Covid-19: the impact on the beauty industry
Print Music Editor Bridie Adams discusses how beauty salons and cosmetics brands will survive a home beauty revolution during lockdown.
Like all industries, the beauty industry has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus crisis. With beauty salons and stores closed, there has been a rise in DIY beauty treatments and online sales, constituting a shift in demand from in-store business to e-commerce. Even in places where salons are not closed, many people have been avoiding them because of fear about close physical contact and exposure to the virus.
In some ways, the beauty industry is doing well. Sales of hand-sanitizer and hygiene products have, of course, increased, and some brands are offering free beauty services and products to healthcare workers. Self-care beauty products are also popular, with many people investing in skincare products and bath and shower products to help ease stress and relax during lockdown.
It’s debatable whether people will continue to invest in treatments like lashes, nails and tan when the coronavirus crisis is over
However, with no nights out, events or even lectures happening, fewer people are likely to be wearing makeup on a daily basis (unless they’re dressing up for an Instagram photoshoot or a TikTok dance). The focus seems to have moved from cosmetics like mascara, lipstick and foundation to skincare products like moisturisers and cleansers. Personally, I’ve been loving seeing my skin improve in quarantine from having less makeup clogging up my pores. I’ve got completely clear skin for one of the first times in my life, and it’s probably because I’ve been investing in my skincare routine (I’ve spent way too much money on Mario Badescu).
One of the main things I’ve missed about the beauty industry outside of lockdown is eyelash extensions. It’s debatable whether people will continue to invest in treatments like lashes, nails and tan when the coronavirus crisis is over, as people will have become used to either going without or doing it themselves with fake lashes, press-on nails and self-tan. However, I can’t wait to be having my eyelashes and nails done again – it’ll definitely do my Instagram some favours too!
The focus seems to have moved from cosmetics like mascara, lipstick and foundation to skincare products like moisturisers and cleansers
Hair has also been a disaster for a lot of people. I haven’t been affected too badly as I have my hair coloured in a balayage style, so it carries on looking nice and natural when it grows out, but many people who usually dye their hair are stressing about roots and the colour fading. This had led to people attempting to colour their hair at home. I wouldn’t dream of trying to dye my hair myself – I can’t even curl my own hair, let alone bleach it – but I admire the ambition and skill of those that can create good styles by themselves. Notoriously, a lot of men have got fed up of their hairstyles growing out and have shaved their heads (luckily, my boyfriend hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon!). Hopefully, we’ll all be less stressed about roots and overgrown styles when hair salons reopen, although of course there’s likely to be a big rush for appointments at first!
2020 has been a difficult year for the beauty industry. However, it hasn’t struggled as much as some areas of the economy, with people still buying products online and supporting small businesses via Instagram and other social media. I’m just excited to be able to sit in a salon again, sipping a cappuccino and having my split ends sorted out.