Researchers Report Growth in Skin Lightening Market

Researchers say skin lightening products remain popular among Black and Brown individuals and is expected to increase.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology detailed that the use of skin lightening (SL) amongst Black and Brown people. The study reveals the use of chemicals to lighten the skin is prevalent, and those using SL agents rarely consult a medical provider before applying the products.

Karishma Daftary, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined SL habits among Black and Brown individuals in the United States. A cross-sectional survey was administered and according the data collected, colorism was cited as the main reason for the usage of skin lightening products. 

Researchers discovered that more than 20 percent of participants in the study reported using SL agents: 73.2 and 26.8 percent for treatment of a skin condition and for general SL. Before using the products, only 22.6 percent of SL users consulted a medical provider. Overall, 45.4 percent were unaware of their SL product ingredients and 35.1 percent reported use of hydroquinone-based products.

“These findings underscore the important role of dermatologists in addressing skin tone and pigmentary concerns with their SOC patients, as patients may be using SL agents for a variety of reasons: most commonly for self-treatment of a skin condition but also for general SL,” the authors write.

According to data by Grand View Research, the global skin lightening products market size was valued at USD 9.96 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030. 

According to research by NIH, the act of toning, lightening, whitening, or bleaching one’s skin through the use of creams, soaps, pills, injections, and other melanin-inhibiting mechanisms is a global phenomenon among non-white populations. Yet, dermatologists maintain that skin lightening (SL) for cosmetic reasons is consistently associated with profound negative impacts on well-being and adverse effects on the skin, that often leads to in immense challenges for dermatologists.



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