The global skin lightening products market size was valued at USD 9.96 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030. Skin lightening products provide various benefits such as reducing pigmentation, lightening discoloration, promoting even skin tone, and eliminating blemishes. The rising inclination of consumers toward a specific solution to different skin problems, such as age spot or acne spot reduction, has increased the adoption of various skin lighteners in the market. Therefore, manufacturers are introducing lightening products to cater to the different consumer needs. For instance, in December 2020, Blac Chyna launched brightening cream in collaboration with Whitenicious by Dencia in Nigeria.
The breakout of COVID-19 has resulted in changing consumer preferences who are proactively seeking active and functional skincare products, which in turn, is expected to accelerate the market growth in the forecast period. Hence, manufacturers are launching products to cater to the changing needs of consumers. For instance, in June 2021, Shiseido Co., Ltd., a Japanese cosmetics company launched a multifunctional sunscreen under the brand name Anessa. The product contains 50% skincare ingredients, including m-tranexamic acid, a brightening active that helps suppress the production of melanin.
The rising consumer awareness regarding the harmful effects of conventional, synthetic chemical-laden products is anticipated to create new growth opportunities for organically and naturally derived raw materials and products in the market. Organically- and naturally-cultivated products such as aloe vera, sea kelp, argan oil, and jojoba oil are some of the key raw ingredients used for manufacturing skin lightening products. For instance, in July 2019, Petitcomo, a cosmetic brand from Korea, launched two new lightening sheet masks - Ampoule Mask Black Edition and Aqua Mask White - which contain natural ingredients for improving tone complexion.
Furthermore, the growing importance of self-care in recent years has driven consumers to proactively create relaxing self-care experiences through complex skincare routines at home. This trend is driving the demand for products with active ingredients that have lightening & brightening properties, including creams & lotions, repair creams, peels, masks, serums, powders, and scrubs. For instance, in November 2021, Vasu Healthcare launched a premium skin brightening range - ROSE and GOLD. The product range includes face serum, face wash, and face cream and is available on Amazon, Flipkart, and its own store www.vasustore.com.
Companies are focusing on constant research to produce skin-lightening creams with advanced technology to increase the effectiveness of the product. For instance, in 2019, Dr. Raymond Laboratories Inc.’s leading brand LaStella introduced Cellif Microbalm, a capsule balm featuring microcapsule technology that helps restore the natural glow. Each microcapsule contains six key components, including shea butter to provide intensive moisturizing; adenosine to reduce visible signs of anti-aging; argan oil, olive oil, and vitamin tree oil to promote skin’s vitality; rose water, for soothing and moisturizing; natural ceramide; and peptides to restore the texture.
However, the rising controversies regarding the use of skin-lightening products over the world may hamper the growth of the market. In July 2020, Unilever renamed its skin lightening cream Fair & Lovely, India’s bestselling melanin-suppressing face cream, owing to the criticism it faced for branding its products that trade off racial stereotypes. The company dropped the word 'fair' in its product name and changed it to 'Glow & Lovely'. Similarly, Johnson & Johnson retreated from its skin-whitening business, which consisted of the Neutrogena Fine Fairness line in Asia and the Middle East, and the Clean & Clear Fairness brand in India.
Creams segment held the largest market share in 2021. Easy and effective penetration of cream in the skin attributes to its increased usage among consumers. Market players are launching lightning creams with advanced technologies to increase their effectiveness. For instance, in April 2022, Neutrogena India launched its New Bright Boost range of products to address the increasing problem of skill dullness. The product range includes Resurfacing Micro Polish, Illuminating Serum, and Gel Cream. The ingredient formulation claims to boast a surface skin renewal process of 10 times which helps to achieve a smoother, brighter, and even tone.
However, the cleanser segment is projected to register the fastest growth during the forecast period with a CAGR of 6.1% from 2022 to 2030. Owing to its multi-functional benefits such as lightening discoloration, lessening pigmentation, and eliminating blemishes, all of which would further help in gaining traction amongst consumers. For instance, in December 2019, Astaberry Biosciences introduced a new whitening face wash for brighter and glowing skin. The product contains active natural ingredients such as mulberry and liquorice extracts which helps in deep cleansing, moisturizing, reducing tanning and improving skin complexion and texture.
Synthetic segment led the market and accounted for the largest market share in 2021. Chemical ingredients to de-pigment the skin are widely used in dermatology and cosmetics, which is also driving their usage in conventional products. Some of the chemicals used in these products include hydroquinone, retinoids, glycolic acid, and azelaic acid. These chemical ingredients help speed up the process of lightening owing to their strong effect on the skin. Although, the prolonged usage of such chemicals could pose a risk to the health of the skin. However, increased research and development of new chemical compounds for skin lightening products will continue to boost the segment across regions.
Natural segment is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 6.2% in the forecast period due to the increasing demand for chemical-free products. The shifting preference of consumers from synthetic to natural products owing to their considerable benefits with no side effects. For instance, in July 2020, Vestige launched Assure Natural, a vegan, cruelty-free, and natural personal care range that includes sunscreen, lightening cream, day cream, face scrub, charcoal peel-off mask, sleeping mask, and body mask. Furthermore, the growing demand for products with zero side effects and that are free of parabens and other harmful chemicals are expected to have a positive impact on the market.
Asia Pacific accounted for the maximum share of 54.8% in the global skin lightening products market in 2021. Major players in the region are adopting various strategies to gain maximum customer penetration in the country. For instance, in December 2020, L’Oréal SA signed an agreement to acquire Takami Co, a Japanese company that develops and markets the Takami skincare brand which offers Takami Whitening Cream SPF45 that can be used on part of the body. This acquisition was aimed at increasing customer base, product penetration, and visibility among consumers for both brands. Such expansion efforts by leading players will boost the market in the region in the forecast period.
North America is the second-fastest-growing market and is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.6% in the forecast period. The presence of established skin-lightening product manufacturers in North America, such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever, along with the growing infrastructure facilities for retailers, is expected to support the growth of the market in the region. Further, consumers from the U.S. and Canada are willing to pay a high price for a youthful appearance along with brighter and glowing skin. For instance, in March 2021, according to a SkinStore report, on average, Americans spend USD 322.88 on skincare per year. Hence, the market in the region will witness substantial growth in the foreseeable future.
The skin lightening products market is competitive with the presence of many global and regional players. These players are engaging in major acquisition, product launches, and promotional activities to increase their customer base and brand loyalty. Some of the initiatives are:
For instance, in February 2022, SkinCeuticals, a medical professional skincare brand, launched Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment. The Phyto portfolio includes Phyto Corrective Gel and Phyto Corrective Masque, which help deliver a brighter complexion to the consumers.
In December 2021, Skincare brand Refresh Skin Science, part of Visionary Skincare Pvt Ltd, was launched in the Indian market. The product line includes toners, anti-ageing serums, face serums, peeling solutions, and foaming cleansers oriented towards brightening, anti-ageing, dry and oily, pigmented, and acne-prone skin.
For instance, in September 2020, Kao USA Inc (Bioré) introduced the Bioré Brightening Collection, which includes a cleanser, exfoliator, mask, and pore strip and which is formulated with grapefruit, yuzu lemon, ginseng, papaya, and dragon fruit.
Some of the key players operating in the global skin lightening products market include:
Shiseido Co., Ltd.
Procter & Gamble
Himalaya Global Holdings Ltd.
Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.
Lotus Herbals Pvt. Ltd.
VLCC Health Care Limited
Avon Products, Inc.
Market size value in 2022
USD 10.57 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 16.14 billion
CAGR of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2017 - 2020
2022 - 2030
Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2022 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Product, nature, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa
U.S.; Germany; U.K.; China; Japan; Brazil
Key companies profiled
L’Oréal S.A.; Beiersdorf AG; Shiseido Co., Ltd.; Procter & Gamble; Unilever; Himalaya Global Holdings Ltd.; Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.; Lotus Herbals Pvt. Ltd.; VLCC Health Care Limited; Avon Products, Inc.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global skin lightening products market report based on product, nature, and region.
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2030)
Nature Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2030)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2030)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
b. Some key players operating in the skin lightening products market include Lâ€™OrÃ©al S.A.; Beiersdorf AG; Shiseido Co., Ltd.; Procter & Gamble; Unilever; Himalaya Global Holdings Ltd.; Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.; Lotus Herbals Pvt. Ltd.; VLCC Health Care Limited; and Avon Products, Inc.
b. Key factors that are driving the market growth include a rising inclination of consumers toward a specific solution to different skin problems, such as age spots or acne spot reduction.
b. The global skin lightening products market size was estimated at USD 9.96 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 10.57 billion in 2022.
b. The global skin lightening products market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 16.14 billion by 2030.
b. Asia Pacific dominated the skin lightening products market with a share of 54.8% in 2019. This is attributable to wider product availability, along with increased penetration of online as well as an offline channel for such products.
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