SEATTLE, Washington — The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the medical sector and the global economy, severely halting daily practices. In the U.S. alone, the beauty and personal care products industry accounts for $237 billion of the national GDP and supports about 4 million domestic jobs through both direct and indirect sales. Although the virus continues to affect this industry, select beauty companies are helping disadvantaged communities during this challenging time. In turn, the beauty and cosmetic industry has demonstrated how beauty, self-care and hygiene are prevalent in the fight against COVID-19.
Avon: Hygiene Products for the Quarantined
Since 2004, Avon Products, Inc. has been a proud partner of the nonprofit organization Feed the Children. As the name suggests, Feed the Children raises money and provides products and food for hungry youths, while also partnering with local organizations to expand distributions to impoverished communities. Moreover, this nonprofit organization mitigates the severe effects of natural disasters. During the past 16 years, Avon has donated more than 15 million pounds of personal care and beauty products through Feed the Children. Avon has continuously contributed to the organization. However, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Avon donated more than $40 million in sales and products to those quarantined. Currently, Avon continues to deliver boxes, which include personal hygiene kits and beauty products, to quarantine centers in partnering countries. Recipients of these Avon boxes have noted that the beauty company has improved their self-confidence and empowered them amid a troubling time.
In Romania specifically, Avon has partnered with the Value for Lives Foundation, which helps private companies and societal organizations support healthcare services amid COVID-19. To limit the spread of the virus in quarantine centers, Avon has donated 1.7 tons of liquid soap and shower gel to centers in Bucharest, Romania. Additionally, Avon Romania will be making cash donations to these centers. While there may be a far correlation between both the cosmetic and health industry, Avon has significantly contributed to the effect of beauty and self-care amid the pandemic.
LVMH: Perfume to Hand Sanitizers
Alongside other European nations, France has been dramatically impacted by COVID-19. With cases at a point doubling every 72 hours, President Emmanuel Macron of France declared the country was “at war” with the virus. As of March 16, 2020, France had seen 120 deaths due to the national spread of the COVID-19. With the country struggling, the subsidiary of Dior, LVMH, is using its perfume production resources to produce hand sanitizers for the nation’s citizens. Using their production lines to manufacture sanitizers is a stark contrast to their usual production of scents for luxury brands such as Dior and Givenchy. However, with LVMH based in France, the company has declared it will support the country’s health officials for as long as necessary. While LVMH’s products are known to be expensive, the company will be providing these disinfectants to healthcare professionals for free. As of March 18, 2020, LVMH has produced and donated 12 tons of hand sanitizing gel to 39 French hospitals under the APHP healthcare system.
While the production of 12 tons of hand sanitizer in a week may seem an impossible task for a company of luxury goods, the perfume produced by LVMH contains similar ingredients for the production of a sanitizer, including glycerol, ethanol and purified water. In addition to the abundance of these chemical components, LVMH also produces liquid moisturizers for its subsidiary companies, which contain the same viscosity as the disinfectant. As a result, LVMH was able to transition smoothly to the mass manufacturing of these essential sanitizers.
Allure x Anywhere Campaign: The Banding Together Project
While COVID-19 has severely impacted the general public, those in the healthcare industry are most affected as front-line workers. Not only are they subjected to long hours in contact with COVID-19 patients, but healthcare professionals also wear N95 masks. N95 masks protect hospital employees, but combined with the rigorous workload, healthcare workers have developed bruises and skin irritations from these masks. Moreover, the health industry continuously struggles to stock a sufficient amount of face masks, making shortages in many hospitals a common occurrence.
Anywhere’s Banding Together Project combats this issue. This conjoined campaign manufactures reusable masks that support all healthcare workers. Allure, the beauty and cosmetics company, worked with Anywhere to design these masks and to hire celebrities and influencers to do so as well, such as hairstylist Chris McMillan and makeup artist Nam Vo. Moreover, dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss contributed advice and her medical expertise to produce these functional face masks. Not only has this campaign aided healthcare workers, but it has also encouraged diversity. Halima Aden, the 22-year-old model who made history by competing in the Miss Minnesota USA event in a burkini, has partnered with Anywhere in this project to help design hijabs and turbans that match their face coverings. Additionally, cosmetician Daniel Martin manufactures Japanese shibori print masks that spiritually represent devotion and justice. In all, the Banding Together Project along with other beauty companies, are aiding front-line workers and people amid the COVID-19 pandemic while inspiring diversity as well.
COVID-19 has severely impacted various industries worldwide, yet many beauty companies are contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by donating their time, resources and contributions to nonprofit humanitarian organizations and relief programs. These beauty companies’ acts of generosity are providing a path for others to follow and are contributing to the global response of COVID-19.