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The changing beauty industry landscape in the time of pandemic

Despite the pandemic, Filipino women are not putting their beauty regimen in the backseat, only that demand shifted to skin care and hair color products instead of make-up.

L’Oréal Philippines Country Managing Director Supriya Singh

L’Oréal Philippines Country Managing Director Supriya Singh told Business Bulletin said the shift in beauty industry has been induced by the pandemic.

“In the past, our business has always been make-up heavy, but this new normal has driven some changes,” she noted citing a boom in skin care, which has extended regimen. The work from home arrangement has created less need for women to wear make-up.

L’Oréal also sees a big room for home hair color products as salons are closed or people are not comfortable going there.

Two years ago, make-up accounts for 80 percent of L’Oréal’s total business locally but with the pandemic, the hair and skin care products’ share has grown faster to almost 50 percent.

The other growth driver is e-commerce. The company has always been quite progressive with e-commerce and has its own dedicated e-commerce team as they also partnered with the learning online shopping platforms.

L’Oréal, the leading beauty company globally, has 36 brands catering to a wider market and different consumers. For make-up, mascara and lipstick, their most popular and the number one brand in the country is Maybelline.

Maybelline is a top-quality make-up brand in the US and in the Philippines at price that is accessible and within reach among Filipinos.

“It balances quality and pricing, but also very aspirational,” said Singh noting that Filipino women can very well relate their dreams with the number brand New York.

According to Singh, the Philippines is one of the fastest growing L’Oréal market in ASEAN. She attributed this to the Philippines very expressive beauty culture.

“Philippines has super ingrained beauty culture.” Singh shared how she was amazed when she arrived here three years ago to see beauty pageants being held starting from the barangay level.

Aside from its beauty business, Singh said that L’Oréal Philippines a priorities and ambitions are aligned with the Group’s overall ambitions for 2030 of helping build a sustainable and beautiful future for all.

Singh cited L’Oréal’s priority areas in environmental stewardship through sustainable e-commerce and green education, and social inclusion, through youth empowerment and championing the underprivileged.

For instance, she mentioned of its biodegradable bags made of cassava instead of the plastic bubble wrap packaging for its e-commerce business. L’Oréal targets to launch this pilot biodegradable project in October this year.

The locally sourced cassava-based packaging may be small scale because but Singh sees a bigger impact for communities as this helps different barangays and create employment especially for women.

The new biodegradable cassava-based packaging is consistent with the company “Beauty for a Better Life” program as it creates employment to some women at home.

On education, the company is also big on green education. It aims to teach the youth which products are sustainable or not. So, they focus on generating awareness for product information not just its ingredients but the full environmental impact, including its carbon footprint.

They have education modules for consumers that they hope to partner with educational institutions on how to lower environmental impact.

Singh expressed optimism that their sustainability initiatives in the country become the industry standard for beauty products.

L’Oréal Philippines has devoted itself to addressing the beauty needs of Filipinos for over 30 years with its entry into the market in 1989 under a distributor.

Since then we expanded to offer a unique portfolio of 10 diverse and complimentary brands which can be found across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, drugstores, hair salons, travel retail, and e-commerce.

At the heart of our operations is a team of over 170 talents thrive in a culture that is agile and creative to address the Filipino beauty aspirations and invent the future of beauty.



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