13 million people in the UK live below the poverty line. This level of poverty makes it difficult, often almost impossible, for people to afford sanitary and beauty products, whether that be a razor, toothpaste or tampons. But these are the sort of things that many households would label as clutter, filling the shelves and drawers of our bathrooms, unused.
Launched by the beauty editors Sali Hughes and Jo Jones, Beauty Bank is a non-profit organisation that aims to galvanise the beauty industry to provide toiletries and cosmetic products to people in need. Once sent, volunteers then pack up the products which are then distributed by the Trussell Trust to charity food banks and homeless shelters around the country.
Beauty Banks was born off the back of the horrifyingly revealing ‘In Kind Direct Impact Report 2017’ that exposed the depth of hygiene poverty that sees people choosing between eating and keeping clean. The Report discloses that 75% of recipients of products say they helped to boost their self-esteem. Although there is the age old adage that it’s what’s inside that counts, the effects of being able to brush your teeth, wash your hair or even sweep on a layer of lipstick are immeasurable.
Besides the essentials, Beauty Banks is asking people to donate unused make-up, spot creams or any other toiletries because, as Sali Hughes said in a piece for the online magazine The Pool, “Clean hair, skin and teeth are a right not a privilege.” Feeling clean can imbue a person with a level of confidence they may never have felt otherwise. And it is this confidence that allows people to go out, be interviewed, walk into a shop and pick their children up from school.
Cleanliness is something that many of us take for granted. It’s another thing that often falls under the banner of the oft spoken about craze that is self-care. But when you’re climbing into your bath or hurriedly putting on lipstick in the loo on the way to dinner, think about that moment and imagine being able to help someone else feel just as great.
To donate your products, either package and post them to Beauty Banks, C/O Jo Jones, The Communications Store, 2 Kensington Square, London W8 5EP. Or you can buy anything from boots.com, superdrug.com or amazon.co.uk (where there is a wish list) and send the products directly.
Visit the Beauty Banks Instagram page to find out more.