Business Insider Edition

Smog, selfies, and city living are fuelling demand for cosmetics, L’Oréal boss says

Theron Mohamed , Business Insider US
 Sep 17, 2019, 11:18 AM

  • Smog, selfies, and city living are fueling demand for cosmetics, L'Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon told MarketWatch.
  • Urbanites use more beauty products as they socialise more and pollution threatens their hair and skin, he said.
  • Millennials who use Instagram and Snapchat filters to beautify themselves rely on cosmetics to look better in real life, he added.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Smog, selfies, and city living are fuelling demand for cosmetics, L'Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon told MarketWatch.

Urban pollution threatens people's hair and skin, Agon said, spurring demand for shampoos, conditioners, hydrating creams, and similar offerings. City dwellers also socialise more, he added, leading them to use more beauty products.

Pressure on millennials to live up to their digitally beautified images on Instagram and Snapchat has also been positive for sales.

"If they want to use filters to look better online, they have to do something in real life also to look better," Agon said in the Marketwatch interview. "They use more cosmetics, more makeup, more skin care, more everything."

L'Oréal's brands include Lancôme, Kiehl's, and Garnier. The group highlighted pollution, socialisation, and digitisation as growth drivers in a strategic presentation in June. It also pointed to the world's mushrooming urban population - set to surpass 5 billion by 2030 - as a boon for its business.

Those trends helped L'Oréal grow like-for-like sales by about 7% in the first half of this year, driving its operating income up 12% to around 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion). Investors have cheered the group's brisk growth, sending its stock up 20% in the past year.

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