Throwback Thursday: Nostalgic beauty products of the old

By Abimbola Mohammed

The use of cosmetics has been around for centuries. For example, the history of beauty products can be traced to 4,000BC when ancient Egyptians used dark eyeliner, while Europeans used foundation and blush to create a smooth and poreless appearance. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the beauty industry became an important and viable career path for women, especially African-American women, who created products designed specifically for differently textured hair.

Today, the worldwide beauty industry, which covers everything from hair and skin care to makeup, is an estimated $425 billion industry. The history of the beauty industry is as diverse and colourful as the lipsticks and nail polishes on display at your local make-up counter.

According to Cosmetic Scientists of Nigeria (NICOS), the sector recorded a turnover of N1.034 trillion in this year with mass beauty/personal care controlling 45.5 percent or N470 billion in absolute figures. Skincare followed with N128 billion. The value of Nigeria’s cosmetic retail sales grew by an average of 14.5 percent last year and added hundreds of billions of naira to the economy.

The report covers 11 sub-categories of cosmetics, including mass beauty/personal care, skincare, hair care, deodorants, bath/shower, and men’s grooming. Others are baby care, oral care, fragrances, premium beauty/personal care, and sun care.

Having said this, it is only good to mention a few of those beauty products that bring some of our childhood memories:

Stella Pomade: from the stables of PZ Cussons Nigeria pioneering and leading brands in the skincare category. It would be recalled that Stella Pomade once occupied the position Vaseline is occupying in the marketplace today, if not a better one, with the product going as far as being an item on the Bridal List in certain parts of Eastern Nigeria. This brand stood out on market shelves for over three decades and served homes in Nigeria and neighbouring African countries.

Jet cream: Formulated with the most medically advanced, active organic ingredients, Jet was almost found in every home at a time in Nigeria but the story has changed as it’s not even on the shelves anymore.

Venus: made by PZ Cussons had earlier gone underground for many years but the manufacturers say Venus is returning to its status as a dominant cosmetic in Nigeria’s beauty care market. Even though the cream was re-launched into the market it wasn’t like the old Venus cream used by many Nigerians in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Tura: a Moisturising Body Lotion that was reputed to restore softness. Tura   established in 1986, is one of Nigeria’s leading beauty companies with a sales network achieving over 70% net distribution reach. Currently, the company manufactures and distributes a range of products, including soaps, moisturising lotions, and skin-toning creams.

Morgan Pomade: Established in London in 1873 the name Morgan’s is famous throughout the World. Award-winning manufacturer of the highest quality men’s hair, beard, after-shave, and spa products. They also produce a range of women’s hair and beauty products

Vaseline: made by Unilever is an American brand of petroleum jelly-based products owned by transnational company Unilever. Products include plain petroleum jelly and a selection of skin creams, soaps, lotions, cleansers, and deodorants. The Vaseline brand was built on the healing efficacy of Vaseline Jelly. Formulated in 1870, this “Wonder Jelly” has been healing dry skin for over 150 years.  Today, what started with a jar of Vaseline Healing Jelly has grown into an expansive product portfolio that includes Vaseline Intensive Care Lotions and Vaseline Lip Therapy tins. However, The Healing Power of Vaseline Jelly can still be found inside the products that Vaseline makes. We invite you to go back in time and learn the origins of the Vaseline brand, and how after a century of healing it became one of the most celebrated skincare brands around the world.

AVA Toilet Soap: The famous toilet soap was produced by PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc. In the ’90s the soap was popular and used in almost every home because of its nice fragrance and to top it all the commercial of the soap was one that many people loved.

The 1990s AVA toilet soap commercial was a hit not only because the model was (extremely) pretty (it felt that way at the time) with very long hair. Some of us got a feeling that the toilet soap made her hair longer. The commercial opens with the model diving into a swimming pool and splashing around, afterwards she returns to take her bath with AVA toilet soap, lathers and takes a shower delicately working from way up, and she finishes her bath and joins friends/family to welcome guests. The man later moves extremely close to her to take in her freshness/catch a whiff of her presumably fresh scent.

Nixoderm Skin Ointment: is used for the treatment, control, prevention, & improvement of acne and fungal infections of skin Skin diseases, Dandruff e.t.c





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