Society
& Culture

play

The rituals of beauty

Beauty and personal care products have stood the test of time, helping to shape society and culture in Europe and across the globe in many ways. Many beauty rituals have cultural or historical significance, and these traditions are carried forward through generations who feel a sense of connection and belonging to these rituals. These rituals are also woven into all aspects of life, helping mark major milestones and life events.

Tradition and
know-how

The beauty and personal care industry is a sector full of tradition and know-how, with the skill associated with the industry passed down from generation to generation. In fact, so valued are these traditions that the skills related to perfume in the Pays de Grasse region of France — considered the birthplace of modern perfumery — have been inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Fostering diversity

Inclusivity in every sense of the word is important, not only in the beauty world but in society. The beauty industry has embraced inclusive beauty, which describes products and practices that cater to everyone in society. By championing inclusivity, the industry not only contributes to the economic growth and competitiveness of the market but promotes representation and a sense of community among its diverse population.

Shaping society and culture

A SYMBOL OF EMPOWERMENT

Lipstick has long played a valuable role in culture and society. The first commercial lipstick was created in Paris in 1884, formally creating an iconic means of self-expression.

PRESERVING CULTURAL TRADITIONS

The skills related to perfume in the Pays de Grasse region of France have been inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

SUPPORTING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

Gender neutral make-up and fragrances are becoming increasingly popular. 40% of Gen-Z consumers say they prefer gender neutral products22.

A SYMBOL OF EMPOWERMENT

Lipstick has long played a valuable role in culture and society. The first commercial lipstick was created in Paris in 1884, formally creating an iconic means of self-expression.

PRESERVING CULTURAL TRADITIONS

The skills related to perfume in the Pays de Grasse region of France have been inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

SUPPORTING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

Gender neutral make-up and fragrances are becoming increasingly popular. 40% of Gen-Z consumers say they prefer gender neutral products22.

quote

From a social and cultural perspective, the beauty industry is a leader in terms of inclusivity and embraces diversity. It has long been forward-thinking in terms of gender diversity, for instance. It is a product and service category that transcends cultures, and it is where culture expresses itself.

— Professor Benjamin Voyer, Cartier-chaired Professor of Entrepreneurship at ESCP business school and visiting Professor in Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics

quote

Today, influential advocates, social movements, and consumer demands are reshaping beauty and personal care, aiming to challenge stereotypes, broaden the spectrum of beauty standards, and foster inclusivity. Women and the queer community are pivotal in this transformation, redefining norms to create a more diverse and equitable society that embraces cultural expressions and identities, challenging rigid beauty standards. This shift signifies progress towards inclusivity and acceptance, a celebration of the evolving and more encompassing ideals of beauty.

— Lucy Jane Santos, beauty historian

BEAUTY AND PERSONAL CARE HAS SHAPED SOCIETY AND CULTURE FOR GENERATIONS

Explore the value of beauty to European society and culture

Download the Report
Loreal
Beiersdorf
Givaudan
IFF
KIKO
ANCOROTTI