How beauty brands big and small are helping to tackle COVID-19

Beauty brands all over the world have stepped up to help tackle the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic.

This week, the L'Oréal group unveiled a Europe-wide solidarity program aimed at supporting the medical, food distribution, beauty and non-profit industries. The French beauty giant is ramping up its production of hand sanitizer in order to bolster supplies for health authorities across France and Europe, while its skincare brand La Roche-Posay will work on supplying hand sanitizer to all partner hospitals, care homes and main partner pharmacies in Europe. Another L'Oréal brand, Garnier, has been charged with distributing "several million units" of hand sanitizer, free-of-charge, to all its European food distribution customers, in order to protect employees, the company has announced.

In a bid to protect small and medium-sized beauty businesses such as salons and perfume shops from folding under the economic impact of the crisis, L'Oréal has said it will freeze payments due from its distribution networks until business picks up, and increase the frequency of payments to its suppliers where needed. Finally, the L'Oréal Foundation will donate €1 million to its partner non-profit organizations whose focus is on combating insecurity among the vulnerable, allowing everybody to take the recommended precautions for stemming the progress of the pandemic. NGOs supported throughout the year by the L'Oréal Foundation will also be offered hygiene kits including shower gel, shampoo and hand sanitizer. "In this unprecedented crisis, it is our responsibility to contribute to the collective effort in every way possible," said Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L'Oréal in a statement.

Other beauty brands are also doing their bit to help: luxury behemoth LVMH, for example, has been churning out hand sanitizer at three of its French factories all week, with the product being supplied free-of-charge to French hospitals.

In the UK, British soap bar brand Nuddy is giving away free soap to customers, with the brand taking to Instagram to explain: "We believe that EVERY BODY should have the means to wash their hands properly, keep bacteria at bay and try and prevent the spread of this horrible virus." In the US, Hudson Valley Skincare has also suspended production in order to focus on making hand sanitizer for people in its local community.