Essity Global Hygiene and Health Survey 2022: Future Personal Care

From now to the future of well-being
Nov 30, 2022 10:00 AM ET

Originally published on

As a leading global hygiene and health company, we continuously gather insights that help us break barriers to well-being and contribute to inclusive, stigma-free societies. This time, we have talked to more than 15,000 people in 15 countries all over the world about the gap between their current behaviors and attitudes towards well-being and how they would like to live in the future.

One key insight from the survey is the link between physical and mental well-being. Our hygiene solutions, educational initiatives and partnerships help reduce shame and social exclusion and to improve both people’s physical and mental health in the process.

Essity is looking at the future of well-being to find the solutions for a healthier next generation. The Global Hygiene and Health Survey is a part of the foundation of this effort.

Future Personal Care

As we look to the future, our new lifestyles are creating new demands on the well-being and support we need. 

One in three claim that they want to worry less about their future well-being, so they can instead focus on more positive aspects of their lives, like dreams and family. There is work to be done then, since as many as two out of three experience barriers to living healthier, stating time and motivation as the biggest.

  • 67% say they experience a barrier to living healthier - time and motivation are the biggest barriers!
  • 34% say that being free from pain and discomfort is most essential to their daily well-being.

What People want to focus on the most

  • Having financial security and healthy relationships are highest on the essentials list for people’s well-being
  • Having an active lifestyle is more essential to people’s daily well-being than being a part of a community. 1 in 3 say that it is essential to be free from pain and discomfort. Healthy relationships, diet and being free from pain and discomfort are more important for females than males.

  • Healthy relationships, diet and being free from pain and discomfort are more important for females than males
  • The older you are the higher the focus on health, the younger you are the higher the focus on positive body image and work-life balance
  • Healthy diet, work life balance and an active lifestyle are more important in the urban areas than rural.
  • Being free from pain and discomfort is high on the agenda in the European countries
  • Having an active lifestyle are important in all countries. Low stress is higher on the agenda in Netherlands, Australia and the UK.

Priorities change through the stages of life – from identity forming to having your basics met

During adolescence you want to focus more on the mental and social aspects of personal well-being. As you enter the next stage of life, adulthood, your priorities change to having an active life filled with activism, work and relationships. Parenthood is about security - in terms of your work-life and financials to ensure low stress and sufficient rest and recovery. Middle age is about wellness, being able to rest and recover, eating healthy and being part of a community. During your senior years, the focus shifts to having your core needs met such as being free from pain and discomfort, not being lonely and having time to rest. 

Mental  Well-Being

  • Females are more focused on improving their mental well-being than men
  • Young want to focus more on their dreams, self-love and acceptance – older connecting with friends and family
  • Self-motivation is the main barrier to living healthier followed by self-control and time
  • Self-control is a barrier in urban areas, whereas affordability is an issue in rural areas
  • Access and information are also surprisingly bigger barriers in urban areas compared to rural areas.
  • Affordability is a large issue in most countries – Especially in South Africa, Australia and Brazil
  • People in urban areas are likely to say they experience more barriers across the board
  • Affordability, access and knowledge are a large concern in India and China


  • People mainly want to focus more on exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and good sleep habits
  • Overall people believe they are as healthy as others - except in comparison to their parents, where people believe they are more or equally healthy
  • On average, 31% think they are healthier than people close to them, such as their siblings, parents, friends or people in general.
  • The younger you are the more likely you are to say that you experience barriers towards a healthier lifestyle


  • Personal hygiene is high on the agenda in France, India and Mexico – Worrying less is highest in the European countries
  • 2 in 5 believe they are more hygienic than people in general, even though half believe they are as hygienic
  • On average, 29% think they more hygienic than people close to them, such as their siblings, parents, friends or people in general.
  • 1 in 3 experience barriers to better personal hygiene – the main barrier is lack of self-motivation
  • Younger individuals are more likely to say they experience barriers to having better personal hygiene


Our lifestyles and environment are changing, and so are the support systems we need to be well – physically and mentally.

We are constantly evolving and as a result our body doesn’t look, feel, or react as it used to. We want to nourish both our physical and mental needs to always be as healthy as we can - through all our life stages. However, our lifestyles are creating new needs that we haven’t met before. Needs that set new demands on our well-being and the support we need.

Beyond basic needs of safety, food and sanitation - people are turning inwards to prioritize individual well-being before the communal aspects of well-being such as a sense of belonging and activism. The focus of well-being shifts from personal identity in adolescence to core needs such as being free from pain and discomfort as you get older. The worries of an uncertain world weigh heavy on people’s minds and most cite lack of time and motivation to live healthier and hygienic lives.

Download the Essity 2022 Global Hygiene and Health Survey to learn more

Learn more about Essity here