The global skin lighteners market has been forecast to reach a value of US$19.8 billion by 2018, driven by the growing desire for light-coloured skin among both men and women primarily from the Asian, African and Middle East regions.
Skin whitening products represents one of the rapidly growing segments in the global beauty industry. With the concept of beauty in the 21st century revolving around a flawless and fair complexion, there is rising discrimination based on skin colour.
The scenario generates opportunities for products that capitalise on skin colour discrimination such as skin whitening products, especially in regions like Asia, South America and Africa. The desire for fair and white skin is rooted in the culture and traditions of these countries and obsession for fair skin can be traced to almost all sections of the society.
Skin lighteners refer to the practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten skin tone or provide an even skin complexion by lessening the concentration of melanin.
Specific zones of abnormally high pigmentation such as moles and birthmarks may be depigmented to match to the surrounding skin. Conversely, in cases of vitiligo, unaffected skin may be lightened to achieve a more uniform appearance.
Long term use of skin whiteners can lead to pigmentation increasing to the joints of the fingers, toes, buttocks and ears. The skin of the face can become thinned and the area around the eyes can have increased pigmentation causing a 'bleach panda effect'.
Although skin-whitening products were initially aimed at facial care, the trend has changed with companies offering products for overall skincare. Presently, the market comprises products that lighten skin on the face, armpits and feet.
Also, the market is emerging from its traditional stronghold of women's into the men's segment. With personal grooming gaining significance among men, demand for male skin brightening and lightening products is on the rise, particularly in Asia.
Japan represents the largest market worldwide. Consumers in Japan, especially women, are known to spend more on skin lightening products than women in other countries. In Japan, demand for bihaku products is high among older women. Asia-Pacific is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3% over the next five years, led primarily by India and China.
For more information on the skin lighteners market, see the latest research: Skin Lighteners Market Research
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