The beauty industry is in turmoil.
Brands are leaving Europe, leaving their clients and employees behind, and it’s happening with greater frequency than ever before.
What has changed?
The first sign of trouble was when German cosmetics giant Garnier dropped its brand from its cosmetics range.
“This was a difficult decision because we are based in Germany and we want to be an integral part of our brand’s portfolio,” Garnier’s chief executive, Hans Höll, told reporters.
“Our European operations are important for us and our global business.”
The company, which has been making cosmetic products since the 1960s, was one of the few brands that were able to make money from their home market.
Garnier’s decision came as the European Union adopted a new beauty regulations aimed at preventing the spread of diseases.
The EU, which started regulating cosmetics in 2008, is also looking to crack down on the use of ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, a widely used disinfectant, in cosmetics, and the use and marketing of other potentially dangerous chemicals, like parabens.
It was Garnier that was the first to make headlines after the European Commission announced plans to cut the number of cosmetics labelling requirements from seven to three.
Holl has since said the decision to leave the European market was the result of Garnier changing its approach to the cosmetics business.
“It’s been difficult because our European operations have been important for our brand and our brand has been successful for us,” he said.
“We know that we can’t do everything, but we can do a lot more.”
Garniesta and its German subsidiary have already seen its sales drop by 40 per cent in the last year.
Holl told reporters that the company would be bringing back its European operations.
“I think the most important thing is that we make sure we have the right people in place, in the right way and in the correct environment,” he told reporters at a news conference.
More on cosmetics from the Guardian: The beauty brands in Europe who are leaving the continentThe UK is one of a number of countries that have seen a dramatic drop in the number and types of cosmetic products sold.
According to research by The Guardian, the UK sales of cosmetics and hair care products dropped by more than 50 per cent between 2015 and 2020, while the UK also experienced the biggest decline in the cosmetics market of any of the 28 member states of the EU.
The biggest drop in sales for hair care was in the United States, where the market was hit by a combination of rising costs, an obesity epidemic and the introduction of a controversial cosmetic ban.
The UK’s sales of cosmetic goods dropped by 35 per cent over the same period.
British beauty brands are moving abroad to compete in an increasingly competitive market that is increasingly reliant on imports from the US.
The UK is not alone in this, as many European countries are struggling with the impact of globalisation.
In Europe, there has been a huge drop in quality of care products and services in recent years, leading to a sharp rise in infections, including a new coronavirus pandemic that has affected more than 100 million people across the continent.