write in Cosmetic Dermatology,A team of researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis exploring the quality of life of cosmetic users from eight Arab countries in the Middle East. The study was conducted between June and November 2021 among adults in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Most were women (71.38%), singles (52.63%) and college graduates (70.94%).
The results showed that the broader liberalization push among Arab populations meant that more women – especially single women – were interested in what cosmetics could do for their appearance and sense of well-being.
Attractiveness and desirability are the key to beauty ME
The study found that the two main reasons why Arab women applied cosmetics were to enhance their attractiveness and desirability and to increase their self-confidence. And one of the most powerful cosmetic uses for boosting self-confidence was to correct hair and skin problems often caused by the desert climates of the Middle East.
“Most countries in the Middle East have extreme weather conditions with summers with intense heat waves and humidity, leading to excessive sweating and skin sensitivities,”Dr. Ali Haider, Principal Investigator from the School of Pharmacy at Monash University in Malaysia, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
“When they find perfumes and antiperspirants that work optimally for them, they would be more confident and comfortable in social settings,” said Haider.
However, when considering five quality of life domains defined by the study – social life, self-confidence, mood, energy and attractiveness – the study found that cosmetics did not contribute much to overall quality of life (QOL) among Middle Eastern beauty consumers.
Multinational Marketing Doesn’t Always Connect
The results also showed that the marketing claims and campaigns of multinational cosmetic companies that may have been very successful in Western countries were not always reaching out to Arab women, especially those with dry or dark skin. .
“The use of cosmetics among the Arab population should be from an informed perspective of their specific needs instead of conforming to the viral trends cycled by influencers and bloggers on social media, which might not be relevant to them, wrote the researchers.
Western-style campaigns that linked cosmetic use to ethereal quality-of-life gains had limited appeal with Arab women, but more nuanced campaigns had huge potential, they said.
Dr Aider added: “If luxury brands can adapt to the local market, they could dominate local brands.”
“Cosmetic users are always on the lookout for products that are known to be the most effective and have a good reputation, so they might be tempted to switch from local brands to these luxury brands,” he said.
Based on the findings, brands that failed to deeply understand regional skin tone and type, as well as fragrance preferences, would struggle to gain visibility and traction in the Middle East. East, he said.
Surprising tones: pigments matter
Dr Haider said the findings of the skin pigmentation study surprised his team.
“Results of the study indicate that skin tone plays an important role in cosmetic users, where users’ skin tone brightens from less fair to very fair – by applying cosmetics – their five areas quality of life increase”,Haider said.
“Surprisingly, it seems that the mistaken belief that one complexion is better than the other still exists. In contrast, very fair-skinned Western women tend to tan their skin as much as they can to look prettier and more attractive.
Middle Eastern cosmetics users were also generally older than Western cosmetics users – with an average age of 34 compared to 24 in the West – as they tended to gain a sense of independence and empowerment at an age more advanced. And that meant they were open to “experimenting with different cosmetics,” According to the study, uses become priorities as they age, especially products targeting the effects of aging.
The study also detected an urban versus provincial bias.
“Urban residents also use significantly more cosmetics than rural residents and this is partially influenced by the proximity to shopping malls and the increased interest in hygiene and aesthetics, which is popular in urban residences,”wrote the researchers.
Source: Log ofCosmetic Dermatology
Published online ahead of print doi: 10.1111/jocd.15085
Title: “Exploring the quality of life of cosmetics users: a cross-sectional analysis of eight Arab countries in the Middle East“
Authors: Ali Haider Mohammed MD et al.