More Beauty Brands Jump on Hand Sanitizer Bandwagon to Fight COVID-19

Lisa Johnston
Lisa Johnston profile picture
Coty expects to produce tens of thousands of units of hand sanitizer each week.
Coty expects to produce tens of thousands of hand sanitizer units per week.

More beauty brands are retooling their operations to make hand sanitizer in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

LVMH directed its Christian Dior, Civenchy and Guerlain fragrance factories in France to make hand sanitizer earlier this month, distributing the products to French health authorities. As the virus has begun to spread across the United States, additional companies are making similar moves.

Coty has begun producing hydro-alcoholic gel at factories in both the U.S. and Monaco. It expects to produce tens of thousands of units per week and will donate the products to medical and emergency services staff, Coty employees working in the plants and distribution centers, and pharmacy staff for some of its retail customers.

The company, which is No. 60 on the CGTTop 100 Consumer Goods Companies of 2019 with $9.4 billion in net revenue, said production will depend on the resources and materials available as well as local government regulations.

“As a responsible beauty company, we make our resources and facilities available to help the communities we are operating in during these exceptionally challenging times,” said Pierre Laubies, Coty CEO. “We are proud to support the brave professionals fighting on the frontlines against COVID-19 by providing hand sanitizer where it is needed.”

Other brands adjusting operations include The L’Oréal Group, which has begun producing alcohol-based hand sanitizer in its North American manufacturing facilities.

Its products will also be provided for free to U.S. employees, partners and healthcare workers.

“I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say that we at L’Oréal USA feel a deep responsibility to do our part to help address this crisis in the many communities in which we live and work,” said Stéphane Rinderknech, president and CEO of L'Oréal USA, and executive vice president, North America. “We stand in solidarity with the brave people who are tirelessly and selflessly working to end this pandemic, and it is our hope that, through these actions, we are able to provide some relief during this challenging time.” 

Estée Lauder, meanwhile, is reopening its manufacturing facility in Melville, NY, to produce hand sanitizer for “high-needs groups and populations, including front-line medical staff.”  

First reported by WWD, the company announced on LinkedIn that the effort would be supported by compensated volunteer employees.

U.S. dollar sales of hand sanitizer were up 193% for the one-week period ending March 21 vs. the prior-year period, according to Nielsen data. Sales were up nearly 300% for the four-week period.