ORLY International is making hand sanitizer for LA’s unhoused residents

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (scyther5)
© Getty Images \ (scyther5)

Related tags coronavirus Hand sanitizer CSR Nail polish

The Los Angeles, California – based nail polish manufacturer is among the many beauty businesses turning over product production to alcohol-based hand sanitizer in an effort to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Some 58,000 unhoused people live in Los Angeles, California. And they are particularly at risk in the current global health crisis. The average age of homeless people in that city is between 50 and 55, according to a new report assessing the needs of this population during the Coronavirus crisis​.

“The extraordinarily high susceptibility to symptomatic infection, hospitalization, and fatality among the homeless population due not only to their advanced age, but also the accelerated physical decline and mental weathering that frequently results from repeat exposure to harsh elements” ​is a particular concern in cities like LA, New York, and Boston, according to Dennis Culhane, Dan Treglia, Ken Steif, Randall Kuhn, and Thomas Byrne, who authored the report.

Beauty brands retool to meet new consumer needs

“For 45 years, our company has always created products based on our community’s needs,” ​Jeff Pink, Founder and CEO of ORLY International, tells the press. “And right now,” ​he says, “hand sanitizers are vital to helping reduce the spread of this devastating pandemic and to help keep everyone safe.”

“As a family-owned brand,” ​says Pink, “we’re very lucky that we have our manufacturing plant right here in Los Angeles, so we can reconfigure to produce large quantities of hand sanitizers at this time of need.”

The company will donate it first run of 10,000 units to the City of Los Angeles, “with a special emphasis on serving the city’s at-risk homeless population,” ​explains the company’s media release.

A new business for the near future

ORLY doesn’t normally produce sanitizer, but the brand plans to make hand sanitizer (formulated with 75% alcohol) as long as needed, as determined by city and US health officials. And while the first batch will be donated to the city, ORLY will soon be selling hand sanitizer on its own ecommerce website.

Pink credits the company’s in-house chemists and the full team for the ability to transition OLRLY’s facility from nail polish production to sanitizer production. “We are extremely grateful for our entire ORLY team and for their hard work,” ​he says, adding that “the manufacturing and distribution staff will be working in small, minimal teams to allow social distancing for everyone’s safety.”



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders. Find out how brands and businesses across the beauty industry are managing during the Coronavirus health and financial crisis here.

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