Sun protection is the new must-have attribute in skincare

Sun care and sun protection are growing in popularity and represent a growth opportunity in the African cosmetics market.

Average sunshine in Africa ranges from 2,000 to 3,500 hours per year, highlighting the region’s lack of rainfall. The continent’s average UV Index is 8 when measured using the Solar Index. The UV index is 10 for most of the continent.

Above all, we know that skin cancer has been shown to be linked to the inability of the skin to resist melanocyte damage, which in the wrong combination, in addition to DNA damage, can lead to melanoma. .

A single exposure to the sun is enough to increase the risk of skin cancer. The more the skin is burned in the sun, the higher the risk of contracting cancer. It is therefore essential to integrate sun protection into the overall health of the skin. According to the World Cancer Research Organization, 80% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV rays.

Skin cancer education is key

The extent to which this knowledge impacts the African consumer and the African cosmetics industry has evolved in recent years. An online study conducted by Taylor and Francois on the South African consumer revealed that the perception of skin cancer risk, knowledge of skin cancer and understanding of the importance of sunscreens among South Africans are the main factors influencing the incidence of skin cancer in the country.

General knowledge about skin cancer is lacking. This is seen in the skin cancer incidence, survival and mortality rates on the continent. According to this report, “white South Africans are seeing an increasing number of incidents of melanoma while black South Africans seek help only in advanced stages of melanoma and have a higher mortality rate.”

At the time of this writing, sunscreen is considered one of the fastest growing skincare categories due to growing global awareness of the impact and damage the sun can have on unprotected skin. According to a Statista study, “using sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays is a common and more than reasonable precaution”.

According Statistics Sun Care Industry – Statistical and factual study, the global sun care market will reach $10.7 billion by 2024. In recent years, UV protection ingredients have found their way into categories such as color cosmetics in the form of color correcting (CC) formulations, beauty anti-blemish (BB) formulations and even hair care. No wonder, then, taking all these categories into account, Statista estimates that the global sun care market will reach $24 billion by 2029.

Sun protection is not a new concept for Africans. Tribes like the Himba of northern Namibia have always used and formulated skincare for both beautification and protection against UV and other environmental factors.

otjize, popularized by the striking image of an African woman covered head to toe in orange clay, is a paste that is a mixture of butterfat and ocher pigment. It is commonly used by the Himba people of Namibia for protection from the harsh desert climate, including the sun.
The African suncare market is dominated by multinationals such as L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Shiseido and Beiersdorf. Most sun care formulas are sold in supermarkets and pharmacies. Still, there is room for smaller players. Local brands such as DermaFix® and Skoon Skin Care cater to the savvy African consumer who wants simple, indigenous, nature-inspired and advanced formulas.

Sun Care Market Growth Opportunities

Notably, African consumers are not only concerned about the impact of the sun on their appearance, but they are also concerned about looking younger. Accordingly, sun care should play an important role in beauty and skin care routines.

“Africa’s population and developing markets provide a huge platform for market growth,” according to a Intelligence of Mordor report, Africa Cosmeceutical Market – Growth, Trends, Covid-19 Impact and Forecasts (2022 – 2027).

Skincare is a dominant segment and Anti-Aging as a sub-segment is expected to generate maximum revenue during the forecast period.

A growing middle class, rising disposable incomes, increasing internet access and urbanization are also driving demand. In fact, household consumption grew faster than GDP. According to a Deloitte report, Africa is now the second fastest growing economic region. Clearly, the African market is shifting from resource exporters to consumer markets.
Africa’s emerging economies present exciting opportunities for retail and distribution expansion. More and more African consumers are willing to spend on beauty and health products. As they strive to achieve an even skin tone and fight dark spots and hyperpigmentation, Africans are beginning to understand the damaging effects of UV on their skin.

Black African consumers are closing the wealth gap. At the same time, more and more consumers are demanding skincare products that deliver results and provide anti-aging and sun protection. From the perspective of African consumers, knowledge is power and accessibility is king. Now is the time for brands to take advantage of market opportunities by offering products backed by knowledge of the sun protection and sun care needs of African consumers.

Donovan B. Sanford