Beiersdorf said that it was increasingly aware of male interest in skin whitening, prompting it to make the bold step of launching the first ever male-dedicated skin whitening product on the market.
Lighter skin tones are deemed to be more desirable in Asia, where the beauty ideal veers towards a skin that is unblemished and untouched by the sun. Many years ago a sun burnt skin was associated with people of a lower class who had to make their living working outdoors. That ideal has stuck, and now even men aspire to it.
But men's skin has more dermal layers, making it thicker, duller and more difficult for skin lightening products to penetrate. Men found that, as well as suffering the embarassement of having to use female-dedicated products, they were not as effective.
To address this problem Nivea developed its Men Whitening range, consisting of two products - Nivea Men Whitening Moisturizer SPR 15 and Nivea Men Whitening Facial Foam.
The line boasts a five-in-one skin whitening programme that is said to help brighten the complexion, lighten discolouration, reduce blemishes, restore suppleness and prevent for formation of premature face lines.
Beiersdorf says it was encouraged by statistics that show men in Asia have a higher usage rate of face care products that their European counterparts. The reason the company decided to launch its skin whitening range was that, although dullness was cited as one of the biggest skin problems for men, no whitening product existed on the market dedicated to males.
The launch of the product has formed part of a concerted effort towards strengthening Nivea as the leading face care brand in Asia.
Acccording to Euromonitor, in 2004 the men's skin care category in Asia was valued at $511 million, forming part of an overall skin care category that was valued at $2.13 billion.