COVID-19: French beauty mobilises to produce hydroalcoholic gels

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

FEBEA said several million units of hydroalcoholic gel would reach the market in the coming days, notably hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies (Getty Images)
FEBEA said several million units of hydroalcoholic gel would reach the market in the coming days, notably hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies (Getty Images)

Related tags COVID-19 coronavirus France hydroalcoholic gel safety

The French Federation for Beauty Companies (FEBEA) will mobilise its network to ramp up production of hygiene and hydroalcoholic products, following calls from the Ministry of Health to assist amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

FEBEA announced an “intense mobilization of companies in the cosmetics sector”,​ including those in perfumes, personal care, beauty and hair sectors, to “guarantee the availability and supply of hygiene products and join the effort to produce hydroalcoholic gels”.

Beauty ramps up hydroalcoholic gel production across France

On March 13, the French government issued a decree that authorized cosmetic companies to manufacture hydroalcoholic gels; usually reserved for detergent firms and pharmacists only.

FEBEA’s move to mobilise its entire beauty sector in response – to manufacture and sell hydroalcoholic gels – would see several million units come to market in the next few days, it said.

Patrick O’Quin, president of FEBEA, said: “In concrete terms, this means that a very large number of companies which usually manufacture perfume or soap have already launched or will launch within the next few days a new production line and manufacture hydroalcoholic gels, according to one of the formulas approved by the government.”

Hydroalcoholic gel roll-out and wider COVID-19 support

FEBEA said many companies across France had already kickstarted production and units of hydroalcoholic gels were already being delivered to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, retailers and pharmacies across the country.

The Federation said it was currently “more precisely evaluating current and future production”​ but was certain French cosmetic firms would be able to produce several tens of thousands of litres per week.

Big brands within the beauty category had also individually stepped up with commitments and plans.

Yesterday, L’Oréal unveiled a European ‘solidarity plan’,​ which included mass production of hydroalcoholic gels for France and Europe, along with a €1m pledge to support associations working with those in need.

Earlier this week, prestige perfume major LMVH announced it had commenced production of hydroalcoholic gels​ across all its cosmetics and perfume sites in France, delivering these directly to French health authorities.

Beauty playing ‘essential’ role in fighting coronavirus outbreak

FEBEA said: “Guaranteeing the supply of hygiene products as part of the measures put in place by the government, including soaps, shower gels and washing creams, is today essential to the non-dissemination of the virus, in particular to ensure certain precautions are continued, like hand washing.​”

The federation’s president O’Quin added: “The cosmetics sector is doing everything to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic through its production effort. Our priority today is to protect our employees while continuing to manufacture essential products. We thank the public authorities in advance for taking all the necessary measures to continue this production.”

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