The African beauty industry is rapidly embracing the use of natural products as is the case in South Africa.
The industry is the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to L’Oreal, with a market value of 3 billion Euros in 2012.
This is mostly due to its wide variety of products that include most major international brands.
“I think black South African women are becoming, are more educated as a consumer group and they are becoming more interested about what am I putting on my face, what am I putting on my body, what am I eating, what am I putting into my hair?,” said the owner of Corium Naturals, Vuyi Zondi.
Though the industry is thriving, it is also under pressure to create more products for black women, who have long been forced to fit in to western standards where white skin and straight hair are the hallmark of beauty.
“There was a demand from my customers saying we want to use more natural products such as your African soap, your turmeric soap and so forth,” said Boipelo Nkadimeng, co-owner of Studio Moma.
“Nigerians eat beauty up. I think in the makeup industry and the natural industry they kill us hands down but South African women are huge consumers of beauty products. Black women in particular, love beauty products and just love taking care of themselves as well. So, I think, it’s a force. The beauty industry in Africa is probably one of the biggest industries and it’s going to continue to grow,” said Mathebe Molise, a beauty product distributor and owner of Beauty on Tapp.
The natural movement frenzy can only mean that more and more African women are becoming increasingly conscious about how they take care of their skin and hair and as a result are slowly turning to natural alternatives to cut out harsh chemicals.