Lu sur le net – L’obsession des Asiatiques pour la peau blanche

Voici quelques extraits intéressants (en anglais) d’un article d’aujourd’hui du Wall Street Journal.

From Tokyo to Mumbai to Shanghai, the skin-whitening industry is booming.

In Japan, Asia’s biggest market for skin whiteners, the fascination with pale skin dates back to at least the sixth century. Bihaku—or « beautiful white » in Japanese—came back into vogue in the 1990s amid a flurry of development of anti-aging and whitening substances by cosmetics firms.

In some cases, it is hard to avoid substances added to skin-care products to lighten skin tones. More than 41% of facial moisturizers sold in Japan last year contained skin lighteners, on a retail value basis, according to Euromonitor. Skin lighteners made up roughly 20% of all skin-care products sold, says market-research firm Fuji Keizai.

While Japan spends the most money on whiter skin, making it the world’s biggest market for skin lighteners on a revenue basis, China and India are catching up fast, and will drive the global market to grow by 13% a year, according to Global Industry Analysts.

The Indian market for skin-whitening products is likely to grow by more than 8% in two years to about $428 million in 2013, or about half of an estimated $855 million market for facial-care products, according to Mintel, a market-research firm. « Fairness » is synonymous with beauty in much of India. In the matrimonial sections of the Sunday papers, prospective spouses regularly advertise their « fairness. »

But the obsession with white skin continues, and some industry watchers are skeptical that consumers will stop buying whitening products.

« Whiter skin just looks better on Japanese women, as it brings out the fineness in skin texture, » said Tokyo resident Yasumi Kawami, 33, who uses lightening products from Guerlain, a brand owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA. « People are not going to stop using bihaku products. »

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