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Beauty Businesses Big and Small are Adapting to the Pandemic

The beauty industry is learning to live through the COVID-19 crises.

Beauty is regularly and rightly described as a fast-paced business. Each day’s breaking news centers on what’s new and what’s next in this industry. And consumer trends and demand often follow the same swift timeline.

Now that CoronaVirus has developed into not only a global health crisis but a global financial crisis as well, beauty is moving just as quickly as ever. We are all looking for strategies and solutions, tactic and traditions (even) that will serve the beauty industry well as we learn together to live through this season of COVID-19.

The tactics that I see working for small brands and big businesses alike can be described with one or more of the following three worlds: generosity, efficiency, and tenacity.

Big Beauty is Making a Difference During COVID

Multinationals that are foregrounding corporate social responsibility right now have aligned their current business objectives with the needs of regional, national, and international efforts to contain and combat COVID-19.

L’Oréal is donating respirator masks, on hand for use at its Arkansas and New Jersey facilities, to local health care professionals. Estée Lauder is donating 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to New York State, the new epicenter of the virus outbreak, every week now. And packaging companies like TricorBraun and Aptar are making the bottles and dispensers to make donations of sanitizer, soap, and disinfectant possible. Element Packaging has begun 3D printing face shields in their Florida facility for first responders and medical workers. And P&G is implementing plans to manufacture masks for health workers and relief workers worldwide.

Beauty Brands, Suppliers, and Retailers are Putting People First

Similarly, purpose-driven brands and mission-led businesses are leading the way in the independent and investor-owned sectors of the industry. Indie beauty brands like Lifetherapy are sending self-care packages to healthcare workers in the state of Illinois, where that brand is based. And the luxury brand Knesko Skin is donating 20% of the proceeds from their top-selling Nano Gold Repair collection to the COVID-19 Patient Care Fund at UCLA Health.

Ingredient makers that are dedicated to supplying soap and sanitizer ingredients, as well as inputs to the medical industry, are as busy as ever and are deeply committed to meeting the continued surge in demand.

Retailers, including Sephora, Ulta, and Anthropologie have pledged to pay, and in some cases continue to provide benefits for, employees during the CoronaVirus crisis.

The Future of Beauty Rests with Pragmatic, People-First Leadership

Leadership in trying times is not about having the answers. Indeed, many cosmetics and personal care businesses with the best of leadership will fall short of sales and revenue goals in the wake of COVID-19.

Leadership, now as ever, is about knowing that nothing meaningful happens in beauty (and perhaps in any business) without a human touch.

Our business is built on relationships. Every day, cosmetics and personal care products literally touch millions of people around the world. And now, in the midst of COVID-19, we need to maintain those relationships.

And we ought to remain pragmatic and optimistic. As out of control as things seem, for the most part, we, each of us and all of us together, we decide what’s new and what’s next for beauty.

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this DUviews item was originally posted to LinkedIn and now appears on


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