Cancer treatment, be it a hysterectomy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy affects our skin and not just on our face!
Recently we came across a lovely lady by the name of Jennifer Young, who developed a skincare range specifically for cancer patients.
I wrote a blog piece for her website that you can find here http://www.beautydespitecancer.co.uk/blog/2013/current-statistics-show-that-just-under-9000-women-each-year-in-uk-are-diagnosed-with-womb-cancer
and Jennifer has written one for us in return.
Defiant Beauty and Beauty Despite Cancer I am often asked about our Beauty Brand created for cancer patients as they go through and recover from cancer and its treatment. Clients and those buying gifts for cancer patients are often keen to know about our history and motivation and whether or not there is a need for our products. Here are the most often asked questions and the answers. What is Defiant Beauty? Defiant Beauty is a skincare collection created specifically for cancer patients. It is important for me to point out that we are a luxury skincare brand for cancer patients. Our products are indulgent as well as effective and they are beautifully packaged and wrapped. We know that there are lots of prescription products available to cancer patients but Defiant Beauty is not a medicinal product. It is a Beauty Brand. Cancer patients told us that they have had enough prescriptions and they wanted a Beauty Brand that met their needs – we are it. What is Beauty Despite Cancer? www.BeautyDespiteCancer.co.uk is the website that we have created as a place for information, support and positivity. It has survivor stories, charity features, ambassador interviews and evidence based skin care advice. Why did you decide to create this brand? I was approached by some of the staff and patients at our local NHS Cancer Centre and was asked if I had a skin care range that was suitable for cancer patients to use. I wanted to do more than just give them a sensitive skin range so I worked with the hospital, staff, patients and survivors to create a range that was both effective and met the ingredient guidelines set out by the medical team. When I was asked to help, I was very busy creating my Jennifer Young bespoke skincare range. I had enough to do without creating a second range but I was both moved and outraged by the plight of the women on the Chemo ward and I was determined to help. How did you know enough to be able to create these products? I didn’t do this on my own! I listened to cancer patients, cancer survivors and cancer care specialists. I took advice from lead nursing staff about the ingredients that we shouldn’t use, did lots of research about the best ingredients to use and asked patients to try and try our products. We asked others to try them and I listened when I was told about very special and very specific skin care needs. I am a product formulator and nutritional therapist and I used the knowledge from these areas, combined with the very good advice and instruction I was getting from the hospital team and I made the Defiant Beauty Collection. How long did it take to develop the products? About 2 years. Are your Jennifer Young Unique Products suitable for cancer patients? As our unique products are truly bespoke and made to order according to the needs and preferences of the client, yes, they are. Not all of our products would be but when we are told that a client is going through treatment we exclude certain oils from the formulation.
What kinds of product ingredients should cancer patients avoid in skincare ranges? Oils such as Borage, Avocado, Evening Primrose, Geranium, Clary Sage and Lemon and, in addition Aloe. This list isn’t exhaustive but gives a general idea. These ingredients are either oestrogens or hormone disruptors. Some cancers, particularly female cancers are fed by oestrogens, and are best avoided during treatment. Why aren’t there any essential oils in your products? Cancer Patients told us that their tolerance to smells changed as they underwent treatment. They may not be able to enjoy fragrance in the way that they used to. It is for this reason that most of our products are fragrance-free. We have added essential oils to our Smooth Skin Balm as some clients prefer a lightly fragranced product. How do you create your fabulous smelling Jennifer Young Unique products and make sure that they are suitable for cancer patients? Our consultants are given extensive and comprehensive training regarding the oils, both essential and vegetable that are contra-indicated during treatment. These oils are marked as contra-indicated for certain groups and we explain the contra-indications to clients at events. We are very discreet but cancer patients are very clear about the ingredients that can be used in their products. The essential oil choice and combination is up to the individual so they chose a scent which they think is fabulous. They oils that they choose also have the therapeutic benefit of their choice. Cancer patients often decide on relaxing and sleep promoting essential oils. Are any of your Jennifer Young consultants cancer survivors or patients? Not yet. We are working alongside some cancer charities involved in ‘back to work’ projects. We can’t say too much about that yet, let’s just say that it won’t be long. We would love to hear from anyone wanting to become a Jennifer Young consultant and this includes those going through treatment and survivors. We are totally flexible and don’t pressure our consultants in anyway. We have consultants that run two events a week and some that have an event every 3 months. We support our consultants whatever their circumstances and preferences – each of our consultants is unique. What charities do you work with? Our Defiant Beauty products are sold on the chemo ward at University Hospital North Staffs (UHNS). We donate 10% of our online profits to the UHNS charity. We also work closely with My Name is Not Cancer (MNINC). This charity is all about preserving a sense of personal identity during treatment. We have links with many more cancer charities, far too many to mention here. You can read more about our philosophy of charity work on our website. Why don’t you have creams and lotions in your Defiant Beauty Collection? The Defiant Beauty Collection does not contain creams as creams and lotions contain oil and water. In order to turn oil and water into a cream or lotion, preservatives and emulsifying agents must be added. Creams and lotions cannot be made without using a large number of ingredients, increasing the number of substances that the patient is exposed to. As cancer patients often have sore, sensitive, dry, itchy and damaged skin we have decided to keep the number of ingredients in our products to a minimum – this means no creams or lotions. Defiant Beauty does not contain any paraffin or petroleum jelly. You will find only natural vegetable oils in the Defiant Beauty Range.
You can find Jennifer's website here http://www.beautydespitecancer.co.uk/
xx Kaz xx