10 beauty brands that spread kindness during the coronavirus crisis

I think it's fair to say that we've all been having a tough time through the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of us have been trying to spread kindness during lockdown. Today, I'm talking about ten beauty brands in particular who sprung into action to try to help.

In March, when the virus outbreak was heading for it's peak, we all saw many businesses releasing statements of intent for how they would be functioning during the pandemic. Some brands were simply saying they would continue to ship orders (not a criticism, just an observation) but others - including these ten - sprung into action. From gifting product to frontline heroes who deserve and need it the most (extremely dry hands are no joke) to donating directly to the World Health Organisation, these brands used their influence, manpower and money to help when the entire globe was in need. 
Burts Bees
We should be talking about more than just Burt and his famous beeswax lip balms. Burts Bees donated products to Fabulous magazine's care package initiative, which saw hundreds of thousands of items like hand creams and lip balms sent to frontline workers. I haven't been able to confirm it but I think Burts Bees may also have independently sent toiletries to NHS trusts separate from the care package project, they appear on Barts Health Trust's thank you list (here.)

Aveeno UK has donated over 350,000 of their famous lotions to the NHS as a gesture of thanks and support to staff. Over seas, Aveeno has partnered with the American Nurses Foundation.

If you've read my blog before, you may have seen Weleda's Skin Food mentioned here and there. It's a famous multi-purpose moisturiser that can be used anywhere. On the face, elbows, hands and dehydrated cuticles - so it's made for a great repair cream for doctors, nurses and other frontline staff, especially for their hands! Weleda have donated tens of thousands of units of their incredible Skin Food to the NHS.
Calendula extract is known for it's skin healing properties, and for having natural antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, so Weleda have supplied NHS staff with several products from their Calendula line. Including their Calendula Balm for the face, which is perfect to help soothe scuffs and abrasions that may have been caused by PPE being worn for long hours. Weleda have also donated Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash, which are particularly gentle on the scalp and skin, but also practical for staff who might need to shower at the end of their shift before leaving the hospital.

Nivea UK has donated a whopping 200,000+ units of product to key workers across the country, and their parent company, Beiserdorf, has also made massive contributions. 5 million Nivea skincare and hand care products has been donated to medical personnel around the world and Beiserdorf factories on five continents have sprung into action to produce and donate 1 million litres of disinfectant. Their international funding programme has seen 50 million Euro allocated to epicentres of COVID-19, especially to those whose public health systems are struggling to cope; and Beiserdorf has promised to double any monetary donations made personally by any of their employees.

Lotil has donated tubes of their famous moisturising cream to help soothe sore, dry and cracked skin caused by repetitive hand washing and drying protective gloves. Lotil's cream is packed with moisturising and softening ingredients so is ideal. A number of hospitals were recipients of Lotil's kind donation, like the A&E department of St Mary's, Paddington.

Paula's Choice
Another favourite brand of mine, Paula's Choice has donated $50,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which work to understand how the virus spreads, how to track it, to ensure patients get the care they need and to see the development of a vaccine; as well as ensuring frontline workers get essential supplies and training.

Dove has donated over 5 million Euro worth of their products and PPE to NGO and government initiatives all over the world, including  healthcare staff and hospitals. Here in the UK, Dove has provided £1 million of personal care products to frontline workers. They have also redirected some of their media investment away from their own advertising campaigns to reinforcing the latest advice from the WHO. Dove's parent company Unilever has donated over £40 million worth of soaps and sanitiser to the COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum and has also directed their manufacturers to produce sanitisers for hospitals and schools.

Evolve Beauty
Evolve launched their Keep Calm & Spray On hand Sanitiser (which meets the minimum alcohol % requirement to be effective against COVID-19) and ran a buy one, donate one policy, which meant for every sanitiser purchased, they donated a bottle to a charity or other worthy cause. Closer to home, they donated £1 from every sale (and 30p from every sale of the travel size version) to NHS charities local to them. They have donated over £30,000 worth of products to NHS staff!

Another brand you'll have seen dotted around this blog is Dermalogica, who have donated more than 5,000 Ultra Calming skin kits to frontline NHS and HSE workers, as well as offering a discount especially for those working in the healthcare sector.

Aromatherapy Associates
Aromatherapy Associates introduced an Emergency Services and NHS discount, as well as donating wellbeing packages on a nomination basis. Over three weeks, they invited their social media followers to nominate NHS teams, and 50 nominees were chosen at random to received the packages, which were filled with over 70 products. Recipients included Tayberry Ward at Newham University Hospital, the Paediatrics team at Homerton Hospital and the Respiratory team at Lincoln County Hospital.

What I also found interesting when doing research for this post was that these brands weren't shouting from the roof tops about their donations. To anybody that may be cynical and think these donations were more of a PR stunt than a genuine, wholehearted act of kindness: it wasn't. I actually had to do some digging and reach out to brands to find out about their community initiatives. That's part of the reason I want to sing their praises now. I don't want their contributions to go unnoticed. I've said it before and I'll say it again: as consumers, we have power. We choose where we put our money, and I know I'm conscious of who I support and who I don't. The pandemic brought out the worst in some big companies. I personally know of people who were affected by their employer - a huge chain - that immediately made their employees redundant, with a pitiful redundancy package and a refusal to pay them through the furlough scheme, even though they would still have been technically employed on the cut off date, thus would have been eligible. I wanted to talk about the brands who did the total opposite - who went out of their way to spread urgently needed kindness - because I encourage you to support brands who did act altruistically throughout this pandemic, and educate yourself about those who didn't. I want people to remember the brands who did right by their community, and support them going forward.

Thank you so much for reading!

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Images showing Dermalogica, Burts Bees, Lotil, Weleda and Aromatherapy Associates products contain press samples. Thank you to the brands who sent me samples especially to include in this post. 

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