On Breaking Glass Ceilings for Black Female Founders

By Monique Rodriguez
Founder & CEO, Mielle Organics

I’m honored to receive the Personal Care Products Council’s Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Madam C.J. Walker has an incredible legacy – not only was she a trailblazer and one of the greatest entrepreneurs in history, she also empowered women. She not only provided women confidence through her products, but she also provided economic opportunities. She created jobs that helped thousands of women of color achieve financial independence. As a woman founder, who also started a hair care brand from my kitchen, it brings me great joy knowing that the historic achievements we’ve accomplished with Mielle Organics will continue to open the door for more African American women to do the same.

Growing up as a little girl with curly-beautiful hair, I was obsessed with all things beauty and hair care, and I knew my passion was in the beauty industry. Although my mother pushed me to a seemingly more stable career as I became a nurse, I never felt truly fulfilled.

In 2014, after a devastating personal loss, I turned to social media as a creative outlet to express myself and talk about my passion, which was haircare. I made my own concoctions and documented the process on social media, and I quickly found a vibrant community of African American women who, like me, were longing for products that enabled their natural texture and curls to thrive. When I saw how engaged and inspired my social media followers were during my healthy hair journey – commenting on the look and texture, and asking about the concoctions I was making at home and if they could buy it – I had the lightbulb moment to create Mielle Organics.

Through hard work and with the support of an incredible team around me, we’ve since built Mielle into one of the fastest growing Black-owned hair care companies in the U.S. I am so proud of what we have accomplished in 10 years. However, the work is not done. I know I have a bigger purpose, in addition to Mielle, to serve our community and our youth. I am often included amongst a rare group of Black entrepreneurs who have achieved “unicorn” status – that needs to change. According to a 2022 report from digitalundivided, only about 350 Latina and Black women received sufficient startup funding – this is not nearly enough, when there are so many amazing young women of color with big dreams and determination, who need resources and the support of investors to bring their businesses to life.

When we joined P&G Beauty in 2023, it was such an exciting moment. It’s always been our vision to be a global brand and give even more consumers access to Mielle. Through our partnerships with Berkshire Partners and acquisition by P&G, we’re able to accomplish that and much more.

While it raised concerns in our community, I also want to help educate my community on why these partnerships are important; there aren’t many examples of Black-owned companies negotiating a successful exit. The P&G partnership allows us to do more for the community that serves us, and I can assure you that the heart and soul of our company remains the same. At Mielle, we want to show that it is possible to get acquired, and stay true to our brand and our audience. But we must first have a seat at the table to have a voice. As part of the deal with P&G, we were also able to establish Mielle Cares – the non-profit arm of our company – with a $10M donation that was matched by P&G. Mielle Cares is committed to championing the mental health and well-being of pre-teens and teenagers by nurturing a positive and resilient mindset, allowing us to give back by helping the next generation.

I’ve drawn inspiration from Madam Walker’s determination and tenacity in knocking down barriers as a strong, Black female entrepreneur – she never let a “no” stop her, and she overcame the odds. It is in this spirit of Madam Walker that we need to work together to break glass ceilings, and change the trajectory for Black female entrepreneurs and business leaders.

2024 Sustainability and Impact Predictions

By Lisa Powers
EVP, Public Affairs & Communications 

After a year of exciting regulatory developments, renewed consumer interest in science and sustainability, and personal care brands leading the way in innovation, 2024 promises to be one of the most interesting years yet for beauty and personal care. We are pleased to share our key predictions on sustainability and social impact issues for this coming year. To bring these predictions to life, we asked for input from Cara Eaton, sustainability director at Croda, and Pamela Gill-Alabaster, global head of ESG & Sustainability, Kenvue. 

Regulatory Developments in the U.S. and EU

Emerging regulatory standards in the United States, European Union and United Kingdom are on the forefront of most companies’ minds. With new requirements affecting everything from environmental marketing claims and extended producer responsibility for packaging to ethical and deforestation-free sourcing of key commodities like palm oil, the need for companies to have end-to-end chain of custody traceability of their supply chains has never been greater. We expect companies to enhance their due diligence on source traceability to address these regulatory requirements and place a greater emphasis on visibility and engagement along all stages of the value chain.

“Companies around the world will be challenged to address the increasing global regulatory requirements for nonfinancial disclosure of ESG-related impacts, risks, and opportunities. It will become increasingly important that these disclosures have the same data rigor and assurance used today for financial reporting. These dynamics will not only foster greater collaboration between the ESG function and the financial comptroller’s office, but it will also drive demand for better tools for data collection, governance, measurement, auditability and reporting.”

– Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Global Head of ESG & Sustainability, Kenvue

Eco Design

Brands have started exploring “eco design” to address many of these new regulatory requirements and consumer demands. Eco design considers science-based tools that assess the environmental impact at all stages of the product development process to make the lowest possible environmental impact through a product’s lifecycle. Brands are creating a vision for sustainability by incorporating more sustainable materials in primary and secondary packaging, identifying end-of-life and re-use opportunities, and assessing impacts throughout the raw material supply chains. We anticipate novel product and packaging solutions to hit the market in 2024, highlighting eco-design principles and opening up the benefits of sustainability to more consumers.

Net Zero Pledges, Science-Based Targets and Carbon Impact

Companies are making bold commitments to reduce (or even negate) their carbon impact. PCPC member companies are committed to reducing their energy consumption by transitioning to lower carbon or renewable sources of energy. Many are ambitiously cutting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while implementing mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies. As consumers become increasingly interested in understanding these decarbonization pledges and targets, expect to see companies testing new methods to establish, substantiate and communicate their commitments.

“[I]nnovative solutions to address these challenges are in play across a variety of areas and offer some exciting opportunities to deliver impact. However, the challenges for innovation come from speed of development, scalability of solutions and the development of viable commercial pathways, among others.”

– Cara Eaton, Sustainability Director – Consumer Care, Croda Inc.

Technology and Transparency

PCPC members have leveraged technologies like blockchain, satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to achieve many of these sustainability goals. These technologies can drastically expand opportunities for sustainability by providing accurate data on greenhouse gas emissions, tracking raw material supply chains to the upstream source, and streamlining shipping and transportation of products from production to retail.

On positive impact, both environmental (especially as relates to nature) and social elements (for people all along the value chain) are and will be a key consideration for integration to climate strategy to avoid shifting the burden. Science-based data points and traceability help to make the right decisions, offering opportunities for improved impact.”

– Cara Eaton, Sustainability Director – Consumer Care, Croda Inc.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Accessibility

While many companies struggle with the politicization of DEI initiatives, we predict that consumers will continue to expect products that are designed with intention for our diverse society. PCPC established the Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in DEI to recognize individuals making demonstrable commitments to DEI in the beauty and personal care industry. Past recipients include Latriece Watkins of Walmart and Esi Eggleston Bracey of Unilever. This year’s award will again be presented by Madam Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, an American journalist, news producer and author.


The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) is one of the biggest regulatory updates in cosmetics in recent history. PCPC has been a staunch advocate of MoCRA and continues to provide industry’s feedback to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the agency’s implementation of MoCRA. Enacted at the end of 2022, the industry has now had a year to process new requirements under MoCRA. Many of the new provisions became enforceable at the end of 2023, including safety substantiation, adverse event reporting, records access and labeling. Because of the significant consumer buzz around MoCRA, industry leaders should expect to see increased levels of consumer engagement in 2024. We also expect to see brands engaging more deeply with suppliers to facilitate compliance with MoCRA provisions, especially those requiring a deeper level of information about products and their ingredients.

“The beauty and personal care products industry has always been driven by innovation. We are now at a transformational moment in our journey. Advances in sustainability and societal engagement offer exciting new frontiers to make significant impacts on our stakeholders – employees, customers, consumers, our supply chains and communities. Together, we can embrace the challenges and the opportunities ahead to build a more resilient, relevant and beautiful world for us all.”

– Thomas F. Myers, President & CEO, PCPC

Changes and Renewed Commitments for the Year Ahead

by Tom Myers
President & CEO, PCPC

As we begin 2024, I am humbled to take the reins as PCPC’s new president & CEO. I was fortunate to work alongside Lezlee Westine for more than a decade and am eager to advance the priorities she set in motion. I look forward to continuing to support and shape an industry that touches the lives of millions of consumers worldwide every day with a strong commitment to innovation, safety and sustainability.

Implementing Cosmetics Regulation

The Modernization of Cosmetics Reform Act of 2022 (MoCRA) is a significant milestone for our industry, providing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with additional oversight and enhanced regulatory tools while ensuring product safety, promoting innovation and bolstering consumer trust. PCPC will continue to work with the FDA on implementation while also working with Congress to ensure the FDA receives the $7 million in funding it needs to meet this mandate.

Ending Animal Testing for Cosmetics

For nearly four decades, in the U.S. and globally, our member companies have been instrumental in the movement to develop viable alternative safety assessment methods. The passage of The Humane Cosmetics Act will continue to be a priority for PCPC and our members who are dedicated to promoting ethical practices and non-animal testing methods that are humane and scientifically sound, reflecting our consumers’ values.

Creating a More Sustainable, Beautiful World

Our industry continues to make an extraordinary commitment to sustainability with more than half of our member companies integrating sustainable business practices into their operations and 56% of CEOs identifying sustainability as one of their top priorities. Our member companies’ efforts extend from minimizing waste to promoting renewable resources, but I know our industry can do more to reduce our ecological footprint and pioneering sustainable practices.

Creating a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive World

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are an important part of my vision for PCPC. I am firmly committed to continuing to diversify PCPC’s staff and leadership. As an organization, we have taken concrete steps to embed these principles through internal town hall meetings, recruiting and promotion practices that encourage more inclusive action, and training sessions on the importance of DEI practices. Our member companies promote diverse leadership and ensure their products meet the varied needs of our consumers. Women make up nearly 80% of the beauty and personal care industry workforce, and people of color represent 33% of our workforce. Nevertheless, we know we are not perfect and that we have more to do.

Promoting a Global, Holistic Perspective

Nothing happens in a vacuum, which is why PCPC and our member companies embrace a global, holistic approach to business. The interconnected nature of today’s world requires us to think beyond our borders. The ever-changing world around us drives research and development investments with scientific innovations and transformations taking shape in every corner of the globe. Our job is to maximize every opportunity to enhance the wellbeing of the millions of people who trust and use our industry’s products every day. We will continue to foster international collaboration and embrace global challenges as opportunities to learn, grow and make a broader impact.

I am proud to help lead an industry that enhances people’s wellbeing and contributes positively to our world. We are at a transformational moment, and I am ready to embrace the challenges and the opportunities ahead to build a sustainable, equitable, holistic and, of course, beautiful future for us all.

Transitions, Reflections and Gratitude

By Lezlee Westine
President & CEO

The transition to a new year offers the chance for pause and reflection, closing one chapter while opening a new one. As I begin a new chapter – re-focusing my attention on political, business and philanthropic opportunities – I am taking time to reflect on my 14 rewarding years as president and CEO of the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC). 

I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together and grateful for the opportunity to work with a team whose dedication to excellence has driven our industry, our communities and our world to be more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive. Throughout my career, I have been guided by principles that not only shaped my leadership but contributed to our shared accomplishments:

  • Foster collaboration and break down barriers.
  • Encourage and trust in your team to deliver results; there’s more than one way to get there.
  • Focus on results, balancing flexibility with a clear vision of success.
  • Recruit the brightest minds, nurture their talents and support them through challenges.
  • Live by the Golden Rule, treating everyone with respect and fairness.

These principles have served as the bedrock of our shared journey at PCPC, which has included significant milestones. One year ago, we celebrated the landmark enactment of The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) of 2022, a crowning achievement of our collective advocacy that established a new era of cosmetics regulation. This historic legislation is a testament to our ongoing commitment to safety, transparency and innovation.

Our concerted efforts to champion sustainability have been equally impactful. By broadening our approach to include environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic impact, we’ve spurred the exchange of industry best practices and strengthened our relationships with key stakeholders. PCPC’s 2021 “Creating a More Beautiful World” sustainability report and the complementary Sustainability Handbook guide and showcase these efforts. 

Our sustainability efforts also include advancing our industry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We’ve made important strides to diversify our staff and membership and to educate our community about the importance of embracing diversity. In 2021, we launched the Madam C.J. Walker Award to recognize individuals in our industry who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to fostering inclusivity and equality. The third award, which honors industry pioneer Madam C.J. Walker who started her hair care business at the turn of the century during a time when women of color had few rights and little opportunity, will be presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting in Coral Gables, Fla.

Our global advocacy has forged critical partnerships that have extended PCPC’s reach and influence. By uniting with over 40 international trade associations in the beauty and personal care sector, we’ve given the industry a powerful and collective voice to address global challenges.

As I prepare for my next chapter, I am filled with deep gratitude for these last 14 years and significant accomplishments and energized by the potential to contribute to initiatives that promote democracy, forge business alliances and empower the next generation of leaders.

I am delighted to pass the baton to Tom Myers, a valued and trusted advisor and colleague, as PCPC’s new president and CEO. I look forward to watching from afar as PCPC continues to set the standard for excellence and lead the industry forward.

Here’s to a more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive world.

Science Symposium … Bringing It All Together

By Alex Kowcz
Chief Scientist, PCPC

Last month, more than 300 scientists, industry leaders and regulatory officials gathered at PCPC’s Science Symposium for robust discussions about innovation, environmental science, microbiology advances, safety and quality in the personal care products industry; updated regulatory, safety and quality requirements; and understanding the latest science and technology developments. It is always inspiring to interact with my colleagues and have the opportunity to dig deeply and thoughtfully into complex issues related to science, safety and regulation. Collaboration is key across all program platforms.

I am pleased to share some important Science Symposium highlights:

Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) Implementation

Linda Katz, M.D., director of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), opened the conference as the keynote speaker and updated attendees on the FDA’s ongoing implementation of MoCRA.

For more than a decade, PCPC and our member companies collaborated with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders and broad array of stakeholders to modernize and enhance the FDA’s regulatory authority over our industry and provide the safety reassurances that consumers expect and deserve. We celebrated the enactment of MoCRA in December 2022. This landmark legislation revamped FDA oversight for our sector, providing the FDA with enhanced regulatory tools, which are pivotal in ensuring product safety, promoting innovation and bolstering consumer trust.

MoCRA requires the FDA to implement new regulations in the next few years, and several provisions become enforceable beginning Dec. 29, 2023, including those related to safety substantiation, mandatory adverse event reporting, registration and product listing, mandatory recall authority, records access and labeling for professional use.

After providing an overview of the MoCRA implementation timetable, Dr. Katz noted that MoCRA includes a sense of Congress that opposes the use of animal testing on cosmetics products for product safety assessments and supports phasing it out, with the exception of appropriate allowances. She also noted that Congress explicitly supported the development of non-animal testing alternatives. The Symposium’s combined expertise and passion energized me as our industry continues to work closely with the FDA to implement MoCRA.

Sunscreens and the Environment

In 2022, the National Academies of Science recommended that the EPA conduct an ecological risk assessment (ERA) for all currently marketed UV filters and any new ones that become available. Sandy Raimondo, Ph.D, a research ecologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provided an overview of an ERA of ultraviolet (UV) filters on coral reefs as sunscreens enter the environment through recreational activities and waste, and may ultimately reach coral reefs. Raimondo noted that the EPA protects the nation’s waterways under the Clean Water Act, while the FDA has regulatory authority over the cosmetics and personal care products industry.

According to Raimondo, coral reefs are a vital ecosystem stressed by climate change, destructive fishing practices, pollutants, invasive species and other factors. Raimondo spoke extensively about qualitative and quantitative data limitations to conduct a comprehensive ERA and cautioned that current available data is limited and more research is needed. She encouraged further global collaboration to advance scientific understanding on this important topic.

Microbiologist Training and Importance

The Symposium’s microbiology program focused on the importance of training the next generation of microbiologists. Michael Loewenstein, vice president of Scientific Consulting, Q Labs LLC, discussed the critical role of microbiologists in manufacturing to support compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations enforced by the FDA. Common issues with cGMP issues for sterile drugs include poor personnel practices, loss of environmental control and flawed operational design. Loewenstein emphasized that microbiologists in any laboratory operation foster collaboration across a variety of essential elements, from equipment and facilities design to disinfectant policies, process validation, investigations, training and maintenance.

In recognition of the outstanding contributions to the personal care products industry, PCPC launched its inaugural Early Career Microbiologist Award. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate meaningful contributions to microbiology – developing new methods, designing preservatives or publishing patents – to encourage their continued growth in the industry.

Presented at the Symposium, PCPC awarded this distinction to Taylor Rienzo, Charles Rivers Laboratory, in recognition of her work in validating alternative microbiological methods. Her meticulous efforts and her commitment to advancing scientific methods in QC Micro have played a critical role in enhanced product quality and consumer safety. The award is a testament to Taylor’s exceptional expertise and dedication, which serve as an inspiration to other talented microbiologists.

Quality and Safety

The conference wrapped up with a focus on quality and safety. PCPC’s Tom Myers, EVP, Legal & Regulatory Affairs, facilitated a conversation with Prashiela Manga, Ph.D, deputy director, Office of Cosmetics and Colors, FDA, who presented the latest information on the status of FDA’s facility and product registration system for cosmetics and personal care products. 

Michael Dourson, a board-certified toxicologist and director at TERA, an environmental science NGO, spoke about the complicated factors of measuring and analyzing ingredient risk exposure. Highlighting the importance of effectively communicating complex scientific information in easy-to-understand terms, he provided one of the more memorable quips of the conference: “No one drinks two liters of lipstick!” The takeaway: information regarding risk exposure always needs to be put into real-world context.

The beauty and personal care products industry has always been driven by science and safety. I have no doubt that new relationships were forged and existing relationships deepened at the Symposium to drive meaningful scientific collaboration for years to come. I believe the future of our industry will be bright – and beautiful – with many exciting innovations!

The Many Reasons to Celebrate During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Louanne Roark
Executive Director, Look Good Feel Better Foundation

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a meaningful time for Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) because we know that breast cancer statistics translate into real women with real challenges. Women who are working through a cancer journey with determination and courage.

In 2023, approximately 297,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and approximately 43,000 will die from the disease.* Not surprisingly, breast cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer among women – 31% of all female cancer diagnoses – and second only to lung cancer in number of deaths. Breast cancer rates have been steadily declining since 1989, yet despite this 43% decline, breast cancer deaths in Black women remain about 40% higher than in White women, despite lower incidence.

Breast cancer patients represent the majority of the people LGFB serves, with 62% of our participants reporting they are being treated for breast cancer. We are privileged to support anyone undergoing cancer treatment, enabling them to rediscover their normal appearance, confidence and self-esteem and to find a supportive community of others going through the same thing. Our goal is to help even more people with cancer and to be there for everyone who needs us.

That’s why we invested in digital strategies in 2019 to deliver LGFB workshops. We built a digital delivery platform and expanded our reach beyond in-person workshops at cancer centers, hospitals and clinics to serve the broader cancer community via online, livestreaming technology. The goal was to replicate the magic and community of our in-person programs by virtually bringing LGFB to patients wherever they are – at home, at work and in the community, including underserved and under-resourced communities – and creating new opportunities for sharing experiences and human connection.

Little did we know that our timing was perfect. Without skipping a beat, we were able to continue offering online, livestreaming group programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort has only grown since. Today, we serve thousands of women every year through free in-person and virtual, livestreaming workshops; short-form Feel Better Moments streaming on social media platforms; and online resources and video tutorials on our website. Most resources are also available in Spanish.

Of course, we don’t do this work alone. We rely on the generosity of nationwide partners, volunteers and other supporters who create a positive impact beyond financial and product donations. They strengthen communities, address mental health, improve wellness, and support diversity and inclusion. From employee skill-based volunteers and fundraising to cause marketing and product and service donations, our partners elevate our ability to impact the lives of cancer patients and their families everywhere.

And we continue working hard to reach women in underserved communities. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Look Good Feel Better’s Confidence Crusade is inspiring communities to recognize that we all have a role to play in helping friends, family or acquaintances facing cancer.

We want EveryONE to help ONE person to feel empowered on their cancer journey by sharing information about LGFB’s free resources and by challenging and engaging those who are unsure how to help to do the same.

Funding from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation will help promote the Confidence Crusade, and their generous support will enable LGFB’s free virtual workshops to provide ‘makeup confidence kits’ to even more patients (while supplies last), including those in under-resourced and underserved communities.

October is also when many of our generous partners step up to support LGFB through special company and brand initiatives and when they come together to celebrate our collective impact. On October 11 this year, the BeautyCares DreamBall Gala in New York raised more than $1.2 million to support the program, providing thousands of women with free LGFB support.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of survivorship, resiliency and hope. It is a time to acknowledge the extraordinary support from our partners, volunteers and allies. It is a moment to rekindle our commitment to ensuring hope glows for everyone for a better tomorrow.


For more information about Look Good Feel Better, visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.

*American Cancer Society, 2023 Cancer Facts and Figures

Advocating for the Future

Karin Ross
EVP, Government Affairs

For more than a decade, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and our member companies worked diligently with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders and a diverse group of stakeholders to modernize and enhance the effectiveness of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory authority over our sector and to provide the safety reassurances that consumers expect and deserve.

We are thrilled that the long-awaited and bipartisan Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) was passed and enacted this past December. This historic legislation modernized FDA oversight of cosmetics and personal care products, giving the FDA significant new authorities and regulatory tools that promote product safety and innovation for our science-driven industry and reinforcing consumer confidence.

But there is more work to be done. The FDA needs funding to fully implement these critical provisions. The message from member companies, PCPC and the Professional Beauty Association to Capitol Hill this month was clear and urgent: we support the $7 million in the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to empower the FDA to fully implement MoCRA. Representatives met with members of Congress, including chairs, vice chairs and members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, to urge Congress to help the FDA realize the full potential of MoCRA and its public health mission. A lack of funding now would undermine more than a decade of bipartisan effort. 

These Lobby Days give us an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with Congress that highlight the work our members do every day to promote the safety and well-being of their employees, consumers and communities. Our member companies are proud of the work they do to advance industry efforts, and we welcome the opportunity to share our priorities for the future with policymakers. Beyond the funding of MoCRA implementation, we encouraged members of Congress to continue to eliminate trade barriers for cosmetics and personal care products sold worldwide and to support critical legislation on a number of issues:

  • Humane Cosmetics Act – We applaud S. House of Representatives by Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) for the reintroduction of this legislation, which would prohibit animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients and prohibit the sale in the United States of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.
  • 45B Tip Tax Credit – This legislation would extend the credit to beauty service establishments and their employees. An existing tip tax credit is currently only available to restaurants.
  • CROWN Act – This bill prevents workplace discrimination based on characteristics such as hair texture and styles.
  • SHOP SAFE Act – This bill prevents the sale of counterfeit products.

To top it all off, we celebrated the launch of the Congressional Cosmetics Caucus, a bipartisan forum chaired by Reps. Linda Sanchez and Nicole Malliotakis, to build awareness and dialogue on the cosmetics and personal care industry’s important issues.

Our advocacy efforts always promote policies that benefit the millions of consumers who trust and rely on our industry’s products. Last year marked a major milestone with MoCRA’s passage, and we look forward to working with policymakers and NGO partners to build on that effort in the 118th Congress and beyond. 

Study Finds Sunscreens are a Key Component of Sun Safety

By Kimberly Norman, Ph.D., DABT, ERT
Senior Director, Safety and Regulatory Toxicology

Do you know the best strategies to protect yourself from overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays and reduce your skin cancer risk?

A recent nationwide study — Application Habits of SPF Users in the United States: Results of a Nationwide Survey[1] — surveyed more than 2,200 regular sunscreen users in the U.S. about how they use sunscreen products. Unlike previous studies, which have primarily focused on recreational use of sunscreen, this study also evaluated how individuals are using the wide variety of available sunscreen products, including facial skin care, cosmetics and lip care.

The study found that spray sunscreen is applied more often on larger areas of the body and hard-to-reach areas than lotion sunscreen, whereas the latter is applied more often on sensitive areas like the face and neck. Survey data also highlighted parents’ awareness of the importance of reapplying sunscreens, paying significantly more attention to water exposure, number of hours passed since application, redness, etc., for their children than themselves.   

Unique drivers such as weather conditions, time spent outside and planned activities impact the types of sunscreen products used. Survey respondents were more likely to use sunscreens on sunny days, when spending more than three hours outside and participating in beach activities. The study also demonstrates a variety of safe-sun behaviors by regular sunscreen users such as other forms of sun protection, but less than 15% of survey respondents know that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter drugs requiring rigorous testing. The FDA ensures that broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB radiation and are safe and effective.

Countless health-care professionals and organizations such as the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and the American Cancer Society recommend the following sun-protection strategies: 

Make sunscreen part of your daily routine:

    • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher even on a cloudy day
    • Apply 30 minutes before going outdoors
    • Reapply every two hours or more frequently if sweating or if in water

Wear protective clothing:

    • A wide-brimmed hat 
    • Long-sleeved shirt and pants
    • UPF clothing 
    • UV-protective sunglasses

Be smart around the sun:

    • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest
    • Seek shade from an umbrella, tree or other shade structure
    • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand, which reflect the damaging rays of the sun and increase your chance of sunburn
    • Check the UV index before heading outside and protect your skin accordingly

Visit your healthcare professional every year for a skin exam.

This Fourth of July — and every day — celebrate sun protection. Remember, the best sunscreen is the one you’ll actually use. Happy sun-safe Fourth of July!


[1] Application Habits of SPF Users in the United States: Results of a Nationwide Survey by K. Norman, PCPC; L. Loretz, PCPC; A. Kowcz, PCPC; L. Kaufman, Scripterra Scientific; and J. Nash, Procter & Gamble






National Cancer Survivor Month: A Cause for Celebration

By Louanne Roark
Executive Director, Look Good Feel Better Foundation

The month of June is often cause for celebration, bringing warm weather, longer days and much needed vacations. For us at Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), June is also a special celebration of National Cancer Survivor Month.

This month, we celebrate the resilient spirit of the more than 18 million cancer survivors in the United States and honor the tireless efforts of doctors, clinicians, researchers and scientists who have made survivorship possible. We also celebrate the families, friends and communities who have provided steadfast care and support during their loved one’s battle with cancer.

At LGFB, we acknowledge a deep understanding that has evolved over the years and recognize the importance of psychosocial support in the journey toward recovery and survivorship. LGFB empowers people with cancer by teaching beauty, self-care and wellness techniques to help manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment and to encourage a sense of normalcy. From skin and nail care, cosmetics, wigs and turbans, accessories and styling, LGFB strives to bring a touch of the ordinary back into lives challenged by the extraordinary.

Research shows that patient support programs like LGFB are a vital component of cancer care and complement the clinical care provided by medical professionals, fostering a sense of control, community and belonging when individuals feel most isolated. A patient’s emotional and mental wellness directly impacts their cancer outcomes, and we are proud to be part of the survivor experience.

LGFB represents a fragment of a larger, ever-evolving ecosystem that is transforming cancer from a terminal condition to a treatable, manageable one — an achievement worth celebrating. Since its inception, we have touched, united and uplifted more than 2.2 million cancer survivors in 27 countries worldwide as the only global charitable program addressing confidence, beauty, appearance, morale and a sense of normalcy for people undergoing cancer treatment.

We are inspired by the ongoing commitment to research into improved treatment options, outcomes and potential cures. The resulting advancements in diagnosis, early detection and treatment options are directly influencing outcomes and survivorship. At LGFB, we support and share the oncology community’s resolve to reach underserved communities to ensure access to care, information and support are available to underserved populations.

Fortunately, we are part of a robust and ever-growing industry dedicated to cancer prevention, treatment, support and, ultimately, eradication. Companies like Avon, Coty, Mary Kay, L’Oréal, P&G Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Wella and many others have been dedicated supporters of cancer-related causes for decades and have helped advance some of the world’s most promising research. 

Here’s how you can help celebrate National Cancer Survivor Month:

  • Let the cancer survivors in your life know how thrilled you are to celebrate this month with them.
  • Donate to PCPC’s Look Good Feel Better Foundation or organizations advancing cancer research, advocacy and education.
  • Support companies that partner with LGFB to raise funds and awareness, and help recruit LGFB volunteers from among their customers and employees.
  • Spread the word that June is National Cancer Survivor Month by sharing this post on social media.

The narrative surrounding cancer has evolved tremendously. Today, we are fortunate to be able to talk about living with cancer — a monumental shift in just a generation. I have no doubt more extraordinary changes are on the horizon.

As you break out the summer clothes and sunscreen, let’s take a moment to honor the millions of people who count themselves as cancer survivors, and let’s continue our relentless efforts to find a cure that ends cancer for everyone.

Celebrating Progress on Earth Day

By Lisa Powers
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications, PCPC

I love the TV series “Yellowstone.” The beautiful and breathtaking landscape of Montana brings me a certain peace. Its main protagonist once said: “The problem is people have stopped living with the planet and started living on it. There will come a time when Earth sheds us like dead skin and it will be our own fault.” These words have stayed with me since I first heard them.

Having worked within the beauty and personal care products industry for nearly two decades, I have seen extraordinary change when it comes to thinking – and acting – responsibly with our Earth. Twenty years ago, issues like reducing packaging, increasing transparency and traceability in the supply chain, and reducing biodiversity loss were not front and center. Today they are integral parts of both the operations and the mindset of our member companies.

PCPC’s most recent sustainability report and its companion video showcase the beauty and personal care industry’s continued commitment to the responsible management of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impacts and highlights the innovative ways our member companies integrate sustainability into their business practices. 

But the report tells a deeper story that gives me tremendous hope on this Earth Day. In the two years since PCPC’s first sustainability report, more and more companies are taking significant steps to increase the sustainability of their operations:

  • Nearly twice as many cosmetics and personal care companies report making commitments to science-based targets (SBTs), designed to limit global warming to 1.5° C and prevent the worst impacts of climate change. The SBT Initiative requires reductions to scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Nearly twice as many companies report having made commitments to 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable for all plastic packaging by 2025.
  • More than twice as many companies report offering consumers retail collection or mail-in take-back programs for empty packaging.
  • The number of companies reporting commitments to use 100% renewable energy and joining RE 100 has doubled. RE 100 is a global corporate renewable energy initiative that brings together hundreds of large businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity.
  • Multiple companies are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and have made commitments to zero deforestation and sourcing sustainable palm oil for their products. The RSPO was established in 2004 to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products.

The progress over just two years is remarkable. Momentum continues to build in our industry and so many others. And consumers are engaged as well, seeking products that align with their own sustainability priorities. While we recognize that there’s more work to be done, the beauty and personal care products industry is committed to be part of the solution when it comes to addressing some of society’s most urgent sustainability challenges. PCPC and our member companies are working together with governments and NGOs to make meaningful change.

I am optimistic when I look at our member companies’ efforts to create a more beautiful world. As we celebrate the 53rd Earth Day, I hope everyone can continue their commitments to care for our world – in every aspect of our lives – but also let’s take a moment to celebrate the progress we are making, together.

PCPC’s 2021 Sustainability Handbook provides practical guidance for advancing a company’s sustainability practice.