Six years ago, I found myself facing a breast cancer diagnosis. During my treatment, I greatly appreciated the wonderful things the American Cancer Society was offering to breast cancer patients at my local cancer center at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA. I attended the “Look Good, Feel Better” seminar and felt very supported and nurtured by the team of volunteers who helped us apply makeup to “look our best” during chemo and was very touched by all of the free samples I was given to take home.
However, once I got home and took a close look at what was in my kit, it started to dawn on me that all of these companies were using toxic chemicals in their products that I probably shouldn’t be putting on my skin, as a cancer patient, nor should anyone really. While it was once believed that products rubbed into the skin stayed on the outside of the skins barrier, we now know that the skin is an organ that is so permeable, we can even deliver drugs topically, sometimes even more effectively than other delivery methods. The cosmetics industry has been the slowest to adapt to that knowledge, and is also an industry that is largely unregulated in terms of the health effects of the products. There is a lot of reform needed here.
While I appreciated that these large companies were generous enough to donate obviously large quantities of product to cancer patients, the unfortunate reality is that these products are the last thing that cancer patients should be subjecting their bodies to, with carcinogenic chemicals contained in virtually all of them.
I spoke to someone at the American Cancer Society a few years ago and humbly suggested that they reach out to some of the cosmetic and bodycare companies that are already eliminating toxic and dangerous chemicals from their products and therefore enable the women to decrease the toxic load on their bodies while “looking good and feeling better.”
Looking good and feeling better shouldn’t be about being marketed to by large corporations peddling their obsolete cosmetics and skincare products that actually CONTRIBUTE to the incidences of breast cancer that women are experiencing! These programs are currently good intentions, gone bad.
I urge the American Cancer Society to refuse donations from all cosmetics and skincare companies/brands/product lines that contain any of the ingredients we now know to be potentially carcinogenic, and instead procuring donations from natural cosmetic companies, of which there are now many. Let’s not “help” people by poisoning them further. Let’s all work together to remove the carcinogens, toxins and pollutants from women’s daily beauty routines and truly work towards fighting breast cancer, not pinkwashing it.