BASF clinical study to boost sub-Saharan African beauty growth

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

BASF's 28-day study has demonstrated efficacy of anti-oil ingredient on African skin (Getty Images)
BASF's 28-day study has demonstrated efficacy of anti-oil ingredient on African skin (Getty Images)

Related tags BASF Active ingredients sebum production Oily skin African skin customised cosmetics anti-inflammatory Personal care Skin care efficacy

Specialty chemicals major BASF wants to develop more customised personal care products for African skin types and its latest efficacy study shows promise for its active ingredient on oily skin.

The German-headquartered firm conducted a placebo-controlled study in Mauritius on its Bix’Activ ingredient – a natural extract of seeds from the Red Lip Tree (Bixa Orellana), ​touted for decreasing sebum production, hyper-keratinization and inhibiting the virulence of germs triggering inflammation.

BASF conducted an in vivo​ study in an Asian population last year, showing the active ingredient decreased sebaceous gland activity, pore size and skin imperfections. This latest study aimed to prove efficacy in African skin types.

“While 35% of people worldwide grapple with oil skin, the topical solutions available are often not suitable for African type of skin. This skin type not only tends to produce more sebum, it also has a different composition of sebum and skin lipids, and shininess can be more pronounced. Therefore, personal care products need to be customized to its unique requirements,”​ the company said.

Decreased sebum, reduced shininess

The 28-day study was conducted on 29 black subjects presenting with shiny skin, aged 19-40 years, phototype V and VI skin and a lipidic index of more than 100. A formulation containing 0.25% of Bix’Activ ingredient or a placebo formulation was applied to one side of the face by volunteers twice a day, under normal conditions of use.

Evaluations were conducted before and after the study duration, using Sebumeter to analyse anti-oil effects; Glossymeter to measure mattifying effects; Corneometry to look at skin hydration; and self-assessment for wider feedback.

Results showed a 44% decrease in sebum extraction on the skin surface and an 11% reduction in shininess, compared to the first day of the study. Self-assessment feedback also suggested an improvement in skin’s appearance – 93% perceived their skin to be less oily and 90% said it looked healthier.

African beauty - a wider strategy

BASF said developing “customised personal care products” ​for African skin types was part of the company’s wider strategy to develop “consumer-orientated” ​products for the sub-Saharan African beauty market.

Elke Weimann, senior marketing manager for BASF Personal Care Europe, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe these latest results would help.

“Selecting suitable active ingredients that are able to specifically target problems of African skin allow BASF to be more responsive to the African market,”​ Weimann told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

“Such customised and consumer-relevant efficacy studies, as conducted with Bix’Active, help to reach BASF’s strategic aim to strengthen customer focus in this region.”

BASF also recently opened an application lab for personal care in Nigeria to get closer to its customers in the market.

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