A common household item, whitening products can be spotted across many billboards and television commercials in Asia. The widespread use and popularity of these lightening items have created a continuous demand for large-scale manufacturing and rapid product design. As a result, beauty manufacturers and investors continue to flock to Asia to meet this demand.
According to a recent CNN report, the Asia-Pacific region constitutes $7.5 billion out of the total $13.3 billion global market for fairness products which is half of the global fairness skin products market. This market is expected to touch an impressive $31.2 billion by 2024. Estimates suggest India invests over $400 million in the fairness industry annually.
The obsession with light skin
What’s driving the Asian market is the high expectation to have blemish-free, radiant,light skin. Making the most of this trend, Asian manufacturers are launching new fairness products and other marketing strategies. Retailers like KVIC is making it easy for customers to access beauty products online to boost sales.
Serums that give users a visible afterglow are particularly in high demand. Japanese luxury brand Kose’s serums and lotions are a popular choice for radiant skin. Another beauty industry titan, Korea's Cosrx, has launched itself into the global scene by keeping its products simple and reliable, promoting mild exfoliants and revitalising sleeping masks. Jude Chao’s review of their bestselling Whitening Power Essence notes that the product leads to hydrated and brighter skin with just a few main ingredients.
Other companies, meanwhile, are staying competitive by producing hybrid products that do more than just whiten skin. For instance, the Pretty Me’s review of Navarro's Bleaching Soap reveals that the soap offers reduction and eventual elimination of age spots and stretch marks. Then there are bleaching soaps like Navarro, sold through grocery stores which help Asian girls reach their country’s standards of beauty.
The booming Indian market
As far as the Indian market is concerned, Indian streets are filled with posters advertising the latest whitening products available. Before and after photos of women who go from dark to light skin are a common sight, and narratives of how lighter skinned women get more out of life is the constant refrain on television. The media blast has a tremendous effect on the bleaching market in the country — India is reported to pull in over $400 million on the fairness industry annually. The whitening craze doesn’t just affect women either, with more products and ads starting to target men.
In future, fairness skin products market is expected to continue growing as products become more mainstream and accessible. Newer and more innovative products will flood the market as science improves to make the creams and toners more effective.