Research Outline

Bihaku (skin lightening) Industry Analysis


To analyze the Bihaku (skin lightening) industry for the purpose of building a product. Specifically, we will provide:
  • The market size in value and volume
  • Predictions
  • Competitors in that market
  • Countries/demographics
  • The current solutions for skin whitening
  • Risks and problems with existing solutions
  • The treatment/diagnosis process
  • The treatment duration and the LTV of a user.

Early Findings

Data Availability

  • The initial round of research indicates that data availability is adequate on this topic.

Skin Lighteners: Market Size and Growth

  • According to an industry report by Research and Markets, corroborated by Intrado Global Newswire and StrategyR, the global skin lighteners industry was estimated at $8.6 billion in 2020.
  • It is expected to reach $12.3 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 5.2%.
  • Lightening creams, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to grow at a 5.3% CAGR and reach $6.6 billion by the end of the forecast period.
  • The cleanser segment is also projected to grow at a revised CAGR of 5.9% from 2021-2027.
  • This segment currently accounts for a 20% share of the global Skin Lighteners market.
  • The US market was valued at $2.3 billion in 2020, which accounted for more than 27.1% of the global market size in 2020.
  • While China is forecast to grow at an 8% CAGR for 2020-2027, by 2027, the Chinese market will be worth $2.5 billion.
  • Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 2.9% and 4.7%, respectively, over the 2020-2027 period.
  • Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 3.3% CAGR, while the rest of the European market will hit $2.5 billion by the year 2027.

Top Industry Players

Other Helpful Findings

  • In 2012, a study showed that Bihaku products consist of over 210 billion yen in the domestic market.
  • Bihaku products are very popular in Japan and are sometimes considered “necessary” and used by most Japanese women.
  • The increase in the industry in Japan is attributed to the Japanese women who seek “Japanese whiteness,” which they claim adds traditional aesthetic value in Japan.
  • In “Cultivating Japanese Whiteness,” Mikiko Ashikari argues that Japan has its own skin identity and aesthetic values, in which whiter skin is preferred.
  • The purpose of using those Bihaku products is not to make their skin tone lighter than their “innate” complexion. Rather, skin-whitening in Japan is used to regain youth on their skin.


  • We focused the initial hour of research on providing the market size, growth rate (projections), top players, and insights into the regional skin lighteners industry.
  • Even though we were unable to find much information about "Bihaku," we were able to identify several industry reports containing information about the global skin lightening industry. However, additional research time is needed to provide the remaining information.
  • We also found a distinction between skin whitening and skin lightening.
  • While skin whitening is a treatment designed to give the users a skin tone lighter than the one they were born with, skin lightening is regarded as "a treatment designed to treat uneven skin caused by hyperpigmentation, such as sun damage or melasma."
  • Due to the difference in the two concepts, we also further research to analyze the global skin whitening industry.
  • For a deeper dive into the above-suggested research parts, we recommend further research. Details on our recommended research paths have been provided in our proposals below.