Connecting with consumers on DEI and sustainability expectations in the health and beauty industry

February 24, 2023

person applying Face Pack

Diving deeper into our 2022 Higher Impact research, we explored consumer sentiments from across Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US in connection with five industries (Fashion, Health & Beauty, Travel, Grocery, and Auto) to better understand how they feel about the role of brands around the issues of sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Part of the way consumers express how they look and feel is through their health and beauty purchases

The choices they make and the brands they buy from can be very personal—which can make aligning with their DEI and sustainability values a key part of inspiring brand loyalty.

Fully embracing DEI is important to consumers


47% of respondents want their health and beauty brands committed to DEI, which is slightly more than the 44% average across all industries


38% state they would carry out their own research to see how health and beauty brands are supporting DEI efforts

There are several ways health and beauty brands may want to incorporate representation

Inclusive products and advertisements are just a few ways that health and beauty brands can make DEI a part of their brand standards.

To demonstrate their DEI commitments, consumers believe brands should have products inclusive of all skin types, shades, and textures (18%), and that brands should advertise products with a diverse array of models to represent everyone (14%), among other expectations.

See how brands like SheaMoisture lead with their values, keep DEI at the core of their mission, and support Black leaders.

Consumers who invest in self-care also care about Earth’s well-being


More than 6 in 10 respondents consider sustainability efforts when choosing health and beauty products


About 47% say they’ll confirm brands’ sustainability efforts by conducting their own research

Cruelty-free means being kind to the planet too

According to surveyed consumers, refraining from animal testing and using natural and environmentally friendly materials and ingredients are strong indicators of being more sustainable in the health and beauty industry.

To global consumers who participated in the study, sustainability involves:

women applying a beauty product

No.1 Using environmentally
friendly products/materials

Men applying beauty product

No. 2 Staying cruelty-free and avoiding animal testing

women using natural ingredient beauty product

No. 3 Using natural ingredients

Consumers would like to see more transparent marketing from health and beauty brands

After cost, consumers say the lack of transparency and misleading claims are the biggest hurdles they face in choosing sustainable health and beauty brands.

Greatest hurdles consumers face to making more-sustainable choices across health and beauty brands

High-cost products: 20%


Lack of transparency around product pricing, manufacturing, labor, and materials: 13%


Lack of clarity about which claims are legitimate and which are just marketing or PR: 11%


Percentage of consumers surveyed

Actions that brands can take

With global consumers surveyed keeping DEI and sustainability top of mind, here are some actions that brands in the health and beauty industry can potentially take:

  1. Align your brand purpose with action to demonstrate your commitments to sustainability and DEI
  2. Center your brand strategy on consumer needs to build and maintain trust and credibility with consumers
  3. Stay connected with your consumers by authentically sharing your brand story around sustainability and DEI efforts through channels and solutions like Amazon Ads Streaming TV, audio ads, and other multi-objective brand-building strategies

Source: Amazon Ads with Environics Research, 2022 Higher Impact study, CA, DE, JP, UK, and US