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COVID-19: Working together in crisis

The COVID-19 outbreak is impacting societies, citizens and economies in Europe and around the world. In this extraordinary crisis situation, many companies (including multinational and SMEs), along with our network of national associations, are working to ensure that safe and effective personal hygiene products essential for hand washing and cleansing are available for people in Europe.

The COVID-19 Resource Platform is a one-stop shop providing easy access to information on Cosmetics Europe activities, links to EU institutions’ statements and initiatives, updates on industry’s actions and educational guidelines.


 “The cosmetics and personal care sector in Europe salutes the tireless and heroic actions of healthcare workers and all those people involved across society in the efforts to defeat the coronavirus”

John Chave, Director General, Cosmetics Europe



Cosmetics Europe’s priorities are to work together with its membership to support their efforts at national level, to provide an efficient platform for sharing experience and best practice, and to work together with the European Institutions to support their response and coordination efforts. We are actively coordinating with many other European sectors and organisations.


Cosmetics Europe key policy areas

Regular and thorough hand cleaning with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing hands with soap and water is listed by the World Health Organisation as the first basic protective measure against the new coronavirus. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also point to cleaning hand hygiene as one of the important preventive measures.*

Personal hygiene products are cosmetics, and include hand and body cleansing products such as soaps and personal hygiene hand cleansing gels, as well as other products such as toothpaste for oral care.
In the collective fight against Coronavirus, many of our members are working to ensure that safe and effective personal hygiene products essential for hand cleansing and washing are available for people in Europe. They are working together with supply chain partners such as raw material suppliers, distributors and retailers, and relevant national authorities, EU institutions and a range of organisations dedicated to combating the virus and its effects.

At this time, more than ever, it is vital to ensure the free flow of personal hygiene products throughout the Single Market and to facilitate the availability of personal hygiene products such as soaps and personal hygiene hand cleansing gels to people in Europe, wherever they are.

Essential activities

The continued availability of such products is essential for people at home, at work, in care homes and hospitals. Without personal hygiene products, it is more difficult to limit the spread of infection given the essential role in hand washing and cleansing. Therefore, all manufacturing facilities of these products need to be kept fully operational, and access to raw materials and transport guaranteed, in the interest of general public health. Any national definition of essential activities and/or products should take this into account, to ensure the continuance of manufacturing and distribution of personal hygiene products.
Several Member States have already defined personal hygiene products and their raw materials as essential to enable continued production and sales. Cosmetics Europe welcomes these initiatives and invites Member States to always consider the overall supply chain of personal hygiene products as essential.
Free movement of goods
As part of a European Single Market, Cosmetics Europe members source raw materials and packaging from all over Europe and have their manufacturing sites in various Member States, to efficiently serve an integrated European market. The free flow of goods on the European market, without blockages at the borders, is necessary to ensure the continued availability of packaging, raw materials and essential personal care and hygiene products during the health crisis.

Cosmetics Europe welcomes the European Commission initiatives to maintain the borders open for essential goods and calls upon the Member States governments take full account of the need to maintain European-wide supply chains in their current national solutions to the health crisis.

Many Cosmetics Europe members have significantly increased their production of alcohol-based hand hygiene products for use in their own factories and for donation to hospitals and other care institutions. Such activities trigger various challenges with respect to the use of certain categories of alcohol and excise duty considerations, as well as value added tax related to donated products. Cosmetics Europe invites EU and national authorities to show flexibility with respect to the use of non-denatured alcohol and the imposition of excise duties,  and also in respect of  donations and value added tax, in order not to discourage companies that have production capacity to shift activities.

Cosmetics Europe welcomes the European Council Joint Statement on ensuring smooth border management for persons and goods and preserving the functioning of the Single Market. We support Commission President Von Der Leyen’s recent statements underlining the need for the free movement of goods, preservation of the Internal Market and common actions. Further we welcome the European Commission’s many initiatives to coordinate the EU response such as, introducing fast lanes to secure free flow of medical supplies, food, clean drinking water and other essential items across the EU.**

Cosmetics Europe and our network of national associations are here to work together with Member States and EU decision-makers. We are their disposal to help ensure that people in Europe have access to the essential personal hygiene products they need.

*  Please explore our #WORKING TOGETHER: EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES on hand-washing below
**  Please refer to the European Union institutions statements and initiatives in the section below

European Union institutions statements and initiatives

Here you will find links to key statements and documents released by the EU institutions in relation to the COVID-19 crisis.


In  times of crisis, swift and effective action is crucial. Cosmetics Europe individual member companies have introduced programmes to support  collective efforts such as shifting production from their normal production lines for making critical personal hygiene hand cleansing products, ramping up production of these essential products and also making donations to institutions and the public.

Here you will find multiple examples of various actions already undertaken. Please note that we are gathering information on an ongoing basis and we will regularly update this section accordingly.

  • Producing free hand sanitizer for Spectrum Health and Kids’ Food Basket and donating product in areas of acute need throughout the world. See here
  • Amway Europe launching a call to action to support local organization who are frontline fighting COVID- 19.  Amway initiated it with a donation in all the countries where Amway operates and then opened the opportunity to donate directly to Amway distributors, employees and customers.
  • Amway North America donating toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap, deodorant and other products to the American Red Cross so hygiene kits could be created for the West Michigan homeless population. See here
  • Donating seven tonnes of hygiene products to emergency services in Poland. See here
  • The Avon Foundation for Women announcing $1m commitment to front-line services to support women and children in need and at risk and launching a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse exacerbated by isolation during the global Covid-19 crisis.
  • Donating £150,000 from the moisturising hand gel’s sales to national domestic abuse charity Refuge in the UK. See here
  • Avon and Natura in Brazil partnering with Usina São Martinho to provide 15,000 kilos of alcohol gel and 150,000 litres of alcohol in sanitiser solution to the São Paulo State Health Department. See here
  • Donating one million euros for hospitals in Lombardy. See here
  • Supporting the City of Wuhan with immediate financial and medical aid donations as well as emergency accommodation.
  • Ramping up productions of medical grade disinfectants within its European production network and providing 500 tons of disinfectants to public emergency services and personnel. See here
  • Announcing the 50 million Euro international funding program Care Beyond Skin to support communities in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
    • Donating 1,000,000 liters of disinfectant.
    • Donating at least 5,000,000 skin- and hand-care products to medical personnel.
    • Providing direct financial support for NGOs, both international organizations as well as local partners.
    • Committing to doubling any employees’ personal donations. See here
  • Donating products in areas of acute need throughout the world.
  • Working with nonprofit partners to deploy resources. See here
  • Mobilizing five production facilities around the world to make and donate 25 million soap bars in support of the WHO #SafeHands Challenge, leveraging the distribution capability of international aid agencies. Promoting the WHO #SafeHands Challenge across various media platforms, engaging global ambassadors and influencers.
  • Donating $20 million in health and hygiene products to community-based organizations to help medical professionals, emergency care workers and the most vulnerable populations.
  • Launching Colgate’s first-ever global, All-Employee Matching Gifts Program to support COVID-19 relief efforts with health and hygiene needs. Colgate will match $1 million in employee donations, which will go to nonprofit partners. See here
  • Starting producing hydro-alcoholic hand sanitizer to help combat COVID-19 virus.
  • Distributing free of charge products to medical and emergency services staff, Coty employees working in the plants producing sanitizers as well as pharmacy staff at some retail customers. See here
  • Awarding $2 million grant to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to support their continued life-saving work around the world and response to coronavirus in under-resourced and highly impacted countries;
  • Pledging $3.2 million for local, front-line and response efforts to regions and countries around the world. See here
  • Contributing to the broader COVID-19 relief efforts by producing hand sanitizer for high-need groups and populations, including front-line medical staff, at the Melville, New York and Oevel, Belgium manufacturing facilities. Providing hand sanitizers to facilities near the Oevel manufacturing site in Belgium. The UK-based Whitman manufacturing facility also producing, in partnership with Jo Malone London, hand sanitizer to be donated to front-line workers;
  • Providing thousands of hand, face and skin care products to medical staff across countries in EMEA.
  • Reassigning some of its facilities to manufacture 70,000 litres of hand sanitizer to be donated to the health authorities and healthcare workers in France. 
  • Distributing 25,000 units of soap and hand cream to staff of Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP–HP – the Paris university hospital trust).
  • Supporting healthcare workers in Asia and Europe by donating various types of cosmetic products. See here
  • Donating $10 million to The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, created by the UN Foundation and WHO. See here
  • Donating 2 million euros to WHO/UN Foundation COVID-19 fund and selected organizations.
  • Donating 5 million units of personal and household hygiene products.
  • Shifting production facilities to produce disinfectants.
  • Improving payment terms for selected business partners. See here
  • Announcing $50 million commitment to support frontline health workers battling Covid-19. See here
  • Starting producing hydro-alcoholic hand sanitizer to help hospitals in Hesse, Germany, combat COVID-19 virus.
  • Donating empty bottles to local pharmacies in Darmstadt to help them fill their hand sanitizers to sell to customers.
  • Donating products to local charity organizations in the UK.
  • Distributing free of charge products to medical and emergency services staff in the UK.
    See here
  • Launching a Europe-wide coronavirus solidarity programme to support the fight against coronavirus by all stakeholders.
  • Ramping up production of hand sanitizer to support the needs of French and European health authorities.
  • Equipping partner hospitals, care homes and main partner pharmacies in Europe with hand sanitiser.
  • Supplying and distributing several million units of hand sanitiser free-of-charge to all its European food distribution customers as well as supplying bottles free-of-charge to French pharmacies that are able to produce hand sanitiser in their own dispensaries. 
  • Freezing payments for VSE/SMEs in the distribution networks (hair salons, small perfume shops) until their businesses resume.
  • Shorting payment times with systematic immediate payments for suppliers who have been most exposed to the crisis. 
  • The L’Oréal Foundation donating one million euros to partner non-profit organizations, who are committed to combatting insecurity as well as offering hygiene kits and hand sanitiser for social workers, volunteers and beneficiaries. See here
  • Preparing production sites to manufacture substantial amounts of hydroalcoholic gel to be provided to public authorities. See here
  • Setting up to produce alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Donating glycerin to the CHU de Montpellier for their sanitizer production. 
  • Delivering over 5,000 hygiene products for nurses to Institut Curie and the CHU de Nantes and continuing efforts with other hospitals in France. See here
  • Reorganizing to produce hydroalcoholic gels in France and Brazil.
  • Providing hydroalcoholic gel to health care workers in hospitals, as well as to pharmacy teams. See here
  • Donating hand care creams, body cleansing gels and thermal spring water sprays to hospitals in the Occitania region of France. See here
  • Announcing donations totaling $10 million in products and financial support toward relief efforts for the COVID19 response in Europe. $1 million of this donation will be directed by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to improve the lives of vulnerable people across the continent during these challenging times.
  • Installing new lines to start production of hand sanitizer in five manufacturing sites around the world, using it to ensure employees can continue operating safely and sharing it with hospitals, health authorities and relief organizations.
  • P&G China team supporting relief efforts and access to products – vital supplies to China’s health care workers and communities. Donating over $2.7 million US to help Wuhan fight against Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia and the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Donating to Feeding America, Mathew 25: Ministries, Direct Relief and joining Greater Cincinnati relief efforts. See here

  • Donating £5.5 million in cash & antibacterial products to combat the Coronavirus outbreak in China. See here
  • Mobilising an additional £32 million as part of RB Fight for Access Fund to address collective fight against the spread of Covid-19 and deploying these funds by among others:
  • Working with governments, national medical associations and other stakeholders to deliver public service campaigns to educate consumers on handwashing and sanitation.
  • Committing £6 million to the front-line health workers in Wuhan, China.
  • Supporting the Centre for Disease Control Foundation in the USA with $2 million for various initiatives while continuing their support for hygiene education in schools.
  • Donating €250,000 cash and product to a hospital and care centre in Milan, Italy.
  • Partnering with the Economist Intelligence Unit, along with other public health experts, to create the COVID-19 Myth Busting website.
  • Donating 10 million units of soap to the most vulnerable. See here 
  • Donating 1 million CNY (approximately 15 million yen) to the Charity Federation of Wuhan.
  • Announcing a special project including primarily a donation of funds and essential products, with 1% of sales from Asian markets reserved for the project.
  • Donating 10 million CNY (approx. 150 million yen) to the Shanghai Charity Foundation. See here
  • Contributing €100m to help the fight against the pandemic through donations of soap, sanitiser, bleach and food.
  • Providing product donation of soaps and sanitiser of at least €50m to the COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum.
  • Adapting current manufacturing lines to produce sanitiser for use in hospitals, schools and other institutional settings.
  • Delivering product donations, partnerships and handwashing education programmes through national health authorities and NGOs.
  • Offering €500m of cash flow relief to support livelihoods across its extended value chain, including early payment for most vulnerable small and medium sized suppliers and extending credit to selected small-scale retail customers whose business relies on Unilever. See here
  • Providing funding of up to £50 million to support a global awareness campaign on handwashing. See here
To learn more about actions of other cosmetics and personal care companies across Europe, click here

Cosmetics Europe national associations network also stands ready across the EU Member States to support the sector’s efforts at the national level.


Belgium-Luxembourg: Belgian-Luxembourg Association for manufacturers and distributors of cosmetics, detergents, cleaning products, adhesives and sealants, biocides, related products and aerosol technology – DETIC

In coordination with other industry federations and the Belgian government, DETIC has developed emergency solutions: a web platform to offer hand sanitizers for companies use in the essential sectors (read more: FR, NL) and an accelerated registration procedure for biocides (read more).DETIC acts on all fronts: regulatory advice, search for raw materials, quality assurance of virucides, link with Belgian customs and excises authority to facilitate the use of ethanol. In addition to these crisis actions, DETIC continues to provide a complete service to its members.


Denmark: Kosmetik- og Hygiejnebranchen - K&H

K&H is engaging with the Danish government and the regional health authorities to ensure the supply of hand disinfectants and to work for derogations and exemptions to ease the manufacturing and supply as well as with other industry associations to match demand and supply of ethanol and plastic packaging. K&H assists their members in understanding the financial and legal  impact of new Covid-19  on their business. Social media are being used to communicate messages to stakeholders  about the value of our industry and members social responsibility.
A new campaign about the benefits of personal and home hygiene has been launched.


Finland: Finnish Cosmetic and Detergent Association TY

TY is in active cooperation with the key Ministry (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health) and authorities (Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency and National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health) to ensure a timely exchange and awareness of industry’s needs and positions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, TY has worked on Biocidal Products Regulation art. 55 and art. 95 derogations. TY is also cooperating with the Finnish Chemical Industry Federation, especially with their maintenance and supply security person, to be aware of challenges on the national supply, for example possible shortage of raw materials or packaging materials. Member companies are informed about their legal obligations, national derogations, raw material issues etc. in regular virtual meetings and via TY’s and Finnish Chemical Industry’s COVID-19 extranet pages.


France: Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté – FEBEA
During this unprecedented crisis, FEBEA is assisting its members at all levels. Firstly, with dealing with national authorities about hydroalcoholic solution production and emergency measures.  FEBEA is providing assistance to the cosmetic hydroalcoholic solution producers to meet the needs of local hospitals, working closely with the public services. FEBEA also monitors the sectoral economic impact of the crisis through regular surveys. FEBEA provides its members with a non-stop Q&A service on social, legal and regulatory issues. This is particularly necessary for SMEs constituting 85% of FEBEA’s members. FEBEA also launched a hygiene products donation request in favor of the non-profit organization Dons Solidaires: 260 000 products were donated in less than two weeks.
FEBEA has also recently published guidelines for professionals in points of sale for cosmetic products (perfumeries, pharmacies), hairdressing salons and beauty salons to support them in resuming activity with two objectives: to guarantee the best conditions for security, while maintaining a pleasant experience for customers.


Germany: Industrieverband Körperpflege- und Waschmittel – IKW

Many IKW members are responding to the increased demand for personal hygiene products. IKW supports in particular member companies, which are now producing products they do not have their usual portfolio. This includes various cosmetic products which are essential for personal hygiene but also biocidal products like hand disinfectants. IKW provides guidance to member companies on the legal requirements for these products and is in close contact with the relevant authorities. Key topics are different national exemptions for biocidal products and individual derogations for the denaturation of ethanol. IKW is also defending the status of cosmetic products, detergents, cleaning and disinfecting products as essential products, the supply of which must be maintained during the current crises.
IKW has also recently published videos about the occupational safety standards in hairdressing and in beauty salons in the times of COVID-19 crisis.
Read more


Hungary: Hungarian Cosmetic and Home Care Association – KOZMOS

KOZMOS requested at an early stage of the crisis the introduction of a temporary registration system for biocides for 180 days in case of emergency. KOZMOS worked on the acceptance of alcohol-based hand cleansers by the local cosmetic authority provided the product meets the requirements of the Cosmetic Regulation and no biocidal claims are applied.
KOZMOS helped their members with understanding the WHO formula and the local alcohol fiscal law.


Italy: Cosmetica Italia

Cosmetica Italia is keeping members informed in real-time, providing guidelines on new decrees’ application and a weekly monitoring of the political and institutional debate. Through advocacy activities, CI promotes the dialogue with national and regional authorities to ensure cosmetics as defined as essential products.
CI also monitors the repercussions of the emergency  on the cosmetic sector through weekly surveys and provides updates to the media highlighting the members’ response to the crisis.
CI alone donated 50 thousand Euro for the construction of the Fiera Milanocity hospital and with other Federchimica member associations jointly together 1 million Euro to support this cause.
Watch the video message released by Renato Ancorotti, President of Cosmetica Italia


Netherlands: Nederlandse Cosmetica Vereniging – NCV

The NCV support their members in Covid-19 crisis with variety of actions. NCV has a weekly corona newsletter and on-line meetings in which members can express their concerns and questions. The general public is informed via NCV’s website on the importance of hygiene and hand washing. NCV has contact with authorities with regard to regulatory and other problems (hand gels, vital sector, transport, ingredients, etc.)
Read more


Norway: Kosmetikleverandørenes Forening – KLF

Since March 13th, KLF has been very active in its contacts with its members, authorities and other partners affected by the consequences of the lockdown of large sections of society. In particular, KLF has worked for, and achieved, exemptions from the biocide regulations also in Norway, so that manufacturers can meet the great need for disinfectants going forward without a comprehensive application process that is common. KLF has had a special focus on suppliers of hairdressing salons that have been closed since March 13th and have been in close dialogue with the hairdressers association to find good solutions when re-opening.


Poland: The Polish Union of the Cosmetics Industry – Kosmetyczni.pl

Kosmetyczni.pl has been accompanying the Polish cosmetics industry at all the stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine-person cosmetics crisis management team has been in a constant dialogue with policy makers in Poland and EU, including the Ministries of Development, Finance, Health, State Assets, Agriculture, the Lewiatan Confederation, the Polish Council of Shopping Centres, the Association of Employers Polish Spirits Industry and many other unions and organisations. Kosmetyczni.pl also launched two special projects: #BusinessMatching to facilitate business contacts  and – together with LOOK GOOD – FEEL BETTER Foundation (Fundacja Piękniejsze Życie) – #KremDoZadanSpecjalnych that aims to enable donations of antibacterial products, cosmetics and personal protective equipment to hospitals, health centres and all other entities in need.
Kosmetyczni.pl has also recently published guidelines on the safety provision for hairdressers and beauty salons during COVID-19 crisis.
Read more


Slovakia: Slovak Association for Branded Products - SZZV

SZZV provides full support to their members in solving problems in relation to the current COVID-19 crisis. SZZV is part of  the Crisis Committee of the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture for COVID- 19 and remains in regular contact with other relevant state authorities and Government Office of the Slovak Republic. SZZV’s key priorities are free movement of workers between Member States, monitoring supply streams and situation as regards logistics and monitoring expedited legislative procedure for the economic measures of the Government to soften impact of the post-virus crisis.


Spain: The Spanish Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association - STANPA

Since the beginning of the crisis, STANPA has collaborated with the Government to ensure that 4.5 million liters of hydroalcoholic gel are supplied by Stanpa member companies in collaboration to support the fight against the pandemic and needs of the Spanish health system in this respect are met. This included supplying entities of public interest, such as hospitals, nursing homes and state security forces. The cosmetic industry has been recognized as strategic and essential for the fight against COVID-19.
Faced with the shortage of alcohol for cosmetic use, STANPA has looked for alternative sources such as alcohol for human consumption or bioethanol and explored ways to provide plastic containers and caps due to their shortage, seeking new suppliers nationwide.
STANPA continues to advise and provide unconditional help to over 400 entities that are part of the association.
STANPA has recently published Health and Hygiene Recommendation Guides for Hair Salons and Beauty Salons, which aim to establish common principles of an informative nature, security measures and action protocols that allow the recovery of the activity of hair and beauty salons in Spain ensuring the protection of both workers and clients against COVID-19.
Read more


Switzerland: The Swiss Cosmetic and Detergent Association – SKW

The SKW keeps their members informed via e-mail on the points relevant to them in connection with the coronavirus. In addition, online meetings are held if necessary. The SKW is also in constant exchange and coordinates its work with other national and international associations, with the authorities and other stakeholders in order to provide optimal support to SKW members during the crisis.
Read more


United Kingdom: Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association - CTPA

CTPA is engaging with key UK Government departments to ensure they are aware of the industry’s needs during the COVID-19 emergency and to highlight industry actions.  Companies are kept aware of their legal obligations and critical guidance via the new COVID-19: Advice for the Cosmetics Industry page.  The CTPA Emergency Response Exchange, CERE, has been set up for the exchange of hand hygiene and PPE manufacturing/supply needs during the COVID-19 health emergency. CTPA has also added advice to its consumer website.

CTPA has been working with manufacturers, distributors, retailers and the industry’s scientific experts to prepare new guidance, COVID-19 Guidance on In-Store Testers and Cosmetic Counters and has also recently published a Charter, supported by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), to help customers get back to browsing beauty counters safely.


During these challenging times, awareness of what we all can do to protect ourselves is paramount.

The World Health Organisation lists regular and thorough cleaning of hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water as the first basic protective measure against the new coronavirus. A number of direct links to very informative materials can be found here:
Similarly, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also points to “washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or cleaning hands with alcohol-based solutions, gels or tissues” as one of important preventive measures. More information can be found here. ECDC also made available a number of infographics, posters and leaflets to better educate on various aspects, including effective hand-washing.

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