Behind the brand: LUX celebrates its centenary in style

Behind the brand: LUX celebrates its centenary in style

Since its US launch in 1923, LUX soap has been advertised by Marilyn Monroe, launched in over 100 countries and become the world’s No.1 fragrance skincare cleansing brand. Here’s how this €1 billion+ beauty icon has stayed on top.

How it started

Early in 1923, Lever Brothers – the company that went on to become Unilever – set out to create a richly fragranced but affordable toilet soap. LUX was the result.

The first iteration of the soap bar sold for 10 cents in the US and was advertised as being suitable for the face, hands and bath. Advertising proudly stated that it was ‘made like the costliest French soaps’, offering a luxurious lather, accessible indulgence and exquisite scents.

Five years later, LUX’s first link to Hollywood glamour was forged when the brand’s advertising agency sent cases of LUX soap to 425 actresses. 414 of them loved it enough to share their endorsements, winning the brand the claim that nine out of ten Hollywood stars used LUX.

Over the following decades, some of the most celebrated women in showbusiness were starring in LUX commercials. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn were faces of the brand in the 1950s, with Sarah Jessica Parker, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shu Qi and Alia Bhatt featured in more recent campaigns, among many other well-known women.

How it’s going

LUX is now a €1.2 billion brand – and growing. It’s sold in over 100 countries across the globe and is the No.1 or No.2 skin cleansing brand in almost all of Unilever’s emerging markets.

According to the 2022 Brand Footprint reports from Kantar, it’s the No.1 fragrance skincare cleansing brand in the world and the No.2 most-chosen beauty brand.

In China, where the brand marks 99 years in 2023, LUX is the No.1 fragranced bodywash brand, with turnover increasing steadily and penetration at an all-time high. It’s chosen by more than 200 million consumers nationwide and found in one in six homes.

Staying true to its roots, LUX is still intrinsically linked with glamour and feminine power, and its range of fragrances are formulated in collaboration with the world’s leading perfumers.

A collection of new LUX Celestial Escape products including shower gel, body scrub, shower oil and hand & body milk

The purpose that powers it

LUX believes every woman has the right to express her beauty and femininity unapologetically and without fear. That’s why the brand is taking a stand against sexism, seeking to empower women to find strength through beauty and overcome sexist judgements.

Because the harsh reality is that women constantly face judgements – from family, colleagues and complete strangers – and many of these criticisms relate to the way they look.

LUX understands that beauty isn’t superficial or frivolous. When inner strength is nurtured through self-care and solidarity, beauty can be a source of confidence, and that unstoppable power is exactly what the brand wants to help women find.

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