Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is the beauty and fragrance industry’s flagship initiative, organising free workshops in over 140 hospitals and cancer centres nationwide to help people with cancer overcome the visible side effects of treatments, such as skin issues and the loss of eye brows and lashes. It’s been one of our favourite charities since it started 25 years ago, about the same time as Beauty Bible.
I know from friends who have been through the gruelling regime of cancer treatment just how important it is to be able to look more like themselves. One of the most touching stories I heard was from a husband who dropped his (initially reluctant) wife off at a LGFB workshop to learn make up techniques. When she came out looking stunning he was so delighted that he wept. “I’ve got my wife back,” he told one of the organisers.
While there’s no evidence that making yourself look better has a direct effect on the disease, experts agree that feeling good about your appearance can help patients get through treatment. ‘Applying make up allows you to control something about yourself when everything else is outside your control,’ said Dr Natalie Doyle, former lead of the Living With and Beyond Cancer service at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
Of course, cancer doesn’t stop because of lockdown. Thousands of people are being diagnosed every week, on top of the millions of current patients. Although it’s currently impossible to run face-to-face events, LGFB has now launched Virtual Workshops for people (women, men and young adults) undergoing any type of cancer.
As well as practical support in terms of make up, skin and hair care, the Virtual Workshops provide a chance to chat, share experiences and have fun at a time when some people may feel isolated and lonely. “With our Virtual Workshops we can reach out and provide not only practical advice but also reassure people they are definitely not alone at this extremely challenging time,” says Sarahjane Robertson, CEO of Look Good Feel Better.
Joanne took part in the first LGFB Virtual Workshop and says “it was so helpful to communicate with women in a similar situation. The workshop made a real difference to me and gave my confidence a boost.’
Men’s Virtual Workshops will focus on skin issues, sun care, hygiene and shaving techniques during cancer treatment. They are supported by professional wet shave expert and Look Good Feel Better Ambassador Mark Sproston, aka The Shave Doctor.
To sign up for a Look Good Feel Better Virtual Workshop, go to lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk for details of what (very simple) technology you need and what to expect. The online sessions are led by trained professionals and bring together eight to ten people. You even get the chance for an individual review of your make up bag – which would be pretty useful for most of us actually….