in darker skin,” Ms. Musa told HAPPI. “Consisting
of many different tones, ethnic skin has a high
concentration of melanin. As ethnic skin ages, it
often becomes irregularly pigmented, showing up
as dark patches on the skin.”
Because ethnic skin can be sensitive, many ethnic products focus on natural, organic, sensitive
and fragrance-free formulations, according to
John Deputato, senior vice president, client solutions, IRI, Fairfield, NJ. For example, B.l.a.c.
Minerals, a makeup line for women of color and
ethnic backgrounds, plans to launch a collection of
organic skin care this year. The facial product line
aims to tap the need for “green” ethnic skin care.
In 2009, consumers will still be looking for the best ways to
get rid of dark marks and even out skin tone, according to
Dr. Brown. “New trends include identifying and including
new ingredients (similar to SulforaWhite, Nano-Max and
Lipobelle Soyaglycone, as seen in Dr. Brown’s products) that
address the structural and functional differences of ethnic
skin,” she said. Dr. Brown also added that hydroquinone-free natural brighteners are also going to be big this year.
According to Dr. Alexis, arbutin, kojic acid, retinols,
licorice, niacinamide and alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) are
ingredients to look out for in 2009 as alternatives to hydroquinone in skin brightening formulations.
“I predict increased popularity of these
ingredients because of increased interest in
and consumer preference for natural alternatives to hydroquinone,” he told HAPPI.
“This is especially likely in the context of
increased consumer concerns about hydroquinone following the FDA’s proposal to ban
over-the-counter hydroquinone. Their efficacy is generally less than that of hydroquinone, therefore, they are not a replacement but rather a set of alternative ingredients.”
Dr. Alexis also added that dermatologist-developed skin care lines for ethnic skin will
likely be a growth area for the next few years
as only a few options currently exist.
“Patients often ask for products developed specifically for
their skin type,” he said.
Additionally, ethnic skin care consumers are starting to
understand the importance of sun protection, and SPF-enhanced products (as reported in HAPPI) are becoming more
prevalent in ethnic skin care, noted Dr. Brown.
Overall, the U.S. is a melting pot of different ethnicities—
and marketers will continue to identify those niches and
develop products that provide specific benefits. According to
Mr. Deputato of IRI, “Ethnic skin care will continue to be an
important category as our country will, over time, change its
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