Mental Health Awareness Day

A range of beauty brands are teaming up with the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Beauty Cares, a campaign designed to raise awareness around mental illnesses.

On May 20, Mental Health Action Day, a range of brands will participate in a full day of Instagram Live programming. The schedule includes Philosophy, Benefit Cosmetics, Uoma Beauty, Keys Soulcare, Rare Beauty, Loum Beauty, Urban Decay, E.l.f. Beauty, W3ll People, Youth to the People, Josie Maran, Koprai, Wander Beauty and First Aid Beauty. Topics range from inclusion to self-expression to navigating a new normal.

The campaign comes after NAMI has signed on several beauty brands as “Stigma-Free” partners, a commitment that requires robust policies around mental health. Among them are Loum Beauty and Rare Beauty, which spearheaded the campaign in a joint effort.

NAMI set its sights on beauty four years ago, when the organization brainstormed ways to transform its mission into a movement. “We wanted NAMI to lean in to building a movement, because we felt like a movement really has action,” said Katrina Gay, NAMI’s interim chief development officer. “While there were brands that embrace many other causes, we didn’t understand why not mental health, and it was because of the stigma and stereotypes,” she said.

“We look for brands that share our values of hope, inclusion, empowerment, compassion and fairness,” Gay continued. “We started cultivating partnerships, and we have over 50 now.”

Given the month’s theme of outreach, joining forces with other players in the industry was a natural next step for Loum Beauty and Rare Beauty.

“NAMI’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is about not being alone. So, how could we reach out to others? What if we, as an industry, could collectively show that you’re not alone because we are going to provide support,” said Kat Bryce, Loum Beauty’s cofounder, of the genesis of the campaign. “The collective audience across our partners is 32 million viewers, and we are taking different angles to mental health.”

Stress is central to Loum’s brand proposition, as clinical studies support the claim that its products mitigate the effects of stress. Rare Beauty also holds mental health awareness as a key tenet of its brand identity.

“In September, we actually made our commitment with NAMI to be a stigma-free brand. It was in that moment we decided we wanted to bring the beauty industry together along this journey,” said Elyse Cohen, vice president of social impact at Rare Beauty.

Part of Rare Beauty’s commitment includes dedicated mental health days and mental health first aid training for all of its employees. “We also closely look at our benefits on an ongoing basis to identify and learn from our own team what’s working and what’s not,” Cohen said. The brand has also previously committed to raising $100 million over the next 10 years for mental health services. The brand’s founder, actor and musician Selena Gomez, has been transparent about her mental health journey since before the brand’s inception.

Loum Beauty and Rare Beauty hope the campaign triggers a larger shift in how brands market products to consumers. Cohen added that while self-acceptance and insecurity have historically been stigmatized, she is tracking more interest across the industry as a whole. “It’s not only Rare, but the industry overall is really starting to tap into and step into that space,” Cohen said.

Beauty Cares follows a larger trend of camaraderie in the industry around important social issues. Last month, Caudalie, Youth to the People, Biossance, Ren Clean Skin Care, and others announced its #WeAreAllies campaign and collective efforts to meet zero-waste goals.

For more from WWD.com, see:

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