Wanting to look younger and having an acne free skin is indeed everyone’s dream. Cosmetic procedures are becoming more rampant, as celebrities are championing this course. Those with lesser budgets have settled for easier products they can afford by simply walking into a store, or even better, DM an instagram vendor. The recent outrage and high demand of cosmetic products has fooled many into thinking its a new phenomenon. It’s no news the cosmetics industry is a multi-Billion dollar industry which has seen the birth of young billionaires like Kylie Jenner, Rihanna and most recently Kim Kardashian. In Nigeria we have cosmetic empires like house of Tara, Zara cosmetics, Jenny’s glow to mention a few.
How It Started
The history of cosmetics spans at least 7,000 years and is present in almost every society on earth. According to one source, early major developments include the use of castor oil in ancient Egypt as a protective balm and skin creams made of beeswax, olive oil and rosewater described by the Romans.
Growth Of Skin Bleaching Creams
The beauty industry has seen a significant growth in the past millennium with the invent of Hair Care products, Skin Care products, Cosmetics products, Perfumes & Colognes, Deodorants, Personal Care, Feminine Cleaning and Oral Hygiene to mention a few. The beauty industry is a behemoth that shows no signs of slowing in growth. This growth has influenced many individuals into venturing into this industry with little or no knowledge. Perhaps poverty is a factor, as many are trying their hands on trends that can put food on their table.
Speaking in an interview, Rose a 24-year-old self taught skin care manufacturer in Lagos narrated how she found herself making and selling skin care products without training or supervision.
“I picked interest in making and distributing my own cosmetics products after I saw how much money the woman I was working for was making. Girls were literally lining up at our store to book for these products. Although I didn’t know how these products were made because I was working as a personal assistant, I was determined to make good money, since cosmetic products were driving major traffic.” She said.
When asked how she source good raw materials and what measurements she uses to ensure she gets the right quality she said.
“The first product I did was a bathing soap. I simply went on YouTube and watched some videos, I also checked google to get the names of the chemicals, then I proceeded to contacting someone who supplied me the raw materials.
“About the measurements I don’t know. We are Nigerians, we just follow our instincts , its like cooking, you just add ingredients but the difference is you cannot test the soap or cream. I don’t measure the chemicals , I just mix them and hope it comes out well.”
During the 1920’s numerous African participated in skin bleaching in an attempt to lighten their complexion. Up till present day the use of skin lightening creams, soaps and even pills have become a socially acceptable phenomenon widely practised by both men and women world wide, Nigeria inclusive.
The consumer they say has the final say in any product analysis. A questionnaire was sent out to three different women on why they patronize these locally made beauty products and these are what they have to say:
Daniella 26, “I started using organic products from online vendors and it’s already five months and I can say it’s been amazing.Atleast I got value for my money”
Cindy 22, “you call it bleaching, I can it melanin popping. skin like butter at an affordable price ”
Oroma 25, “I like my new skin tone, I don’t like being too dark.
How Effective Are Locally Made Beauty Products
2020 was a rollercoaster year for the beauty industry. Big brands like Mac Cosmetics, Kylie Skin, Fenty Beauty were hit hard by COVID-19 lockdown, forcing marketers to come up with new ways to sell to customers. Many local vendors especially in Nigeria started the ‘organic beauty trend’ to propel a ‘glowing skin’. It has been discovered that these products contain varied concentration of hydroquinolones, cortico-steroids and ammoniated mercury. When used, they act by inhibiting the production of melanin resulting in the initial lightening of the skin which appeals to users, thus encouraging further use often resulting in deleterious side effects.
“My products are not hazardous. Before anyone purchase my product, i always walk them through it to help them make the right selection. My products are geared towards a glowing healthy skin”, said self taught manufacturer Rose.
When asked if her business was registered and has been certified by government institutions like NAFDAC and SON, she responded:
“My business is not registered officially but I have a NAFDAC license. My uncle works with NAFDAC so he helped me out with it”.
Side Effects Of Skin Bleaching
Study has proven most users of skin lightening products feel they are more attractive hence spiking their confidence. The users have the knowledge of the effects as there have been several advocacy warning about the dangers of skin bleaching which range from skin cancer to liver and kidney malfunction.
These consumers have zero worries about any health hazard. “Not all organic products cause skin cancer, you just have to use the right ones said Daniella.”
Cindy, “nothing is wrong with my skin, all those stories are made up to scare people.”
Speaking to a male user identified simply as Ayo, he said he has been using organic black soap for over two years and it has been great on his skin. He also revealed he stopped using the product due to high price as one cup of black soap costs five thousand Naira.
Despite The Dangers, Why Is Business Still Booming
Beauty and body beautification will continue to be part of human existence. With the rise of technology and photo filters many wants to have this ‘larger than life’ appearance.
Foreign brands are more inclusive. Inclusivity is playing an increasingly important role in the beauty industry. Historically, many products allowed for only a limited range of skin tones. But, in recent years, cosmetic brands have become more inclusive, dramatically expanding color options.
Online sale is another contributing factor. People now order products online without supervision. A recent research by Terkeet show that the Total global sales in 2020 was a whopping $483 billion. With an annual growth rate of 4.75%, total revenue is expected to top $716 billion by 2025.
“I stared my business with N70,000 I saved up. I bought containers, raw materials and I did the branding. All I can say is business has been good” Rose added.
When asked how much it cost to purchase these products per year, Daniella (a user) without mixing words said she spends over N250,000 to purchase these organic products from local manufacturers.
“I like good products, to be honest I spend over N250,000 purchasing beauty products. It might not be much but it’s something.”
NewsBreak reporter asked another manufacturer, Oluwayemisi, how she responds to complaints from customer and she revealed she hardly gets any as people like her products and even recommend it to others. “I’m blessed with the best costumers, they hardly complain rather they recommend my products to their friends and loved ones. But if a complain is to Arise I will apologise and work harder to satisfy them”, she said.
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