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How the African Beauty trend is creating opportunities for market players

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Brands that recognise indigenous African beauty practices, and utilise natural ingredients and techniques, have an advantage.

‘African Beauty’ has emerged as a robust and contemporary trend within the beauty and personal care space on the continent, taking advantage of the reality that many international products are still failing to address the specific needs of African consumers.   

Seeing the gap in the market, several entrepreneurial brands are contributing to the African Beauty trend. They are doing so by creating specific customised solutions that not only address African skin tones and hair types, but promote indigenous beauty practices that utilise natural ingredients and techniques, reflecting the cultural importance and buoyancy of the African heritage.  

This is an opportunity that all our region’s beauty players should not miss! 

Despite increasing intra-African trade and cultural ties – as well as growing ties with the rest of the world – the continent is too often still regarded as a monolithic entity when it comes to the selling and marketing of beauty and personal care products.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

The reality, of course, is that ethnicities, perceptions of beauty, beauty traditions, and cultural norms vary widely and constantly evolve. Each of the 54 countries has its own practices and preferences. As such, ‘African Beauty’ innovation must not only address the specific characteristics of skin tones and hair types, but embrace the traditions of the various countries as well.   

Utilising natural ingredients that have been used for centuries 

One of the ways in which beauty players are doing this is by utilising natural ingredients that have been used for centuries by African woman as part of their beauty regime. Examples include shea butter in West Africa and argan oil in North Africa.   

Shea Moisture, a brand which was founded by a Sierra Leonean refugee in the early 1900s, has capitalised on this by creating a line of hair and skin care products using shea butter and black castor oil.  

These natural ingredients – still sourced from women’s co-operatives in northern Ghana – are gaining global attention as they are considered sustainable, ethical and effective in everyday use. 

Similarly, Kui Care is an emerging Kenyan brand that has a strong focus on formulating products specific to African hair.  

A key priority for the brand is utilising natural ingredients such as tea tree oil and cinnamon, while at the same time celebrating African culture and heritage through their brand and packaging.   

You will find this story, and much more, in Issue 1 2024 of Strategic Marketing for Africa – the voice of African marketing and the official publication of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC). 

Read it online or download it here. A print edition of the magazine is also available.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.