Beauty And Brains: Brands Address The Mental Health Of Their Customers During The Pandemic

With the pandemic impacting people’s mental as well as physical health and May being Mental Health Awareness Month, in this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 12 brand founders and executives: What mental health-related content are you trying, and what’s the response been like?

Jessica Mann Owner and Artisan, Ari Rose Body Care

As soon as I realized things were taking a negative turn with coronavirus, I began putting up more content surrounding mental health, part of which included a Mental Health Tip of the Day, in my Stories. I'd offer up different ways to facilitate mental health and well-being, including daily affirmations, catching up on unfinished books, movement, and conscious consumption of foods that will fuel and nourish our bodies. I've hosted weekly Instagram Lives as well with influencers to discuss mental health and learn different ways each individual is coping during these difficult times.

DANIELLE GRONICH Co-Founder, CLEARstem Skincare

We have been doing a lot of Instagram Lives talking about self-care. We've been doing shared Instagram Lives with wellness and leadership brands, so we can meet each other's communities and add value they weren't expecting. We have also been focusing on super empathetic messaging about owning your feelings, feeling OK with uncertainty, and not feeling pressured to release a book or lose 20 pounds just because of quarantine. 

This experience is going to have some PTSD side effects. It's traumatizing to have your whole world turned upside down, be deprived of your normal social interactions, and have your livelihood and health threatened. So, surrendering to the unknown and finding peace within a pandemic is success enough, and people should give themselves credit for making it through this.

SARA SAIDY Founder, Legendary Apothecary

We’ve been focusing more on self-care and mindfulness on social media and email marketing, and the response has been great. The self-care movement was growing even before the pandemic, but I think everyone is now more aware of how important it is to care for your mind and body. The challenge now becomes, how do we keep this going? How can we help our consumers make healthier and more mindful choices all the time, not just during the pandemic? This is something that we’ve been focused on since we launched the brand, and we continue to learn and improve our approach.

Nicole Perez Head of Marketing and Branding, Daily Dose

During these very uncertain and stressful times, people are enduring entirely new and uncomfortable routines. We constantly hear people say, "I miss my life. I miss going out. I miss seeing family and friends." For so many of us, our days now revolve around sweatpants, screen time, lots of home-cooked meals and the occasional shower.  We're having unique virtual encounters with work, school, family and friends. We're still being seen, and we still want to feel good about ourselves. When we do "gussy up," we feel better.  

Our focus with regards to mental health has been on content that helps people feel like their old selves and find some semblance of normalcy through beauty and haircare. We have shared advice on "quarantine hair," and how to care for it during lockdown, especially since most people can't enjoy their salons and stylists. We discuss how to keep hair naturally beautiful, ensuring manageability, moisturizing to alleviate dryness, easing frizz and preventing breakage. 

We also work closely with stylists and influencers who communicate daily, giving tips on products and how to keep hair smooth, soft and healthy. So far, the response has been great. While many brick-and-mortar retailers are suffering, our e-commerce business is strong and growing. Even during difficult times, people want to look and feel good.

Megan Roup Creator, The Sculpt Society

Providing mental health content for my community is extremely important to me. I have done an Instagram Live with author Geneen Roth, and have upcoming live discussions with Kelsey Patel and Gabby Bernstein to talk about anxiety and any tips they have. My community is one of mind, body and soul, so implementing these mental health content opportunities continues to be more and more important each day.  

ALLISON MCNAMARA Founder, Mara

We haven't been focusing on mental health per se, but we are using our social content to (hopefully) entertain our viewers with unique Instagram Lives and Instagram Stories that are focused on feeling good instead of selling products. We have curated Instagram Lives on everything from How to Shoot Gorgeous iPhone Content with our photographer Karen Rosalie to No Bake Energy Bars with Brandi Milloy and even how to DIY Your Own Compost. I have learned so much from being a part of these, and it’s been a really fun way to pivot for us.

ROCHELLE GRAHAM-CAMPBELL CEO, Alikay Naturals

Mental health is something that I have been an advocate for years, especially for entrepreneurs. I talk about it in my book "90 Days to CEO." I also just did a one-week series on different forms of wellness, and my specific topic was mental health. I was able to be transparent and share my journey with mental health as an entrepreneur while maintaining a stressful life in business, growing a brand, and also raising a family. I believe that it’s our job to speak about it more and get rid of the stigma around it because so many people are dealing with it and not talking about it. The mental health conversation goes beyond one month for me.

Natalia Bednarek Founder, Herla Beauty

Lately, we've been focusing a lot on self-care content. As people are staying at home, it's important to stress out the importance of mental health and ease the anxiety. We believe that healthy skin [equals a] healthy you. We're all about reducing overdependence on makeup to achieve great looking skin. The COVID-19 situation is an opportunity to improve your skin and [not] cover it up with makeup. We're encouraging our community to be more in sync with nature. I personally started making weekly skincare tutorials with interesting beauty hacks that I learned from my grandmother. It's a way to encourage unique ways to take care of your skin. The response has been great and helps boost our engagement.

WENDY MAY REAL Founder, Pure Bloom

As a brand focused on the therapeutic benefits of plant-based cannabinoids, we have always been sensitive to the wellness needs of our customer, including mental health. During these challenging times, a heightened focus on self-care and emotional wellness has emerged among our customer base. To address this immediate need, we have increased our science-driven education on our website and the promotion of emotional awareness and support on our Instagram. We are also developing online tools to assist with product selection for desired therapeutic effects, including emotional health. We have had a positive response to these efforts, but are always seeking ways to ensure the continued safety and happiness of our community.

SHAUNÉ HAYES Owner, Red Carpet Ready Makeup

I was already receiving content from Iyanla Vanzant on personal and spiritual development and meditation. Her content continues to help my mental health and is especially relevant during these uncertain times. I also like the content from breath work coach Gwen Dittmar, which has helped me to see this time of social distancing as an opportunity to transform and evolve.

Rahama Wright CEO and Founder, Shea Yeleen

We've been doing posts on self-care tips that include mindfulness, mediation, using essential oils, breathing exercises and light exercises. These are mainly through our Instagram Stories. We are planning to do an Instagram Live Q&A with a psychologist to get mental health tips for mental health awareness month. We are also planning a Live with an aesthetician on DIY and self-care tips. We are finding overall more engagement on our social platforms probably because more people are spending time on social platforms during shelter in place.

EVELYN SUBRAMANIAM Founder, Bija Essence

We promote self-care, self-love and caring for others in order to be healthy in mind and body. Research proves that the power of touch is so powerful that those that are touched are healthier people, visit hospitals less, and are more confident. Our plant-based, all-natural ingredients are safe and support everyone's health. One of our formulas, a body oil called Rise supports the Immune System. Today, in the coronavirus world, research shows that those that survive COVID-19 have strong immune systems. Therefore, I practice exercises that will improve my immune system and support my mental health. 

Today, most mental health services are virtual worldwide. I began to practice virtual mediation for the first time in my life. It has been a life-changer, and I plan to keep it in my life for years to come. It is great because there is no travel involved, it is affordable, and the hours are flexible while the benefits are major. Online meditation classes are so accessible. I am sure you are receiving invitations from various studios, schools or friends. So, just try some. One good piece of advice: Have a Zoom friends mediation class by hiring a meditation instructor and invite your friends. It is a great time to learn new healthy habits while staying connected with friends.

Other healthy exercises I am practicing right now are virtual yoga and pilates, which are helping my mind and body stay strong. Equally important, is the time I am taking for self-love, everyday. I self-massage my body with my own body oils to keep my mental health in balance and my immune system strong. 

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