COVID-19 and the Beauty Industry: An exclusive interview with Lezlee Westine, President of the Personal Care Products Council
- How are cosmetics and personal care companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
- Like other industries, the beauty and personal care sector has felt the tremendous impact of COVID-19. In a recent PCPC survey, our members reported they have seen disruptions in their supply chains and interruptions in manufacturing. They have also reported an increase in consumer questions and confusion about new guidance, regulations and legislation impacting the industry.
- In spite of these uncertain times, our member companies’ commitment to their employees, customers and their communities remains certain. We are using all the tools available to work with our members to help mitigate the virus and provide factual information to our various stakeholders. Our primary focus is on providing what our companies and the consumers who rely on our products need to help pivot to and navigate the “new normal.”
- How are PCPC and its member companies responding to the crisis and giving back to their communities?
- Beauty and personal care companies are demonstrating extraordinary corporate citizenship in a variety of ways during this crisis. Collectively, the industry is providing support to medical professionals and others on the front lines; nonprofit and relief organizations working to ensure the well-being of those less fortunate; and everyday citizens looking for ways to protect themselves and their families.
- To help address the shortage of hand sanitizers around the world, PCPC successfully advocated for the FDA to allow non-traditional manufacturers to produce these products. As a result, companies are now producing more than 20 million units.
- The industry’s signature charitable initiative, Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), is a public service program that helps individuals with cancer improve their self-esteem and confidence by helping them deal with the appearance- related side effects of cancer treatment. PCPC’s Look Good Feel Better Foundation stepped up to ensure support remains available for cancer patients at high risk for COVID-19 who must continue their treatment protocols. LGFB transitioned all patient support to the existing LGFB Live! Virtual Workshops platform, offering interactive, livestreaming programs to patients seeking support and community during this period of increased isolation and anxiety.
- Even in normal times, companies in the industry are generous charitable donors; per $1 million of sales, their annual charitable contributions are more than double the national average. This legacy of giving will no doubt continue beyond the pandemic.
How are PCPC members supporting small businesses and beauty professionals?
- Recognizing the significant financial hardship many smaller businesses are experiencing, some member companies have implemented measures to ease the financial burdens for those that have been forced to close, including hair salons, perfumeries and other professional beauty businesses.
- In addition to deferring payments, companies are providing flexible payment terms for mid-sized businesses and accelerating payments to smaller suppliers.
- In partnership with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), members have made cash donations to the PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund, which supports licensed professionals unable to work due to COVID-19 and provides emergency aid for immediate needs.
How is PCPC educating the public during the pandemic?
- PCPC and its member companies are leveraging their communications platforms to educate the public on effective strategies for mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 virus through proper handwashing and use of hand sanitizers. We share information about the virus, industry’s response and ways to stay safe across PCPC and CosmeticsInfo websites and social media platforms.
- We also are working with medical professionals to help educate consumers about the importance of caring for your skin and, in particular, why moisturizing is so important. Video series: Moisturized Skin is Healthy Skin