KATHMANDU: With the weather turning hot and dry, our skin is left to bear the brunt of harsh UV rays and pollutants, often resulting in a host of problems such as pigmentation, dark and uneven skin tone, dryness, wrinkles and even skin cancer. However, the market is now replete with skincare products that effectively deal with such nuisances. Brands such as L'Oréal Paris, Nivea and Malibu are luring Nepali consumers at present.
L'Oréal Paris, a world renowned cosmetics brand, has been catering to all aspects of beauty care for over a century now. Ashok Agrawal, managing director of Elegance, an authorised distributor for L'Oréal Paris in Nepal, introduced the brand in the country in 1998. Among its numerous sunscreens, L'Oréal Paris UV Perfect is reportedly an immediate and long lasting protective shield that prevents premature ageing, brown spots, and skin darkening. Mexoryl SX and XL filters block UV rays from penetrating the skin and Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 50 and SPF 30 protect the skin against sunburn from UVB rays, while PA+++ prevents UVA rays from causing permanent skin damage. The formula is also enriched with Detoxyl to inhibit pollutants. UV Perfect is available in three variants: apricot or beige tint for an even complexion, purple tint for an anti-dullness look and transparent or non-tinted for a fair skin tone and it costs Rs 875 for 30 ml bottle.
Another product from the brand is L'Oréal Paris Solar sunscreen, which is available in SPF 20, 25 and 30 and is priced at Rs 1,200. Similarly, L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Restore 10, especially developed for women above 30, tackles skin problems such as wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, dull complexion, and dryness and costs Rs 1,225. The brand also offers L'Oréal Paris Men Expert, which contains SPF 20 with mela-no block and is priced at Rs 1,035.
Stating that L'Oréal Paris has its specific clientele, Agrawal maintains, “We are not threatened by counterfeit products, because they can never match the effectiveness of the original ones.” He suggests customers to purchase products from trusted outlets after adequate research, without relying too much on what shopkeepers have to say. L'Oréal claims to enjoy 40 to 60 per cent of the domestic cosmetic product market share. According to Agrawal, there is an annual growth of 20 per cent in demand for their products.
Another brand which has always had a foothold in the domestic market is Nivea. A renowned brand from Germany, Nivea has been in Nepal for the last 35 years. Nivea has an array of sun blocks — for normal skin, in whitening extract and for kids — in SPF 20, 30, 35 and 50.
The brand also has a range of sunscreen with low SPF of 6 and 10 named Nivea Sun Light Feeling Sun Lotion, priced at Rs 330 and Rs 380
respectively, which is pop-ular amongst tourists visiting the country and patients suffering from skin problems. Kishor Haldar, sales executive at Holy Nepal Enterprises, authorised distributor for Nivea, states, “Nivea products are very effective, as they have been especially developed for Asian skin.”
According to him, demand soars from March to August. However, Haldar complains that they are unable to meet the required demand because of political instability, strikes and influx of duplicate products. He says counterfeit products under the same brand name have killed 20 per cent of their market share and blames this on the government’s weak monitoring system. He advises buyers to purchase products from trusted outlets, besides inspecting manufacturing and expiry date, skin type and suitable SPF while purchasing sunscreen products. Depending upon the SPF, Nivea sunscreens cost from Rs 315 to Rs 500. According to Haldar, SPF 20 sunscreen products are the most popular, as they are suitable for Nepal’s climate. The comp-any claims to enjoy 70 per cent market share for sunscreens.
Malibu, a brand of sun protection products man-ufactured under the European Cosmetics Directive, is also gaining gradual popularity. Its sole domestic authorised distributor is Nepal Overseas Marketing Pvt Ltd (NOMPL). Ramesh Khetan, CEO of NOMPL, claims, “The product has been successful due to reasonable pricing and suitability for all skin types.” The products are available from SPF 12 to 50 in 200 ml and 100 ml bottles and cost between Rs 400 to Rs 800. Khetan says, “Our products enjoy five per cent market share.” Adding that there is tough competition, he maintains, “There are many brands to choose from, so customers are dispersed and do not stick to one product.” According to him, Malibu is making inroads into the market share of other brands as it is clinically tested and also recommended by dermatologists.