BASF’s Care Creations™ has yesterday officially opened its new Application Technology Laboratory for personal care in Lagos, Nigeria. With the establishment of local competence in application and formulation technology, BASF commissioned its local technical service for African hair and skin care applications throughout sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the company strengthens its network of local expertise in marketing and sales in the region.
“Customized solutions meeting the specific requirements of consumers in different markets are key for business growth. With our broadened presence and the investment in a new Application Laboratory in sub-Saharan Africa, we can provide on-site technical expertise and market insights to our customers and support the local development of tailor-made products for the specific needs of African hair and skin,” said Dirk Mampe, Vice President Business Management Personal Care Solutions Europe.
Providing service and expertise in a promising market
Hair and skin and thus consumers’ personal care regimens vary widely across regions, necessitating tailored cosmetic products. The new state-of-the-art Application Laboratory in Nigeria is designed to offer formulation support and, based on BASF’s deep global expertise in hair and skin care performance testing, to expand and develop consumer-relevant claim support for the needs of consumers in sub-Saharan Africa. The laboratory is part of BASF’s new regional headquarter for West Africa which was commissioned in Lagos in October last year. As one of the fastest-growing beauty markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is well-suited as a regional hub for BASF’s personal care business. “The expansion of BASF’s operations in West Africa, including the opening of this new Personal Care Application Laboratory, clearly demonstrates BASF’s commitment to West Africa and the confidence we have in Nigeria and the whole region,” said Jean Marc Ricca, Managing Director for BASF West Africa.
Solutions for the specific needs of African hair and skin
The new laboratory is also part of BASF’s global application technology network in 21 countries. Being at the pulse of the sub-Saharan African personal care market, the local BASF team will support customers in the creation of both hair and skin care applications for African consumers to answer specific needs and trends. The unique African hair is typified by kinks and coils along the hair shaft, an elliptical cross-section, and fewer cuticle layers than other hair types. These characteristics make natural African hair more difficult to comb through and prone to breakage, necessitating a tailored care regimen to maintain healthy hair. Popular styles such as natural afro hair, chemically-relaxed hair, dreadlocked hair and the usage of styling tools, e.g. flat irons, also call for specialty products. As with hair, African skin types have distinct characteristics such as a relatively high amount of protective melanin, skin lipids and sebum secretion, and a comparatively large pore area. An intensive and gentle cleansing combined with suitable skin care products can improve the skin texture by supporting the balance between moisture and sebum production.