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Our industry is about taking care of people. The vast majority of Europe’s 500 million people use cosmetic and personal care products, contributing to well being and healthy lifestyles, and positive self-esteem every day.

Our industry is about taking care of people. The vast majority of Europe’s 500 million people use cosmetic and personal care products, contributing to well being and healthy lifestyles, and positive self-esteem every day.

From antiperspirants, fragrances, make-up and shampoos, to soaps, sunscreens and toothpastes, our products are ever-present in the lives of Europeans of all ages and of both sexes. The market penetration of some cosmetic products, like deodorants, toothpaste and shampoos, is near 100%.

The functional benefits of cosmetic products are clear. They bring significant contributions to wellbeing and health, from soap being used to wash hands in order to prevent the spread of disease, to toothpaste helping to reduce the prevalence of dental caries and gum disease.

Beyond functional benefits, we are constantly learning about the emotional benefits of our products. Cosmetics can help to improve our mood, enhance our appearance and engender positive self-esteem. A study by the Renfrew Center Foundation (2012) found that almost half of women feel less confident when they do not wear make-up. Moreover, they can help to exhibit personal style and, as such, are an important means of social expression. 60% of people state that cosmetics have a positive impact on wellbeing, image and mood (FEBEA, 2014).

Many cosmetic companies support Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), a charity dedicated to improving the confidence and wellbeing of women undergoing cancer treatment. With programmes operating in 26 countries worldwide, LGFB offers free workshops to help women and teenagers overcome the visual side-effects of cancer treatment. By learning how best to care for their skin and use cosmetic products, attendees say they feel better about themselves, regaining a sense of normality and confidence to go about their daily lives. Research in the UK has shown that this increased confidence remains high even three months following a workshop.

Our industry is also major employer. More than 119,500 people are employed directly in the manufacture of cosmetic products, while at least 373,000 people are employed indirectly (downstream) in the European cosmetics value chain.

Advertising is an important part of the interaction we have with consumers, and companies have a responsibility to provide clear information so people can make informed choices. To this end, our industry charter and guiding principles on responsible advertising and marketing communication provides guidance to ensure that advertising is legal, decent, honest and truthful, including advice on specific areas like airbrushing, taste and decency, advertising to children, and respect for the human being.

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