With its new Application Technology Laboratory in Nigeria BASF aims to supports customers in developing formulations for the needs of consumers in sub-Saharan Africa.

BASF’s Care Creations has officially opened its new Application Technology Laboratory for personal care and cosmetic products in Lagos, Nigeria. Part of BASF’s global application technology network in 21 countries, the new laboratory is part of BASF’s new regional headquarter for West Africa which was commissioned in Lagos in October last year and is at the pulse of one of the main sub-Saharan African personal care markets. BASF thus intends to offer a local technical service for African hair and skin care applications throughout sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the company strengthens its regional marketing and sales network.

Beyond formulation support, this new laboratory will allow BASF to expand and develop consumer-relevant claim support for the needs of consumers in sub-Saharan Africa.

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.

A promising market 

Nigeria is one of the fastest-growing beauty markets in sub-Saharan Africa. However, local hair and skin and thus consumers’ personal care regimens are widely different from many other regions, necessitating tailored cosmetic products.

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,” said BASF.

Dr. Dirk Mampe, Vice President Business Management Personal Care Solutions Europe, BASF; Mr. Lekan Ogunbowale, Director of Industry, Lagos State; Dr. Stefan Traumann, German Consul General; Mr. Donato Sudati, Head of Sales, Personal Care Europe, Emerging Markets, BASF; Mrs. Ijeoma Nwankwo, Director, Drug Evaluation & Research, NAFDAC; Dr. Jean-Marc Ricca, Managing Director, BASF West Africa.

As with hair, African skin types have distinct characteristics. According to BASF, differences include 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,” adds the company.

The opening of this laboratory is therefore an important step in the creation of both hair and skin care applications to answer specific needs and trends of African consumers.