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Ethnic Makeup

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Sep 29, 2010

When we talk about ethnic cosmetics, specifically ethnic makeup, we are focusing on products that are marketed towards African American, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and Native American women. It includes all women of color and not just women with black skin. The ethnic makeup market is growing very quickly. With the industry still suffering from the after-effects of the recent economic recession, there are signs that the market is growing as ethnic products look likely to get a boost in sales. The ethnic cosmetics and personal care market in the U.S. is currently over US $2.5 billion and rising with a growth of almost 7% in 2008. African-Americans only include approximately 15-20% of the U.S. population but spend twice as much money on cosmetic products and substantially more on skin care than the average American. Formulators are now very aware of all the specific characteristics they are dealing with, as special care must be taken when developing products for women in this market segment. Companies have learned how to formulate for various ethnic skins and now we see many major companies formulating directly for the ethnic market. Companies such as Posner (by far the industry leader and most well established in ethnic makeup and skin care products prior to 1991) focus only on the ethnic market. Today there are many more. Since that time, a number of large cosmetics companies have positioned themselves to address ethnic skins correctly. M.A.C., a company with a very large position in this product category and historically a company that gears to the Caucasian skin market, attracts a 50% ethnic customer base. Other players such as Bobbi Brown, Avon, Cover Girl, and L’Oreal also have established ranges in this market in the U.S. alone.

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