Positive Beauty—A New Era And Perspective In The Industry
A beauty that is for the people and the planet, and beauty that not only does less harm, but also more good--this is the radical (but very much welcome) shift in the beauty industry
What is good? What is "normal"? What is beautiful? And ultimately, what good can beauty do? Well, as a long-time media practitioner, I’ve seen the tides and shifts of the beauty industry and this change is a long-time coming. There was a shift in caring more about the products that you consume. On not just advocating brands because of heritage and loyalty, none of that mattered, really--the brands you advocate, the products you support, these reflect the values that you have. Advocacy and purpose has extended to spending power, and wow, that made all the difference.
This shift was recognized by Unilever in 2021, when they began the campaign of Positive Beauty. From eliminating the word "normal" which was, traditionally, one of the key terms of the beauty industry from everything like normal hair, normal skin-type--Unilever managed to make a statement about diversity, inclusion, empowering those who might have been at the other end of the spectrum.
At that time, Sunny Jain, former President of Beauty & Personal Care at Unilever, expressed how brands and companies actually have a lot of power in terms of shaping perceptions.
"With one billion people using our beauty and personal care products every day, and even more seeing our advertising, our brands have the power to make a real difference to people's lives. As part of this, we are committed to tackling harmful norms and stereotypes and shaping a broader, far more inclusive definition of beauty."
We do know that many Unilever brands have esposed this as part of their DNA. Dove, for one, celebrates 'real beauty' and we have been privy to many tear-jerking videos that show how knowing your worth and being empowered can transform people.
Love Beauty & Planet was innovative in the local market in having a sustainable line back in 2019. With 100% recycled plastic for bottles, a fast-rinse formula that means less gallons of water consumed in the shower, and sustainably-sourced ingredients, not to mention have products that are free of silicones, dyes, paraben--it's a small and simple way of caring for the environment and more.
The same goes for the Unilever Philippines, who has, for three years now, partnered with Mano Amiga in helping small communities thrive. Cream Silk, on the other hand, has always advocated for empowering the modern Filipina, through their campaigns and their choice of endorsers.
This shift is recognized globally. Last year, the Global Online and Beauty & Personal Care Market showed market growth, with the category now at USD 14.56 billion.
"The improving of quality of life, the positive effects of beauty and personal care on self-esteem and social interaction," the study says, are "likely to propel the market growth during the forecast period." This means consumers, are taking notice, and they are buying as means to support.
In the past, we would often talk about inner beauty, beauty on the inside, as a way to empower. But the shift is this--that beauty is actually taking power in your hands to make a positive difference for yourself, your community, and the planet.
"We're embracing a new era of beauty. One that's inclusive. Equitable. Regenerative. Positive. So that people and the planet can thrive together," says the Unilever manifesto on their website. I think you should all check it out.
Metro Beauty and Wellness Editor Kate Paras-Santiago sums it up best: “The beauty industry has long been accustomed to putting one's self first, about focusing on the outward appearance, and purchasing products to change one's looks. These days though, the beauty industry has taken a shift for the better, with topics like sustainability, social responsibility, inclusivity, and self-acceptance on the forefront of a lot of cosmetics brands' advocacies. A lot of awareness is being put into these topics, which have a lot to do with the changing times. From the creation of gender-neutral makeup collections, switching to sustainable ingredients and packaging materials, to devoting portions of proceeds to worthy causes—Positive Beauty is here to stay, and it's here to make our world a better place.”
The next few days shall then be very, very exciting for us consumers in the Philippines. We’ll have Unilever’s Own Your Beauty sale, where a portion of the proceeds will go to Mano Amiga Academy. Mano Amiga advocates community transformation and inclusive growth through education. Through this partnership, entrepreneurs will be given relevant skills training and will also be able to join Shopee to reach more shoppers and grow their businesses.
So in the end, what is key to this shift? Your support signals brands that they are doing the right thing, and that you welcome this new movement. Happy Shopping!
Check out Metro.Style for more updates on the Unilever Super Brand Day from June 25-27 as you #OwnYourBeauty. Bring positive beauty to light with amazing offers on your favorite Unilever products:
- Up to 50% off on your favorite Unilever brands Dove, Cream Silk, TRESemmé, Pond’s, and more!
- Timed offers with best prices dropping at 12-2AM, 12-2PM, and 6-8PM!
- Additional 15% off discount vouchers!
- Extra Vouchers: 10% Shopee Cashback or Shopee Free Shipping!
- Sale-Exclusive Mystery Bundle worth P3,000
- Special sale-exclusive bundle kit
- Freebies with every purchase