Many beauty brands did a lot more than release new products this year. Between the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, social justice movements, and the presidential election, we needed more from the industry than new innovations — and many of our favorite companies delivered.

Help from the beauty industry came in many different forms. Many brands took part in gifting products to essential workers on the front lines fighting COVID-19, others donated money toward PPE for medical staff, and a few changed their production line to make up for shortages in disinfectant products like hand sanitizer. While the economy is hurting and unemployment numbers have skyrocketed, many companies are donating large sums of money to organizations geared toward providing food and other forms of relief to those in need.

Then, this summer, long overdue support for the Black Lives Matter Movement came flooding in by way of donations and calls for action. This resulted in many brands taking a closer look at their own company practices and making necessary changes, as well as providing grants for small, Black-owned beauty brands to help foster growth and make up for the discrepancy in funding often given to these brands. While there’s still much work to be done, this year has been a positive jumping-off point for meaningful change in the industry.

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