Africa’s beauty industry has come a long way, according to market research the industry is worth billions of dollars with South Africa alone accounting for $4.5 billion. Nigeria and Kenya rank second and third among sub-Saharan nations.
The beauty industry on the black continent is more vibrant than it has ever been. Every year we see different trends in Africa’s rapidly growing beauty industry and with these trends come several market implications for Africa-focused beauty brands. Let’s take a look at some of the trends in Africa’s beauty that we’ve seen in 2020.
Statistics published by the World Health Organisation in 2011 showed that 40% of African women bleach their skin. The percentage is really high in some nations; a whopping 77% of women in Nigeria, 59% in Togo, 35% in South Africa, 27% in Senegal, and 25% in Mali use skin bleaching products.
This trend stems from the growing interest on the black continent for a lighter skin complexion. A lot of Africans bleach their skin because they believe that a light complexion is more attractive and beautiful.
Research on the ingredients responsible for this skin bleaching such as hydroquinone and steroids has revealed some negative effects that will come from using those products such as thinning of the skin, stretch marks, skin discolouration, and even blindness.
Globally acclaimed Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o of the Black Panther fame told Vogue, a US fashion and lifestyle magazine, that “I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society, and how they may view that.”
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In nations like Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Sudan, plastic surgery is becoming particularly common. An influx of surgeons from the US and Europe who perform cosmetic procedures on the elite segment of the population is driving the rising market in Nigeria.
South Africa is Africa’s largest plastic surgery hub; the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons currently has about 170 members and it is estimated that over 50% of the procedures they do are for cosmetic purposes.
The trend of cosmetic plastic surgery is on the rise in Africa as other countries on the continent are starting to get on board with this trend. In Kenya, plastic surgery is gaining popularity at a rapid rate. Wealthy Kenyans usually travel abroad for their plastic surgery, but there are now a few Kenyan surgeons who have gained the requisite training and are performing plastic surgeries within the country.
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