Published: 25 March 2024  (Updated: 11 April 2024)

CTPA Manifesto series #2: Promote the essentiality of our industry's products and services

By Dr. Emma Meredith, Director General, CTPA


The CTPA Manifesto, launched in February in the UK General Election year, calls for the next Government to develop a strategy for the cosmetics and personal care industry to secure the continued sustainable growth of our essential sector. The dedicated Strategy request of the #CTPAManifesto2024 is based on 12 keys asks, under the five pillars of essentiality, regulation, science, sustainability and business. 

The individual asks under each pillar represent the most important things Government can do to help ensure the continued growth and success of the sector.

Today I’d like to focus on #essentiality.  CTPA’s core purpose is to enable the cosmetics and personal care industry to deliver excellence and support wellbeing.  I think all of us fortunate enough to work in this industry recognise that the positive influence of our industry’s products on the individual’s wellbeing and self-esteem is far more than just a feeling. The importance of being able to keep ourselves clean, protected and able to choose how we present ourselves to others cannot be underestimated.  However, when I am talking with stakeholders I am sometimes faced with the reply “I don’t use cosmetic products”; to which I reply – “Did you brush your teeth this morning, wash your hands, take a shower? Then you use cosmetic products!”

One of the key asks in the #CTPAManifesto2024 is that UK Government policy recognises the essentiality and economic significance of our industry and addresses the needs of the industry accordingly, as is the case with other sectors, enabling it to continue contributing to the UK’s scientific leadership, diverse workforce, economy and growth.  In 2022, the personal care industry supported a total GDP contribution of £24.5 billion1.

Whenever we talk about our products we must stress that the cosmetics, personal care and beauty sectors are part of an essential industry.  The pandemic not only reminded us of the vital importance of hygiene, but also of self-esteem and positive mental health, both of which are enhanced by taking care of personal care and hygiene, including visits to hair and beauty salons and spas. 

The industry produces products that are absolutely critical to everyday life.  For example, oral care products (including toothpaste) which help improve oral health – something recognised as important by all political parties with policies on improving teeth and gum health in the UK ,soaps and hand washes, shampoos and conditioners as well as colour cosmetics, hair styling and grooming products for both women and men.  Perhaps you used an antiperspirant or deodorant, a moisturiser, beard oil, mascara, lipstick or a spritz of your favourite fragrance to help you feel ready to face the day?  Not forgetting sun protection, a subject close to my heart.  Sunscreens, classed as cosmetic products in the UK and EU, help protect us against the damaging effects of UV rays.  Over the last decade, non-melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased by more than two-fifths (42%) in the UK2 and melanoma skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases3.  With these and other worrying stats about skin cancer, public health authorities globally recommend the use of sun protection products as part of a sun safe regime to help reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Our industry? Definitely more than just a feeling!

Additionally, thanks to research undertaken by CTPA in collaboration with strategic insight company, Opinium4, alongside two decades worth of independent research, we are able to confidently answer the question - yes, cosmetic products absolutely are necessary.  85% of UK adults class cosmetics and personal care products as essential to their lives; the figure is even higher among women, at 94%. 

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This is why it is imperative that this industry, our industry, has a dedicated strategy to ensure its continued presence as an absolute essential in all our daily lives.

Read the full CTPA Manifesto here.

CTPA members: you are invited to join our campaign > download the toolkit CTPA has prepared for you here

I look forward to your continued company on the journey through our five pillars. Next stop…. our key asks in matters of regulation for the cosmetics industry!


1 Value of Beauty Report. (March 2023). Oxford Economics for the British Beauty Council

2 Cancer Research UK

3 Cancer Research UK

4 Opinium polled 2,000 UK adults between 25 February and 1 March 2022.  See more information about this research in CTPA’s Annual Report 2021, ‘More Than a Feeling’. 


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