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What's new in ethnic cosmetics?

SpecialChem / Imogen Matthews – Jan 17, 2007

Traditionally ethnic cosmetics has meant niche, despite the millions of non-Caucasion consumers who have very different needs. The brands operating in this sector tend to be strong in their local markets, with limited global reach. However, the multi-nationals are starting to recognise that black and Asian consumers' needs can be addressed with products designed for their specific haircare and skincare needs. In the US alone, the market for ethnic cosmetics is soaring, given the enormous growth in the number of Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians which are projected to increase by 13% by 2010. In the UK, the non-Caucasian population, although small, has also grown and now accounts for 4% of the total population compared to 3% in 1990. The US ethnic market is projected to be worth $7.6bn by a recent survey by The Freedonia Group, who have discovered that African-Americans spend twice as much on haircare products and skincare than the average American. The L'Oreal Institute for Ethnic Hair and Skin Research studies the scientific, cultural and emotional differences that exist between people of African descent and other ethnicities in terms of hair and skin.

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