to run diverse beauty campaigns due to deeply ingrained beauty standards, to which a localised approach can work in favour of brands.

“Whilst it is difficult to anticipate the long term influence social movements will have on the APAC beauty industry, inclusive beauty concept is certainly here to stay, be it in form of inclusive formulations, marketing campaigns, or even technology-enhanced customizable options,” Sachdeva said.

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