60 Postcards: Create. Share. Inspire. Bringing you news once a week about the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.
The weekend is here, people. Finally!
Today’s post is about a collaboration between two beauty brands and how they help cancer patients through bespoke products and treatments.
BEAUTY DESPITE CANCER (BDC)
Jennifer Young’s qualifications in biology, nutrition and beauty are endless (you can read more here) and she wanted to put her vast knowledge and experience in to creating her own business. She recognised the fact that, ‘Unique skin needs unique products’ and developed her own range of customised skincare (under her own name), which provides products to fit every customer’s individual needs while using 100% natural ingredients.
When the University Hospital of North Staffordshire created a beauty and wig salon in the chemo ward of their Cancer Centre, they wanted to offer skin care to patients but could not find a suitable range out there. Aware of Jennifer’s successful and growing business, the nursing team at the hospital approached her to see if there was any way that she could help.
“‘Women don’t stop being women when they are diagnosed with cancer’. These words have become my mantra over the past year. I had no idea that cancer treatment could impact skin and nail health as well as hair. I was surprised to be asked to develop a skincare range for cancer patients as I didn’t know that they had unique skin issues. Working with my local hospital to develop the products has opened my eyes to the sensitive, sore, itchy, flaking skin that be caused as a side-effect of some treatments. I was determined to help as ‘women don’t stop being women’…..but the world of beauty is often denied them as their skin is so sensitive.
Our products, Defiant Beauty By Jennifer Young, are natural, organic and most of the products are fragrance-free. They are formulated to combat and soothe chemotherapy and radiation damaged skin. Our ingredients have been selected in accordance with the advice given to us by the NHS Team that we worked with. Defiant Beauty does not contain any oestrogenic substances or any essential oils that are thought to have the potential to interfere with treatment.
The determination to help hasn’t stopped with the development of products, we have a blog with a team of about 40 expert writers and a quarterly magazine “Recognise Yourself’ as well as an Appearance Advice Line which offers free advice to all.”
As Jennifer says, there is so much more than products available. There is an Experience section, which is written by people who have been diagnosed with cancer (or is the child of one diagnosed). This is an honest account of experiences such as their treatment, the effects and dealing with the feelings of others. The Life section gives cancer patients advice on work, travel insurance, medical insurance and many more. All around the site you can find posts written by people who have benefited from Beauty Despite Cancer. You will feel completely inspired after a read.
How did I hear about Beauty Despite Cancer? The lovely Louise Boothe, that’s how. Lou is a qualified Cosmetic Make-up and Beauty Consultant. She specialises in brows and lashes and having learnt so much in those two areas through her own experiences, she was passionate about helping others achieve a look that is tailored to them. Brow Boothe the business was born. Lou is currently a mobile consultant in London and while delivering her treatments, she always gives personal advice to each client on shaping and products.
Lou is a great friend of mine and she was very excited to announce that she is now able to offer her treatments through BDC. Here she tells us how the collaboration came about and what it means to her:
“I first came across Jennifer and Beauty Despite Cancer when I was looking for a company to team up with to help anyone who had lost their brows through cancer treatment.
I’ve loved getting to know Jennifer and the team and the BDC ethos is fantastic. As Jennifer says – ‘Women don’t stop being women when they are diagnosed with cancer.’ If we can help someone regain their confidence and as a result feel stronger then that is an absolute privilege.”
I’m delighted that Lou and Jennifer are able to combine forces!
While writing this post I found myself thinking of my mum, of course. I still feel such a rage of anger and utter despair that she was not given a chance to fight – the sixteen days between her diagnosis and death are still as incomprehensible as when it first happened. But there is one thing I know for sure – if Mum had received treatment, I am sure she would appreciate Beauty Despite Cancer immensely.
It is amazing to hear that so many cancer patients have already been supported by the products and advice and I really hope that this may help some of the readers of this blog or anyone that you may know.
Everyone deserves to (and should) feel beautiful.