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New Black Beauty

By Celeste Peters

Dr Denzil Phillips, senior advisor to SWAA has been instrumental in engaging with our African Beau-ty Manufacturers and Suppliers and has opened a whole new conversation about Black Beauty in diverse discussions, engaging, stimulating webinars and interactions. What do we still need? Are there markets for our products? What are the perceptions? Are some skin lightening products more dangerous than others? Are local brands recognized for their worth?

The interest in black beauty opportunities for suppliers, products, manufacturers and even consumerism in Africa is huge. Professor Ameenah Gurib-Gakim, our patron to SWAA and former President of Mauritius posed the question of the future of cosmetics in three different perspectives from a historical, cultural and market view. With Africa rising creating a whole new narrative, sustainability, business markets and fashion design have a certain impact and 2018 market research is show-ing a growing demand for cosmetics, care products, clean beauty products and body and skin care just to name a few. While vital for self-esteem for many it is critical for the fashion conscious. The cosmetic industry is a seriously growing business for Africa with a potential of 128 Billion Dollars estimated as a target for the industry in years to come according to latest market research. Buying power from women is increasing too.

Here are just a few needs and advice for potential formulators and entrepreneurs from the recent panel discussion held on the SWAA platform.

  • Build a sustainable brand that welcomes standards, linked with the local food and drug standards, while using natural products and supporting your product with research. These points will help commercialize your products better from the start. Dr Senyo from Tama Cosmetics in Ghana makes a valid point that if we want to be a potential world class player, the market requires businesses to start professionally and create trust straight away. International certification helps you gain this trust.
  • More education, more trust for African manufactured products and a better structure to harness resources, funds and information are needed in Africa. Oby Lymah Osifo from Nigeria’s Switch Cosmetics feels these are important aspects which Africa needs as a whole to develop.
  • Purpose, Niche and Indigenous knowledge with beauty for themselves by themselves can capture the market. Nancy Ndukwe Ositelu from AfricanFestBeauty gave sound advice about finding your purpose, sticking to your niche, and celebrating the uniqueness of your niche. These are her differentiators that have helped her gain success.
  • Understanding needs and behaviors of consumers and being close to consumers were take backs from Dr Theo Mothoa from Uso Africa. Data driven research and knowing what your consumer drivers are, are all things you can lean into for this market. Research showed that South African women like to buy their skin products off the shelf.

Extraction of actives in plants lack local skills which need to be developed. Rooibos Absolute is not produced in its country of origin in South Africa as the extractions can only be purchased from France. Entrepreneurial skills and better skills for Formulative Chemists are essential for oil formu-lation to support formulators. Jerome Jackson’s comments were met with agreement from Prof Nox from Stellenbosch and Lorraine Dallmeier from Formula Botanica UK.

  • Functional ingredients are not easy to come by due to hold ups in customs but there are huge op-portunities for ingredients to be sold.
  • Sadly only 5% of the 10 000 students registered with Lorraine Dallmeier’s Formula Botanica UK online Training Portal come from Africa.
  • Eryca Freemantel from Embracing All Tones of Skin who recently took part in the documentary Skin from Netflix, recommends entrepreneurs to find an excellent mentor for their business and, “Love the skin that you live in and be empathetic and empower others.”
  • These are just a few snippets. Take time to listen to the full session. Sound advice and conversa-tions to be had.
  • Definitely not to be missed the next New Black Beauty 2 webinar is on 15 September 2020

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