Cosmetics have very similar attributes to pharmaceuticals. In vibrant and large markets such as Nigeria and Ghana, cosmetics have a very significant market presence. Nigeria for example has an estimated $2 Billion a year cosmetics market.

This has also proven to be a favorite spot for counterfeiters. Anything from skin toners, or creams that even skin complexion, to makeup kits, powders and deodorants are all being widely counterfeited. This led to quite a few brands seeking better ways to protect their products, since changing packaging frequently always confused customers and retailers alike.

Premium indigenous brands like Tracia Lightening Cream, manufactured in the Eastern side of Nigeria in Onitsha have successfully used mPedigree to drastically reduce counterfeits by allowing buyers to check before buying. Fake versions of the cream, originating from China have been easily identified and flushed out of the market, since customers could determine the fakes through a simple text message.

Popular brands such as Beauty Fair, among a myriad others have benefitted from mPedigree’s EarlySensor technology to trace fakers in Lagos and identify their modes of operation, through the use of the Goldkeys portal from mPedigree. Till date, over 20 brands of personal care, beauty and skin products in Nigeria are protected by mPedigree. In Ghana, two leading brands of female skin and beauty products, Black Secrets and Sleek Cosmetics use mPedigree to protect whole ranges of products.

The situation in Ghana was no different. Bernard King, the CEO of Sleek Cosmetics said “I used to get requests from some of my retailers and clients who would bring purported products of mine and ask for similar colors or shades. I realized that these were colors I did not make, and that’s what opened my eye to notice that there were a lot of fakes of my product in town”. The biggest problem is that the quality of materials used for the fake versions might not be good, and might even be harmful for the skin or have toxic elements, thus causing potential danger for unknowing customers.

mPedigree is very committed to a strong and vibrant personal and beauty care industry, which Africa-wide is growing by an average of between 5 – 10% annually. The opportunities in this industry can only be safeguarded by proactive consumer action that will allow for consumers to be able to distinguish very easily and intuitively a fake version of a product and an original one.