Gems & Jewellery News

Clear shift in skincare market as Gen Z moves away from fairness products


New Delhi: Fair is no longer lovely. For the first time, fairness creams declined 3% by volume in 2023 from the previous year, according to data by researcher NielsenIQ.

“As consumer demands continue to evolve, purpose-driven formats like brightening, glow, radiance and anti-dullness are garnering increased attention, signalling a shift in perception towards beauty,” said Roosevelt DSouza, head, customer success India, at NielsenIQ.

This is a distinct shift from earlier when the Indian skincare market was heavily skewed towards ‘whitening’ and ‘fairness’ products.

“Gen Z and millennials are shifting to brightening and hydration functionalities instead of fairness,” said Nitin Passi, chairman of premium cosmetics maker Lotus Herbals. Amid a backlash against the promotion of stereotypes, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) had renamed its mainstay fairness cream Glow & Lovely in 2020, from the previous Fair & Lovely. The category leader in fairness creams with close to 40% share, its name was changed months after global protests against racial injustice as part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. HUL renamed the men’s range Glow & Handsome.

The company didn’t respond to queries.

HUL’s move was followed by another global cosmetics major, L’Oreal, dropping the words “white”, “fair” and “light” from its skincare range across markets. US healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) stopped selling its Clean & Clear and Neutrogena skin-whitening creams in Asia and the Middle East.The switch is being driven by younger consumers. “The middle-age groups still continue to use fairness products,” said Passi of Lotus Herbals.

Personal care companies such as Emami, CavinKare, Himalaya, Revlon and Biotique are gradually distancing themselves from promoting ‘fair skin’ products to products for radiant, glowing or anti-dull skin.

“The narrative in the beauty industry has shifted from fairness to clean beauty with a much higher emphasis on ingredients delivered via toxin and chemical-free natural formulas,” said Sukhleen Aneja, formerly in senior leadership roles at HUL and L’Oreal, and now chief executive at Good Brands, part of the Good Glamm Group. “This is prevalent even among younger audiences who are seeking preventive care via sun protection, preventing skin pigmentation. This also explains the rise of dermat first brands especially online.”

Good Glamm’s portfolio includes beauty brands Organic Harvest and St Botanica. Aneja said the trend would continue, more so when “search and social media information has become democratised making consumers far more discerning.”

By value, fairness creams saw a modest year-on-year growth of 5.4%, though overall skincare grew 9.2% in calendar year 2023, according to NielsenIQ. The overall skincare industry in India was valued at ₹15,800 crore in the year.

“Moisturising creams and face washes were the top contributing categories. Fairness creams, hold approximately 25% of the overall skin-care market,” NielsenIQ’s data said.

Existing guidelines under the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), which works closely with the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), states that “socially undesirable depictions for commercial gains” should be avoided.

“Some ads are seen to reinforce depictions of society that perpetuated unhealthy practices or beliefs for the sole purpose of commercial gains,” said ASCI chief executive officer Manisha Kapoor. “For example, ads that promote stereotypes such as fair skin or certain body shapes.”

(You can now subscribe to our Economic Times WhatsApp channel)


Source link