Why beauty products get discontinued in SA

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


Nine years ago I used to blow my entire monthly beauty budget on my favourite M.A.C. lipstick. It was the perfect relationship – we worked together, partied together and never fought. Then one fateful December, I popped out to the Waterfront at lunchtime to get a new tube. When I couldn’t find it, I enquired at the counter. The lady beamed at me, told me it had been discontinued, but not to worry, she had a replacement colour.

A… replacement… colour! Was this woman high? And just like that, my trusty friendly lippie broke up with me – no call, no fax, not even a Post-It note.

I may sound overly dramatic, but I know I’m not alone. There are many who collectively mourn the loss of discontinued products every year – from that lip ice you can’t live without, the make-up remover that wouldn’t quit on your worst mascara disasters and your signature scent.

What to do when your favourite beauty product is discontinued? Some people dig out every scrap from the bottom of the tube or tub and savour that last bittersweet moment of bliss. Others spend hours scouring different branches of Clicks or Dis-Chem and some write to us in desperation, asking for help. More than 20 of you have written to us in the past two weeks about the Like Silk brand going AWOL.

Dear Joan, It’s not you, it’s me…

In the interest of beauty public service, we reached out to the industry to find out why brands or products get discontinued. Most were reluctant to share. Thankfully, Laura Nel, Head of Communication and Public Affairs for Johnson & Johnson was happy to answer our questions. First we wanted to know why it happens. “Usually, it is because a product is not performing well and clearing the minimum annual sales hurdle,” she says. It’s inefficient and costly for companies to keep something in stock if it’s not selling briskly.

“It could also be that there is a new and improved item planned to replace the current product or range,” she continues. Shops don’t always have space for old and new products, so they’ll want the manufacturer to discontinue the old before introducing the new.

“In other instances, which is common at J&J, some things are discontinued because they no longer meet the ever changing regulations for ingredients.  If our products contain parabens or ingredients on a ‘banned’ list, we have an ethical duty to discontinue them or replace them with compliant formulations,” says Laura.

The decision isn’t taken lightly. “The process at J&J involves an annual review of a brand portfolio. Items that no longer clear the sales hurdle, are identified as at risk of discontinuation. If there is an opportunity to drive sales or improve costs to avoid discontinuing the product, this is implemented,” she adds.

Sometimes a brand pulls out of South Africa or the local manufacturers have not renewed the license due to the Rand taking a pounding. Or a big corporation buys out a smaller one and makes their product range for a very short period before shelving poor sellers and developing new formulas. Finally, some brands issue limited-edition ranges. So if you fall in love with one of those, best you stock up.

Where does that leave you? If you’re willing to fork out the hefty import tax, you can buy from overseas sites. But won’t you run the risk of buying a grey product? Not necessarily, Laura says. “From a J&J perspective, it would be an authentic product.” The product might be taken out of a certain market because of how it sells there. “So if a Clean & Clear product is discontinued in South Africa, it isn’t always discontinued globally as well.”

There you have it. And now for a list of brands and products that we know have been discontinued in South Africa. If there’s anything else, let us know in the comments and we’ll verify and add. Sharing is caring, beauties – especially when you’re nursing a broken beauty brand heart.

Brands that have said bye-bye to SA:

House of Gallia
I Love… Cosmetics
Like Silk
Model Co Range
Revlon Charlie Skin and Make-up range (but you may still find some stock in stores)
Sleek MakeUp
Sunsilk Hair Care Range
St Tropez Tanning Products
Twisted Sista Hair Care range

Products that have been discontinued:

Beauty Magic Cleansing Face Wash
Beauty Magic Facial Bar
Beauty Magic Mattifying Moisturiser
Catrice Blush Artist Shading Palette
Catrice Sand Nudes Eyeshadow Palette
Catrice Even Skin Tone Beautifying Foundation
Catrice Jet Lash Speed Volume Mascara
Catrice Absolute Rose Eyeshadow Palette
Catrice Photo Finish 18h Liquid Foundation
Catrice Nude Illusion Make Up
Catrice Defining Duo Blush
Catrice Gel Eye Liner Brush
Catrice Smokey Eye Set
Catrice Absolute Eye Colour Quattro
Catrice Intensif’eye Wet and Dry Shadow
essence silky touch blush
essence lipstick
essence colour & go quick drying nail polish
essence my skin tinted moisturizer
essence pure satin skin natural cover moisturizer
essence make-up to match
essence gel eyeliner
essence souffle touch blush
essence eyebrow tweezers
essence multi-action false lashes mascara
essence studio nails kit
Eucerin 48hr Anti-perspirant Roll-on
Eucerin 24hr Deodorant Sensitive Skin Roll-on
Garnier BB Cream in Dark
Garnier Anti-Age Cream in Medium
Lip Ice Medicated and Orange flavour
Maybelline Great Lash Lot of Lashes Mascara in Blackest Black
Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara in Brownish Black
Maybelline Master Duo 2-In-1 Liquid Liner
Maybelline Define-A-Line Pencil Eyeliner in Ebony Black and Brownish Black
Maybelline Define-A-Lash Lengthening Washable Mascara in Brown
Maybelline The Colossal Kajal Eye Liner in Turquoise
Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Light, Light/Medium, Medium/Deep
Maybelline New York Super Stay 24Hr Makeup in Caramel/ Chestnut, Hazelnut and Cocoa
Maybelline Color Sensational Velvet Matte Lipstick in Coral
Maybelline SuperStay24H Dual Ended Lipstick in Red Passion and Soft Taupe
Maybelline Superstay24H Ultimate Red Lipstick 575 Always Crimson
Rimmel 425 lipstick in Plum Paradise
Yardley CC Cream
Yardley Colour Eye Make-up Remover
Yardley Colour Quick Dry and Stayfast Nails
Yardley Colour Radiant Glow Illuminator
Yardley Curvilicious Lashes
Yardley Supermoist Lipsticks
Yardley Uplift Maxx Foundations
Yardley Oatmeal Foundation Oily
Yardley Oatmeal Combination Night Cream

Products that have been discontinued and replaced with something new:

Everysun Anti Age Face Protect SPF 30 and SPF40 have been discontinued and replaced with Everysun Anti Age Face SPF50.
Tropitone Waterbabies Range has been discontinued. It’s now part of Everysun brand.
Garnier Hydra Match moisturisers have been discontinued and replaced with Garnier Moisture+ moisturisers.
Johnson’s African Nurture range has been discontinued and replaced with the Vita-Rich Body Care Range.
Nair Brazilian Spa Clay range has been discontinued and replaced with the Nair Argan Oil Range.
Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation has been discontinued and replaced with Rimmel Fresher Skin Foundation
Schwarzkopf Gliss Marrakesh and Liquid Silk have been discontinued and replaced with Hydra Miracle and Magnificent Strength.
Yardley CC Cream foundations have been discontinued and replaced with Yardley Even Complexion Foundations.
Yardley Mascara Lash Plumper have been discontinued and replaced with Yardley Multi Effect Mascara

Brands that have a site which list discontinued items and help you find a replacement:

Maybelline South Africa. Go here to check in future.

Brands that just got a make over and fab new packaging:

Biosense Hair Care Range
Celltone Sunscreen


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  1. DIVA

    It’s really sad when they discontinue our favorite products and they don’t even notify us. Garnier also discontinued their dark spots corrector, it worked like magic.

    5 months ago •

  1. Chandni Jivan

    I was so disappointed when the Everysun face cream was discontinued.. It was the only face cream I used and it was difficult to change to something new and get used to a new product

    11 months ago •

  1. Demishka Maharaj

    I personally feel a lot of brands are stepping away or just completely closing doors because of the issue of fake products.

    11 months ago •

  1. Fouzia Damon

    I am to upset about the Garnier BB cream dark this was an essential product thay was always in my make up bag , It gave me that coverage I needed on a day to day basis without applying foundation , it was affordable I was very upset when i could no longer find this product instore

    1 year ago •

  1. Vanashree Coopa

    From the first I tried the ‘Garnier BB Cream in Dark’, I feel in love with the product. So much so that my high end Foundations, concealers and powders were abandoned. Finally I found a product that gave me the cover I needed without feeling plastered. An amazing product that is affordable and last so long. It breaks my heart that it’s been discontinued.

    2 years ago •

  1. Fana_kw Karani-wookey


    2 years ago •

  1. Humaira Motala

    Its really heartbreaking when u find out that the products you love get discontinued

    2 years ago •

  1. Gerda Fourie

    I have been using Maybeline Lipstick 210. Love it. Apparently, it has been discontinued! Very sad. Please advise a colour similar that I can get.Thank you.

    2 years ago •

  1. Tembisa Maqungu

    My heart still bleeds for Maybelline Great lash lots of lashes

    2 years ago •

  1. Diana Van Den Berg

    Thank goodness for all the other products to try out there, one tends to get stuck on what you love using.

    2 years ago •

  1. Thamsyn Goldstein

    Thank you for this article it answered many questions I have been asking on my search for the Garnier BB Cream – Original/Classic range. I do think it has been replaced with a new formula which I have tried and an not very happy with. The new formula has hints of pomegranate but has made skin very oily and even caused a rash. So I am truly sad to see my trusted BB friend leave, I guess the hunt for a new brand begins.

    2 years ago •

  1. Mialise Tolmie

    It’s really sad to say goodbye to your favourite product when it has been discontinued. Luckily there are so many options out there to try

    2 years ago •

  1. Linell Nyakutsikwa

    Tommy Hilfiger True Star perfume; a to die for scent. Loved it whole-hardheartedly. I went as far as contacting Tommy Hilfiger USA and too bad that perfume was discontinued…I cannot seem to find anything next to the aquatic fresh and fruity sweet notes of melon, aldehydes, citrus, honeysuckle and sensual musk scent.

    2 years ago •

  1. Linell Nyakutsikwa

    I used to swear by the Yardley Oatmeal Foundation for Oily Skin, it just worked for me and was affordable. I guess it was not doing well on the market.

    2 years ago •

  1. Sandra Phoma

    I was gutted when Sleek left SA. Right now I am just wishing that LA Girl extends its range in SA. I have learned to make peace with not finding what I want on the shelves and look for it online. I don’t know what I would do without online shopping.

    3 years ago •

    1. BeautySouthAfrica

      Hi there. I think it’s been replaced with the Rimmel Oh My Gloss range that retails for R89.95. Will double check for you in the new year. xoxo

      3 years ago •

  1. Arlene Beukes

    As the ultimate perfume aficionado, I have a list as long as my arm of exquisite scents that have been discontinued. Perfumes can transport us back to certain periods of our lives and remind us of loved ones, living and passed. When a favorite scent is discontinued it’s truly heartbreaking.

    3 years ago •


    I was devastated when they discontinued one of Avon’s face scrubs. They one they replaced it with was not nearly so good. I don’t understand why they would discontinue a product that was in such high demand.

    3 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    what is happening with Maybelline and Yardley?

    3 years ago •

  1. Salmaa Moosa

    My skin works so well with the ISDIN foto protector fusion fluid, however I can’t seem to find it anywhere!!! :(

    3 years ago •

  1. Amanda Dugmore

    It is distressing to find out your favorite Maybelline mascara is on its way out because now it is extra effort to try and find a similar product with the same effect. And nobody has time to aimlessly wander the aisles at Dis-Chem or any other cosmetic store to try out a new product which can only be tested once you actually bought it and use after opening for the first time. I have been down that path a good few times and it is a money wasting situation. But if you arm yourself with tons of patience and a nice smile, you may be able to cut the whole process short by asking the shop assistants to try and find testers before spending the money. Not always possible, but worth a try.

    3 years ago •

  1. Hester Kriel

    Revlon Charlie Skin and Make-up range was my favorite. Very affordable. Such a disappointment to see the brand said goodbye to SA.

    3 years ago •

  1. Cookie Nandlall

    My daughter used to use Olay uneven tone products. I was told it has been discontinued and cannot find it in any store locally. She was disappointed because this product worked best for her.

    3 years ago •

  1. Megan Honicke

    It’s utterly heartbreaking when one of your ride or die products get discontinued and it always feels like the biggest mission to find a replacement, but I think it’s great that Maybelline has a list of discontinued products that also gives you possible replacements. I think more brands/companies should consider doing something similar.

    3 years ago •

  1. Zanele Mondi

    It’s a great thing that products get discontinued otherwise we would be stuck with products that don’t actually help. I wish that the beauty brands would launch new products more frequently in SA though.

    3 years ago •

  1. samantha.m87

    Was actually looking to try out the Revlon Charlie foundation at Clicks but the online store states that it is “out of stock”. Still keeping my fingers crossed that it will be restocked though.

    3 years ago •

    1. Zanele Mondi

      Seems like they are discontinuing the Charlie brand slowly these days.

      3 years ago •

  1. Gervase

    I loved Kaleidoscope L.D.T. – Look Don’t Touch by Lenthéric. They have introduced an entirely new range but none of them smell as good as my fav perfume. It had this absolutely sweet smell which I loved. When I couldn’t find it on any of the shelves over five years ago I actually called Lenthéric and was told that it had been discontinued. I now have a small bit of perfume which I uncap and sniff once in a while.

    3 years ago •

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