The sun care category’s role in India’s enthusiasm for skin lightening

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sun care Sun tanning Ultraviolet

The sun care category’s role in India’s enthusiasm for skin lightening
In a country which reportedly got through 233 tonnes of skin-whitening products last year as consumers strive to achieve paler skin, Indian consumers might be expected to be already well aware of the value of sun protection; but a recent L’Oreal’s study appears to suggest otherwise.

The recently published survey of 900 dermatologists in India highlights that 94% recommend the use of sunscreens to protect against skin problems – suggesting the brand is keen to push consumer awareness of the category.

However, latest statistics from market research firm Mintel confirm that in fact the sun care category in India is already thriving, valued at £28.6 million in 2013, up from £19.3 million in 2008, and this growth is in large part due to the enthusiasm for lighter skin.

Immediate whitening

The demand for a link between lighter skin and the sun care category is also rising, according to fellow market research firm Euromonitor International: “sun care products are likely to be increasingly accepted by consumers who prefer white and glowing skin​,” note analysts.

Multifunctionality is key demand for consumers in the category, with sun protection that can also function as moisturizer performing better than single-function products.

On the back of this came the union of sun care with the skin whitening category, with Hindustan Unilever introducing its Lakmé Sun Expert Skin Lightening + De-Tan After Sun Face Wash in 2013.

This was a launch which participates in the recent rise of the ‘after sun’ segment within sun care in India.

Sun care will largely be driven by the launch of new sun care products with higher SPFs and the emergence of aftersun products​,” say the firm’s analysts of the category’s upcoming growth.

A broad spectrum push

Rather than tell consumers something they evidently already know, it seems the L’Oreal study comes instead as a move to open up the category further with increased awareness, pushing the idea that broad spectrum sunscreens are necessary.

Acute as well as chronic sun exposure can induce clinical and biological damage to the skin such as photo ageing, pigmentation, sunburn etc. Sunscreens with well-balanced UVA/UVB protection provide the best protection against skin damage,​” confirms Francois Pradier, director of research and innovation of L’Oreal India.

Broad spectrum sun care is fast becoming the global focus for the sun care category, and it seems L’Oreal is now keen to push this onto the sun care agenda in India too.

Related topics Market Trends South Asia Skin Care

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