How beauty brands are helping during the coronavirus pandemic

beauty during covid19

With the Coronavirus pandemic continuing to drastically impact our lives, the thought of buying a lipstick during these scary times doesn’t come as a priority. With as much as 80% of beauty sales happening in stores when it comes to beauty products according to a 2018 study, the industry is undoubtedly suffering, with all non-essential shops closed during lockdown. 

Despite some brands reporting a considerable increase in online sales, there are multiple speculations on how shopping patterns will fluctuate when all lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Whilst protecting business is of the utmost importance, many brands have joined the collective effort of using their resources to help those in need, whether that meant using their factories to produce hand sanitiser, donating full ranges of hand creams, and even contributing to equipment such as ventilators and face masks.

Global company LVMH was one of the first to start using its perfume production lines from brands like Guerlain for the fabrication of anti-viral hand gel, which was donated for free to health authorities to combat the shortage. 

L’Oreal has also joined efforts by using the production lines of the infamous Garnier Micellar water to make hand sanitiser under the same brand, which is being donated to frontline retail staff, as well as being accessible to the public in stores. The company has also donated 1 million euros to the International Federation of the Red Cross. 

Global skincare brand Clarins is also producing hand sanitiser and hand creams for distribution to both French hospitals and NHS workers, and industry giant Coty is manufacturing hand gel and distributing it to those in need free of charge. 

Soap & Glory has partnered with The Hygiene Bank in an effort to combat hygiene poverty, and with every purchase, the brand donates a product percentage to the charity; supporting the same cause, Boots has 25 stores nationwide where customers can contribute with both money and unused products to help. 

L’Occitaine is providing free hand creams for NHS workers to help soothe dry hands caused by alcohol gels and Miller Harris is donating its entire stock of hand wash to vulnerable communities. 

The Estee Lauder Companies are, too, using their factories for the production of hand gel for medical staff and vulnerable members of the public, whilst the Body Shop is donating hygiene supplies to those in need. 

Dyson is using its electrical goods factories, normally designed for household electronics and clever hair tools, to produce ventilators for the NHS, and Treatwell, a beauty booking company, is donating protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and eyewear.

When it comes to period poverty, the shortage of sanitary products in stores caused by stockpiling has left many with no access products such as tampons and essential hygiene products. Period product brand Dame, selling organic tampons and reusable applicators, is donating free tampons to NHS frontline workers. 

Ohne is also delivering free tampons to NHS workers and offers 50 percent off its three-month subscription service to help combat the sanitary product crisis with the online discount code ‘STAYINGIN”. Bloody Good Period, a charity that helps fight period poverty, is campaigning for donations of period products for those who do not have access to them by asking people to ‘sponsor a period’ on its website.

Some brands are also prioritising supporting mental health; acknowledging the unavoidable drop in sales, This Works is using their customer service lines to support those feeling lonely during self isolation, and people can speak to their brand ambassadors with no obligation of purchase. 

Ormonde Jayne launched a charity set, ‘Thinking of You’, which can be gifted to family and friends; £5 is donated to the NHS Royal Free Charity for every three pieces sold.

Soapsmith gifts an NHS worker a bar of soap with every purchase to give them ‘a little of luxury’ says Sam Jameson, the brand’s owner.

Adam Reed London owned by the celebrity hairdresser with the same name was offering all NHS staff a free wash and blow-dry for free for as long as its doors remained open, in an attempt to help those who do not have the time to go home and give themselves a well-deserved pamper between shifts. 

Make-up artist Caroline Barnes is offering 1000 one-to-one virtual beauty consultations for NHS staff, with the help of 100 industry experts through an initiative called ‘NHS Morale Boost’.

These are just a few of the many examples showcasing the efforts manifested by the beauty industry to help fight Coronavirus and ensure NHS staff are getting rewarded for their consistent efforts, as well as vulnerable people receiving the help they need – all whilst putting a smile on our faces (and restoring our faith in humanity).

The Pandemic is, however, believed to impact the beauty industry drastically even when lockdown restrictions are lifted. Many consumers turned to online shopping both to distract themselves and stock on essentials; there has been an abundance of online offers to boost beauty sales, but many believe premium brands will suffer the most. 

Doreen Bloch, the CEO of data-collecting company Poshy told Insider that, at the moment, people are & stocking up on brands like Dove, Maybelline, Neutrogena, and Elf Cosmetics. Not only do some of these brands prioritise skincare over make-up, but they’re also affordable’. He continues to expand that people are less inclined to shop luxury beauty for the time being; “We simply are not seeing people in the data saying ‘Oh I’m gravitating towards La Mer’. That’s just not happening at this moment in time”. 

The Poshly study also revealed that approximately two-thirds of consumers stated that they aren’t particularly interested in product launches right now. Understandably, whilst beauty can be a distraction in the current climate, lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes surely are not at the top of people’s minds, but it is hard to determine how consumers will act when physical department stores re-open.

When it comes to salons, many experts fear that their clients are becoming more independent when it comes to giving themselves at-home treatments. According to Vogue Business, ‘companies are now scrambling to find ways to maintain customer relationships and business without the in-person contact to rely on’. Multiple sources have offered tutorials on how to remove a gel manicure at home, for example, and many manicure enthusiasts have bought their own devices to replicate the salon nails whilst in quarantine (trust me, UV lamps for gel manicures are sold out everywhere… I tried to get my hands on one too).

There are also multiple articles discussing the best ways to take care of your hair at home, looking at everything from root touch-ups to fringe cuts. With all these available resources, salon owners and beauty practitioners believe clients would become more knowledgable about performing treatments on themselves, which can detrimentally impact future business.

Whether you are an avid beauty consumer or not, this is the time to show your support for your favourite businesses. Buying gift vouchers for when non-essential businesses re-open, continuing to purchase your favourite products online and even keeping connected on social media channels can massively impact the way the beauty industry is affected by lockdown restrictions.

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