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Filipinos Spend Big on Skin Whiteners

Inquirer.net, Posted: Feb 03, 2010

Whats the price of having white skin? Many Filipinos will spare no expense to have whiter skin. Thats why store shelves are flooded with whitening productsfrom soaps to creams and powders. It goes without saying that the Filipino cultures standards of beauty favor lighter skin--the "mestisa madness."

Spanish colonialism ended a hundred years ago, but now, under the spell of American commercialism many Filipinos are still obsessed with having whiter skin.

In 2004, when the skin whitening industry was just an emerging market, journalist Tina Arceo-Dumlao wrote in A Whiter Shade of Pale: Skin Whitening Products in Asia," that Local companies in Asia were among the first to tap into the whitening segment of the skin care market in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But multinational companies quickly got on the bandwagon when they saw the dizzying double-digit sales growth enjoyed by the companies that went ahead." She cited a study done by market research company Synovate that revealed that two out of five women in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan feel they are more attractive with fair complexions."

Synovates survey results also highlighted the fact that the Philippines had the highest usage among the countries included in the survey, with one out of two women saying they use skin whitening products, followed by Hong Kong with 45 percent, Malaysia with 41 percent and Taiwan with 37 percent.

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