Thesis Cosmetic Industry

What is your Research area. What are you Doing?

A short narrative about the area that you wish to focus on and why it is of interest to you

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My research area is the Cosmetic Industry, ethical and unethical companies. I am interested and I am curious about how the cosmetics companies influence the consumer or change their perspectives using the right tools, language and the environmental aspect nowadays. What are the challenges and future opportunities for ethical and unethical companies

How are you going to do it?

How are you going to go about it? What is involved. What methodology ( your view of the world at this point interpretive and deductive proving previous knowledge in the lit review in a quant study and partly in a qualitative research and inductive by gaining new information from the qualitative interviews) and what method ( tool of data collection for primary research quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods.

I will be doing a comparative research and I will collect data from customers and people in the cosmetic industry doing a quantitative research.

I will identify, analyse and explain similarities and differences across the Cosmetic Industry and what are the future opportunities and challenges for an ethical and unethical company.

Who are you going to talk to?

Who is the sample who are you going to talk to . What contributions they will make Why are you taking to these particular people. Again the method as to the tools that you use is important.

I will be talking to customers that consume Cosmetic Products whether it is ethical or unethical. I will also be talking to people that work directly and indirectly in the cosmetic industry.

Why are you doing it? What is the aim

What is the expected outcome at this stage. This should be as comprehensive as you can make it. It will help you in ascertaining whether you have a valid research question or not. What are you hoping to prove, discover, add value to, look at from a different perspective etc.

I am doing it because I hope to add value to the Cosmetic Industry’s understanding of marketing for ethical and unethical perspectives.

The aim of this research project is to find out and discover the future opportunities and challenges for ethical and unethical companies in the cosmetic industry and which one is more likely to be successful in the future.

I also hope to prove and add value to the customers decision for choosing a company, is important for the future of the cosmetic industry because, while the two differ, they are dependent upon each other.


Research question

Can you define a question Try and spend a bit of time on this. It may change over the course of your project but the overall aims and areas of interest should not change.

Cosmetic Industry: Future Opportunities and Challenges for Ethical and Unethical Companies.

Research objectives

3 – 5 research objectives which you will have answered by the time you complete your project.

These are the sub themes, these are 5 distinct areas of investigation that require a minimum of 5 pieces of distinct literature reviews on the subject

This forms the basis of your questions and topics that you will further explore in your primary research.

Undertake a comparison within the Cosmetic Industry;

Analyse the Ethical Cosmetic Industry (e.g. Cruelty free cosmetics);

Analyse the Unethical Cosmetic Industry (e.g. Animal testing);

Identify the opportunities and challenges for ethical and unethical cosmetic companies;

Analyse which type of cosmetic companies are more likely to be successful in the future.

When are you doing it

What is the timeline, see the gannet chart.

See the Gannet chart to more detailed time, I really want to be finishing it by November 2020.


What are the main issues/themes arising from your search of the literature as it relates to the key areas of interest posed by the research question/aims/objectives?

The main themes and literary works related from my search are:

Making a Difference: The Impact of Corporate Ethical Behavior on Consumers in the Beauty Industry

Paige M. Gould (University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA) The Myth of Cosmetic Identity

Richard G. Mitchell (SAGE Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California, USA)
Exploratory Analysis of Global Cosmetic Industry: Major Players, Technology and Market Trends

Sameer Kumar (University of St Thomas, Minnesota, USA)
Comparative Innovative Business Strategies of Major Players in Cosmetic Industry

Sameer Kumar, Cindy Massie and Michelle D. Dumonceaux (University of St Thomas, Minnesota, USA) Alternative Methods to Animal Testing for the Safety Evaluation of Cosmetic Ingredients: An Overview

Maria Pilar Vinardell and Montserrat Mitjans (Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

New Models in Cosmetics Replacing Animal Testing

Gregory Mone (Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, New York, USA)


What have you learned from the search of the literature that is relevant to your research question?

From the literature search, I have found out several aspects of the Cosmetic Industry. I have learned that there is a strong position for Unethical Companies and the market for the Ethical companies can be very hard and expensive to get in, but nowadays the customers are more interested in the Ethical Companies than in the past but it’s still a small market. I also learned that there are other ways and models that can replace Animal Testing from the Cosmetic Industry, that is one of the main challenges for the industry.


Explain the research methodology best fits your research and which methods you will use

The methodology that will best fit the research project is the quantitative method. A survey will be managed to the public that consume Cosmetic Products whether it is ethical or unethical. The survey will also be directed at people that work directly and indirectly in the cosmetic industry.



The participants will be customers and people that works in the cosmetic industry. The data will be collected using the convenient sampling method.


The materials that will be used in the research is a survey of questions, related to the Cosmetic Industry. Questions are to be answered on a personal view and participants preference. In addition to the questions to be answered, participants will also be asked to share the experience they might have using an ethical and/or unethical Cosmetic Product and their preference.


On the survey, the participants will ensure the voluntary consent and no personal data will be collected following the GDPR; the results will be kept completely anonymous. The individual will have no benefits or risks from completing the survey, also the individual can withdraw their participation at any time during the survey with absolutely no consequences.



What are the key tasks in completing your dissertation? What potential challenges and risks do you foresee? Do you have a contingency plan for the risks?


The tasks to be completed for this dissertation, include getting secondary research and creating a survey for primary data collection from customers and people that work in the cosmetic industry.

See Gantt Schedule for more details.

Challenges, Risks and Contingency Plans:

The access to information about Ethical Cosmetic Companies is sometime hard by private or chargeable reports because it’s still a very new topic.

Need to get all free information possible, especially data from books or reviews accessible from the school catalogues and library.


I will have the opportunity to collect my own primary data via the survey and perhaps interviews. It can be a challenge to create a survey that is brief but detailed enough to allow for quality information.

Need to be smart and efficient on the survey.

Some of the data I will collect maybe collected for a purpose that does not match my needs.
Need to be focussing in what is important and analyse them in a way that I can meet my objectives.

I will have to manage my time management and maybe avoid specific tasks due to other work or assignments.

Need to be working following my timetable and free from any distractions, I really want finish before November 2020.


This literature review focuses on pre-published research regarding the cosmetic industry, especially the impacts and future of the industry. Cosmetic brands have undergone numerous changes and have been forced to adapt to what is now known as being an ethical or unethical company. The industry is considered as the highest-selling products in any given market. Being ethical or unethical in the industry is a big thing nowadays, consumers’ perception is changing and some of the companies are not realising that this is a big factor.

An ethical company is one that produces products that are safe for human use and also for the planet by protecting the environment, they only use non-toxic ingredients to achieve results. Other factors such as Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly Packaging and sustainable sourcing are also relevant to assessing whether a cosmetic company is ethical. On the other hand, an unethical company is one that engages is unethical conduct such as exploiting their workers and customers, testing on animals, using toxic and/or genetically modified ingredients to achieve the results and non-Eco-Friendly packaging.

To better understand the world of the cosmetic industry and what the future opportunities and challenges will be, a literature review will be conducted to get a better understanding of the actual situation.


The cosmetic industry is one of the most popular industries in the whole world, and cosmetic products are among the most sold products in the global market. McCracken and Macklin argue that consumer brand tends to be relevant to consumers and are thus purchased daily (1998,210). To match the demand of the consumers, some companies are forced to produce these products in an ethical way.

According to Paige M. Gould (2017), many consumers are aware that companies used to rely heavily on animal testing before launching beauty products. Consumer awareness of this has been increasing more and more nowadays, and what most customers are unlikely be aware that animal testing in the USA is not banned and products can be labelled cruelty-free even if tested on animals (Kangas, 2017).

The big company Estee Lauder, admit they will let their products be tested on animals if required by law in the country of sale (Kangas, 2017). On the other hand, to be considered cruelty-free and ethical, a company must abstain from any unethical behaviour, like animal testing, at all points of production and also sale. Even companies very well known for their ethical behaviour, continue to struggle to remove child labour from their supply chain (Bengtsen & Paddison, 2016).

The Cosmetic industry is starting to see the importance of being ethical or unethical, and that is not going to go away. More and more customers are looking for, and also care about, ethical and cruelty-free companies. The challenges that both companies and consumers face as a result of the ethical age can be mitigated by taking into consideration various factors. Adapting to the change cannot be simple, and the companies that have the capability to make the switch faster have an advantage over the other companies that they might be competing within their market segment.

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