Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson and Managing Director, Shahnaz Husain Group

Shahnaz Husain, the renowned beauty maestro receives the “World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur” Award from Success, the New York-based business magazine, becoming the first woman in the world in 104 years to receive the prestigious Success Award. Ms. Husain has been the recipient of several prestigious international awards during her career and this one would be another golden feather in her cap. Shahnaz Husain is the quintessential entrepreneur who recently received the ‘Promoting Ayurveda Worldwide’ and ‘Ayurveda Excellence’ Awards in the British Parliament. She also became a Harvard Case Study on Brand Creation. Now, she is a Harvard subject and part of the curriculum for “Emerging Markets.”


The beauty industry has influenced the lifestyle of all; whether men, women or kids and is present at every stage of life, from applying kajal at a young age to selecting the lipstick you wish to wear at your wedding. This industry is all about appeal, and it strives to improve your natural qualities with new products that are also safe to use. It continues to expand worldwide, cranking out brand after brand and most of which are based on user input. Without any doubt, women have made significant contributions to the beauty industry’s success.

Although, growing up in the beauty industry can be gratifying and stressful, regardless of how simple styling has become. However, the beauty business has many problems, ranging from products to their effect on mental health. Women have been brainwashed into believing that beauty is defined by one’s external appearance from the dawn of time and was compelled to adopt the fairer, better philosophy through numerous marketing tactics by cosmetics businesses.
It would not be incorrect to say that the beauty industry significantly impacts how women in society view the phrase “pretty.” However, my effort, over the last 50 years, has been to project a more holistic approach, based on natural care and cure. The business, which formerly exploited women’s insecurity over their skin tone and colour, now emphasises beauty as a blend of good health and safe external care.

But even today also, women face many challenges in the beauty industry. Below are the challenges faced by the Women in the beauty industry.

Revolving Body Expectations

Every time, it seems like there are new regimens and routines to try in order to keep up with ever-changing body demands. Sometimes, society tells you that you need heavy thighs and rear, and another time, society tells you that you need to be as thin as a stick. Working to meet these standards is exhausting, and it may be harmful to our dietary and mental health. Being healthy is attractive, yet many women associate health and beauty with a number on a scale rather than what makes us healthy in the first place.

Idealized Beauty and low Mental Health

At some stage, the marketing efforts, social media, cosmetic stores, and publications provide false images of beauty. As in professional photo shoots and editing, beauty is portrayed as pristine, airbrushed skin with no flaws or scars. Likely it shows lips that are thick, lashes that are heavy, brows that are broad, hair that is voluminous and lustrous, and so on. Social anxiety, poor self-esteem, psychological stress, eating disorders, and other mental health illnesses have been linked to repeated exposure to unattainable beauty standards.

Closure of Stores

The closure of cosmetic shops and salons during the pandemic was another challenge for the industry, especially for women, as they control a large portion of the beauty industry. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in sedentary lives as
a result of restrictions on mobility and social gatherings imposed by the government. As a consequence, the number of people visiting cosmetic stores and salons has decreased, resulting in the temporary or permanent closure of beauty businesses.

Maintaining Sustainability

The beauty industry creates products that have a combination of inorganic ingredients, and as the public is still concerned about the safety of beauty products, demand for organic, sustainable, and ecologically friendly personal care products will continue to grow.

Consumers have grown more conscious of the degree of skincare they require, as well as the harmful consequences that harsh substances included in cosmetic products may have. This understanding, along with heightened environmental awareness, means that pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers will need to embrace more environmentally friendly production techniques and components in order to attract customers and flourish in the business.

Women of forties or above are neglected

Women in their forties and fifties are an underserved demographic in the beauty and cosmetics industry. When they are advertised by manufacturers and merchants, it is almost always with anti-ageing products designed to make them seem younger. Older women, on the other hand, want to look better as they age, and they want to age in a more natural way. Plastic surgery has reached its apex, and consumers are increasingly turning to non-invasive technologies that produce more natural effects. If beauty and cosmetics firms neglect the forties population market, then they will risk being left behind.

Balancing Responsibilities

A large number of women have families, spouses, and other obligations and are entrepreneurs or working professionals. Some women can manage these two aspects of their lives, while others cannot do so. Personal and professional commitments might force a woman to choose between her career and her family. It is particularly challenging for women who lack social support because they must bear the entire load independently.

There are several ways that we can all work together to promote more female leadership from the ground up and solve the above mention issues. We should provide an example of equality demonstrating justice and support for women, which will reaffirm to young people what healthy gender dynamics should look like. This will help in establishing a basis for a more equitable future for future generations. Also, to accomplish substantial change in this industry we better meet the demands of today’s modern woman. They should be in leadership positions where they can guide brands to manufacture products and spread the messages of empowerment.

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