China, instead of manufacturing. Also, due to extra-lenient regulations from the SA government (if any, with reference to import taxes) with China, less and less development work is being done at the manufacturers. RS: The biggest impact of the pandemic is on consumer spend. A general trend to trading down has been observed. There is also a tendency to buy only what will be used immediately, and in some cases buying on e-platform saw good growth. Sales of sun care and colour cosmetic products was most definitely negatively impacted.

PC: What types of skin and hair products perform well in the SA market? JK: Given the sociodemographic mix of the South African population, only a relatively small percentage, approximately 20%, enjoy financial access to the prestige market and the popularity of cosmetic products therefore resides in the mass and masstige sectors. Consumers in this sector are still not particularly high-income earners from a global perspective, so the emphasis is on good quality, value-for- money products that meet the needs of the consumers in this sector. The ethnic mix of South Africa, with approximately 80% of the population being of African skin type, means that hair care products designed specifically for the needs of African hair are immensely popular and, as a result of this, the market is extremely competitive and fragmented. Strangely enough, the skin care sector has been much slower to respond to the specific needs of African skin and products aimed at Caucasian skin types still seem to predominate. Paradoxically,

this has created the need for the development of skin care products specifically designed for African skin types, which probably represents one of the most obvious sectors for potential growth in the future. BG: The SA personal care market is mainly comprised of products to the black, African ethnic group. The main skin care products are petroleum jellies and body lotions. With reference to hair care, the main sector of sales is for African hair, and products having most sales are shampoos and hair relaxers. However, because of the diversity of ethnicities, it is a highly fragmented market catering for African, Caucasian, Indian, and many mixed ethnicities. We have also seen a dramatic increase in products launched to cater for natural afro or curly hair. Hair treatment product launches are on the rise prior to Covid. This is also due to the fact that SA has a dramatically increasing group of consumers who are middle class spenders/consumers and have more disposable income, compared to some years ago. RS: The skin and hair care categories

were the least impacted, as it seems to have benefited from the self-care and DIY trends. Pick n’Pay reported a 92% increase in sales of hair colouring kits. Ethnic Hair Care also showed a sharp increase in sales, e.g. hair relaxers, conditioners, treatments and hair extensions. In the skin care category, sales of facial creams, cleansers and refreshers dominated.

PC: The country has a wealth of natural plant resources. Do these influence the types of ingredients used in products? JK: Ingredients derived from South African flora and fauna have, especially over the past few years, seen exponential growth in the cosmetic sector across all income and ethnic groupings. South Africa has a wealth of botanicals which offer enormous benefits for both hair and skin, and the advancement of the understanding of the phytochemistry associated with these materials has given rise to their use in the cosmetic, supplement and pharmaceutical sectors. The interest in African botanical extracts seems to grow on an almost daily basis, with many universities and academic establishments now involved in extensive research programs investigating these materials to try and identify the best candidates for use in both hair and skin care cosmetic products, with commensurate therapeutic benefits. BG: SA does have a wealth of natural plant botanicals, however, we still face rather big challenges with commercialising these botanicals. Cosmetic manufacturers still prefer to source raw materials that have thorough, certified specifications, to reduce risk of inconsistent batch quality from local farmers. The SA government has not provided


adequate grant funds to support growth of local botanical farmers.

PC: What types of ingredient technology are particularly exciting you currently? JK: Although often perceived as a third-world country, there is enormous interest in global cosmetic trends in South Africa and an inherent desire to bring those technologies and trends “home to Africa”! For example, prebiotics and probiotics, CBD and “dermo- cosmetics”, the latter bridging the gap between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are frequently spoken about as the successes of the future. Unfortunately, the difficulty in importing these trends and technologies into South Africa is only complicated even more by the very strict regulatory requirements that classify such products as drugs in the South African marketplace. BG: Particularly exciting for some time now (and definitely more launches will be happening) will be the greater focus on skin microbiomes, blue light technology ingredients and potent skin lighteners that have anti- inflammatory benefits.

PC: Could you tell us what topics you will be covering in our Digital Conference in September? JK: The Society of Cosmetic Chemists will host their online scientific conference on 8-9 September 2021. The theme is 2021 The Beauty Odyssey – Face -Off. The topic is a general theme which will run through the event. It relates to a beauty adventure

so really can cover any aspect from R&D to exciting development, to controversial ingredients, new concepts etc. Face-off can tie into cosmetic

application, natural, sustainable or Covid related items. (Masks, make up etc) PC

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