Beauty from within: how the pandemic put health first

It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected people’s attitudes towards health and appearance. But how long-term and serious are these trends? In his Forbes Life column, Sesderma President Dr. Gabriel Serrano Sangigel talks about the impact of the coronavirus on the beauty industry.

The impact of the coronavirus is noticeable in the cosmetics industry, which has been adapting to the new reality throughout the year, and on the beauty consumers themselves. Society has rethought beauty standards and its approach to cosmetics. Over the decades of success, the industry has become accustomed to constant growth, but if in 2019 the global cosmetics market was estimated at $ 380.2 billion , then the pandemic brought very mixed results – large conglomerates reported a decline in sales worldwide by 3-7%. In a column for Forbes Life, Dr. Gabriel Serrano Sangigel, dermatologist and president of Sesderma Corporation, discusses how the pandemic has impacted health and beauty attitudes and altered consumer behavior.

Dr. Gabriel Serrano Sangmiguel

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people think about health – it is now at the top of the list of challenges. Due to the coronavirus, the elderly and those with diabetes, heart or lung ailments are at high risk of death. The dynamics of the pandemic occupies most of the public attention – we follow the news, statistics, testimonies, medical advice. The coronavirus has changed the way people live. People have learned to live in lockdown without the ability to leave home, see loved ones and travel, learned to work remotely and maintain social distance. Public anxiety is only increasing because of the media agenda, the virus is giving more and more news feeds, because of which the level of anxiety and fear is growing. This immediately affects the mental state. In this alarming situation, the natural reaction was to take care of your health. People are worried about the body’s defenses and more often go to doctors for preventive purposes.

During the lockdown, many did not leave their homes, but continued to take care of their health and beauty in order to feel better. The concepts of health and beauty are related and encompass not only the care of the body, but also the care of the mind. All of this can be strengthened with a healthy lifestyle, nutricosmetics (including nutritional supplements) and dermacosmetics. Supplements and products based on zinc, melatonin, lactoferrin, vitamins C, D3 and B12 can help support the immune system and reduce the stress caused by the pandemic. Exercise and exercise, good sleep and a balanced diet also support immunity.

The coronavirus has changed consumer behavior in the beauty industry. In a crisis, consumption trends are often limited to basic necessities, and during a pandemic, consumer interest has shifted towards eye makeup and facials. The most popular products were mascara and eyeliner, while lipstick, on the contrary, was less in demand due to the need to wear protective masks. Products to cleanse, nourish and moisturize the skin are in demand for two reasons. On the one hand, consumers spend more time at home and use these skin care products. On the other hand, they aim to reduce the damage done to the skin from the constant use of masks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of “maskne” appeared – it means that because of the mask, the skin dries a lot, irritations and rashes appear on it.

Despite the growth in sales in certain categories, the economic crisis caused by the pandemic has had a significant impact on the cosmetics market. Profits and total income of many companies have decreased by 10-15% compared to 2019. During the pandemic, mass-market and premium goods, makeup, lipstick and products for professional use became cheaper. On the contrary, prices for skin care products, hair dyes and nutricosmetics rose. The impact of COVID-19 was noticeable in the industry in the first half of 2020, but the industry has been recovering in the past four months. The number of purchases via the Internet also increased – online trading to a certain extent compensated for the closure of offline sales.

After 2020, we can draw conclusions. The pandemic not only endangered our existence, but also gave us a break from the pursuit of countless experiences. Many began to think more about family, health, work and the importance of life – that every moment must be lived in its entirety.


Growth during the plague: which businesses increased revenue during the pandemic

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti / TASS

1 out of 13

Telecommunication companies

Rostelecom : 155 billion rubles, + 5%

MTS : 173.7 billion rubles, + 5%

Ростом выручки в период пандемии отметились и телекоммуникационные компании. Весной существенно увеличился трафик и нагрузка на сети, отмечал в интервью РБК Президент «Ростелекома» Михаил Осеевский, при этом снижение трафика из офисов было компенсировано ростом трафика домохозяйств, число заявок на подключение высокоскоростного домашнего интернета выросло на 22%. Эпидемия, по его словам, резко расширила использование технологий для удаленных работы и учебы, облачных решений для дистанционного взаимодействия, интернет-торговли, цифровых видеосервисов.

The telecom sector is stable not only against the backdrop of a pandemic, but, in principle, in any crisis, since these services have become an integral part of people’s consumption, notes Fitch analyst Vyacheslav Bunkov. And in Russia they are also one of the cheapest in the world, so there is no need to abandon them even in times of crisis, he adds. With the closure of the borders, the companies, he said, lost their roaming revenues, but this was compensated by the growth of domestic consumption.

Disinfectant manufacturers

NPO Khimavtomatika (part of Roskhimzashchita corporation, part of Rostec): revenue 76.7 million rubles, +18,044%

The coronavirus pandemic this spring provoked a rush of demand for antiseptics: for example, in mid-April, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Mikhail Ivanov on the air of the Russia 24 TV channel announced an increase in the production of skin antiseptics sixfold compared to the beginning of March, and the number of their manufacturers – from 10 to more than 60 (quoted by RIA Novosti). Uralchem, in particular, applied to the Ministry of Defense for permission to use the technology for the production of disinfectants .

At least one of the enterprises, which mastered this production only in the spring, managed to increase its revenue thousands of times. Research and Production Association “Khimavtomatika”, which in 1974-1986 was headed by the future mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov and 63.8% of the authorized capital of which is now controlled by “Rostec”, became the absolute leader in revenue growth among all companies that reported for half a year: in the first half of the year 2019, like a year earlier, his earnings were estimated at only a few hundred thousand rubles.

Sales of disinfectants against the background of interruptions in import supplies ensured a record minimum in a decade for the enterprise, a representative of Rostec said. Khimavtomatika produces medical equipment, in particular, it assembles STEL installations for the production of disinfectants, and in the spring, against the backdrop of an epidemic, NPO decided to diversify production and within three days launched the industrial production of its own disinfectant Neutral Anolyte ANK. According to a representative of the state corporation, this allowed Khimavtomatika to meet the increased needs of both Moscow and Russian regions. In addition, the company supplied personal protective equipment. At the same time, prices for products remained below market prices, Maxim Pudov, general director of NPO Khimavtomatika, reported through the press service.


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