Breast Cancer Awareness and COVID-19

Lezlee Westine
President and CEO, Personal Care Products Council

Each October, communities across the country align to raise awareness for breast cancer and promote the need for education, screening, early detection, new treatment therapies and patient support. With sustained focus over the last 40 years, significant advances have increased survival rates and improved the quality of life for the one in eight people diagnosed with the disease.

The pandemic has impacted our everyday lives in countless ways, including delays of life-saving screening tests necessary for the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Mammogram rates across the country are down significantly versus screenings at pre-COVID-19 levels, as hospitals shifted their focus to treat those diagnosed with COVID-19 and patients opted to delay screening tests for fear of contracting the virus.

Although the pandemic has caused tremendous devastation and loss of life, it is also a reminder that we are all in this together. By uniting as a community to face the health and safety consequences of this virus, we continue to demonstrate our resilience when we work together against a common enemy. Breast cancer is no different.

More than 30 years ago, the beauty and personal care industry came together to support women being treated for cancer. Look Good Feel Better was the first program of its kind to help cancer patients manage the appearance-related side effects from treatment. The program was based on the belief that by helping to improve appearance, the workshops could also improve morale, confidence and hope. Having now served more than 2 million people in 27 countries, the program helps women – and men and teens – face cancer with confidence. Look Good Feel Better is a clear demonstration of the good that can happen when we unite behind a larger purpose.

While in-person LGFB workshops have been suspended through the end of 2020 due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns for participants, volunteers and hospital staff partners, the beauty industry’s signature philanthropic program offers live virtual workshops as a safe, convenient way for women to realize the benefits of the program from the comfort of their homes. Truly among the most vulnerable of populations, anyone who is being treated for cancer needs to take extra precautions to ensure their health and safety.

As an industry committed to women’s health and well-being, many beauty and personal care companies – including Avon, The Estée Lauder Companies, Mary Kay, Revlon and Henkel, among others – support longstanding educational programs and campaigns for breast cancer. In addition to raising awareness, these companies advocate for public policies that support reproductive health; commit funds for life saving research and treatments; and provide emotional support programs for the millions of men, women and teens affected, directly or indirectly, by breast cancer.

While researchers around the world are working to advance breast cancer treatment and eradicate the disease, we know that early detection is key to more available treatment options, increased survival and improved quality of life. This makes routine breast cancer screenings all the more important even during COVID-19. Many hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the country have reopened and are offering mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs. If you have postponed your mammogram because of COVID-19, check with your primary care physician or gynecologist about rescheduling.

Breast cancer impacts the lives of so many people. Together, we can show our support for those affected by the disease and celebrate its survivors with these simple acts:

  1. Know the facts
    Know your risk factors and how to identify key symptoms of breast cancer.
  2. Wear and shop pink
    Help raise awareness for breast cancer by adding a touch of pink to your wardrobe.
  3.  Volunteer
    Offer your time to an organization focused on the disease, such as the Breast Cancer Charities of America (BCCA) and Susan G. Komen.
  4.  Make a donation
    Give a gift in honor of a survivor or loved one to help those still fighting against cancer. Donate to a worthy organization, such as Look Good Feel Better, Susan G. Komen, or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

Transparency and Compliance in the Supply Chain

Lisa Powers
EVP, Public Affairs & Communications, Personal Care Products Council

Today’s increasingly complex global supply chains present many challenges for companies who are under heightened stakeholder scrutiny—from consumers, investors and NGOs focused on their ability to operate ethically, build resilience and manage risk. Recently, COVID-19 has forced many companies, and entire industries, to rethink and transform their global supply chain models.

Over the past few decades, companies have taken advantage of global sourcing opportunities in order to compete more efficiently, whether through reduced production costs, proximity to market or the need for specialized skills, which have introduced new types of risk.  

While some of these risks are direct, like supply chain disruptions or trade tariffs, others are less obvious—such as intellectual property theft and public relations crises—but equally threatening to businesses.

COVID-19 has placed manufacturers worldwide under increasing political and competitive pressures to increase domestic production; reduce dependence on sources that are perceived as risky; and build more agile, resilient and sustainable supply chains.

Members of the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) are united in their commitment to operate responsibly and integrate sustainable practices along the entire value chain. As part of PCPC’s efforts to advance the capabilities, know-how and understanding of best practices, we recently launched a sustainability-focused webinar series for members, the most recent of which focused on transparency and compliance in the supply chain.

Webinar guest speaker Sandy Gray, supply chain sustainability solutions at EcoVadis, a CSR risk monitoring and sustainability rating platform, noted that beauty and cosmetics manufacturers must consider sustainability throughout the product lifecycle—from raw materials and manufacturing to packaging, distribution and retail—as more than two thirds of many beauty and personal care products’ environmental impacts occur upstream in the supply chain.



The beauty and personal care sector has been responsive to requests for greater disclosure around ES&G (Environmental, Social & Governance) performance from consumers, regulators, investors and other key stakeholders. These groups expect greater transparency around the impacts created in a company’s owned sites and operations and also that of their suppliers. In a demonstration of extraordinary leadership, an increasing number of companies in the sector have set ambitious goals to reduce their environmental impacts along the entire value chain. For example, many of PCPC’s member companies have set science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals or aim to be carbon neutral or net positive. These commitments include the disclosure of scope 3 emissions made by suppliers. Setting goals, however, is only part of the solution. Disclosure, transparency and compliance are the mechanism to ensure performance and progress.  

According to Cliodhnagh Conlon, webinar presenter and associate director of consumer sectors & supply chain at BSR, one of the country’s leading sustainability nonprofit and consulting firms, new technologies, like blockchain, to identify and track steps throughout the supply chain will play an important role in not only meeting compliance requirements, but also providing transparency and assurance to  ensure trust with key audiences, including consumers.

Transparency in the supply chain is particularly important to consumers—73% say transparency is valuable to them and a majority say they are more likely or very likely to pay more for products from companies that operate in a more transparent manner.1

The beauty and personal care products industry is leading the way with several initiatives to promote sustainability, transparency and compliance, which leverage science-based and collaborative approaches, including:

  • The Responsible Beauty Initiative pre-competitive industry program focuses on improving sustainability throughout the entire beauty supply chain by sharing best practices and processes; driving a common understanding across the industry; and creating efficiencies through the use and sharing of common tools.
  • The Sustainable Packaging Initiative for Cosmetics (SPICE) pre-competitive industry program aims to define harmonized guidelines for sustainable packaging and create approaches and innovations based on eco-design.
  • The Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) requires GHG emission reduction targets to be adopted by companies to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement—to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) is a recognized global system for companies to measure, disclose, manage and share carbon emissions and other material environmental information.

These efforts are making a difference. According to analysis from EcoVadis, the beauty sector is a leader among industries when it comes to global sustainability ratings: 74% of suppliers to the beauty industry scored above the national average in a robust rating scale that measures 21 criteria related to the environment; labor and human rights; ethics; and sustainable procurement.

The industry’s commitment to ethical and transparent practices—as well as to the responsible management of its environmental impacts and economic and social value—is unwavering. Our 2019 sustainability report, Creating a More Beautiful World, highlights the innovative ways member companies integrate sustainability into their businesses.

While we are proud of the efforts individual companies are making in the sustainable management of their businesses, we recognize companies large and small still have more to do. Looking to the future, PCPC and the beauty and personal care products industry remain committed to transparency and continuous improvement. Together, we are making a difference to help create a more beautiful and sustainable world.


1 Source: Pure Branding, The ROI of Transparency




Beauty and Personal Care Products Industry Pledges to Give Employees Meaningful Time Off to Vote



Lisa Powers, (202) 297-1232,
Stefanie Harrington, (202) 615-6558,
Jamie Kurke, (202) 258-5285,

Beauty and Personal Care Products Industry Pledges to Give Employees Meaningful Time Off to Vote
PCPC Members Come Together to Encourage Civic Engagement

Washington, D.C. – With only weeks to go until the 2020 general election, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), representing global cosmetics and personal care products companies, announced today an industry pledge to provide employees meaningful time off to engage in civic activities around the November election. Member companies signing the pledge are coming together for the first time to encourage civic engagement and work to ensure a safe environment for employees to exercise their right to vote.  

“PCPC and the beauty industry have always been ahead of the curve not only creating innovative products but also looking at innovative ways to conduct our businesses. This pledge is just another example,” said PCPC Board Chair Keech Combe Shetty, executive chair of Combe Incorporated. “We don’t wait around to be told we should be good corporate citizens. We do it because it’s the right thing to do.”

“Beauty and personal care businesses thrive when employees are engaged citizens and actively participate in their communities,” said PCPC President and CEO Lezlee Westine. “Our members are among the first to come together as an industry to support employees by providing flexibility and resources to help them be active citizens.”

Specifically, signing companies pledge to:

  • Provide employees work flexibility or time off for the November 2020 general election, including civic engagement activities, such as voting, volunteering, working at the polls or any other appropriate activity; and
  • Encourage employees to exercise their civic responsibility, including registering to vote, strengthening a culture of civic participation.

The “Beauty Counts…Time to Vote” industry pledge is updated as additional companies sign on, and can be found in full here.

“Our employees deserve the necessary support to take time to vote and fulfill their civic duty safely,” said Combe Shetty. “Our country thrives when all voices are heard and all votes are counted.”


Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the leading national trade association representing global cosmetics and personal care products companies. Founded in 1894, PCPC’s approximately 600 member companies manufacture, distribute and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S. As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on and trust every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, lipstick and fragrance – personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.