News Room

Statement by Lezlee Westine, President and CEO Personal Care Products Council on Breast Cancer Action’s Unfounded Attack on Look Good Feel Better

October 6, 2015

 CONTACT: Lisa Powers, (202) 466-0489 or Lauren Brady, (202) 454-0316

Washington, DC – “It is hard to fathom anything as irresponsible as Breast Cancer Action’s latest campaign that seeks to attack our industry’s longstanding philanthropic program that provides hope, compassion and self-esteem to women recovering from cancer treatment.

“As it is built on false information, we are compelled to set the record straight on behalf of the millions of women, men and their families who are fighting this deadly disease.

“Cosmetic and personal care products companies have a longstanding commitment to the safety of their products. Our industry is guided by the core value to do the right thing based on the best available science when addressing product safety. We share a common interest with the millions of families who use our products every day providing them with the safest, most innovative and effective products possible. We are among the safest industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and we take false allegations about the safety of our products very seriously.

“It is particularly alarming that Breast Cancer Action would mount a campaign aimed at scaring women who are at the most vulnerable point in their lives with junk science, attacking a program that helps women regain their sense of self when so much is being taken away. Studies have shown that support programs like Look Good Feel Better have a significant impact on a patient’s adherence and outlook to treatment.

“In the late 80’s, one of my predecessors was approached by a physician who had a cancer patient so depressed she wouldn’t leave her hospital room. He arranged to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist to give this woman a makeover. The change was profound – not just in her physical appearance, but also in her outlook and she laughed for the first time in weeks.

“Our industry could not be more proud to support Look Good Feel Better, which has served more than 1.7 million women worldwide and started with that one patient, 26 years ago. Our commitment to women with cancer doesn’t live just within Look Good Feel Better. Our companies support many programs for cancer patients as well as funding for research. Overall, the cosmetics industry donates approximately $134 million to charitable causes with a substantial contribution to cancer awareness and research.

“Cancer affects everyone, and many senior executives within our companies are cancer survivors as are many of the dedicated scientists, technical experts, sales people and countless others who work in our industry. It is completely unfounded to suggest that we would knowingly provide products that could have caused this disease or made it worse.

“As an innovative industry, we use the best science available to develop products that consumers trust and enjoy each day. We will continue to follow the science as we create new products to ensure the ongoing safety of our consumers.”

“October is a month to celebrate the advances in cancer care and the women who are fighting and have fought this devastating disease. Our industry looks forward to the day that there will no longer be a need for Look Good Feel Better. But until that time, we hope Breast Cancer Action will reconsider their attacks on a program that has helped so many women.”

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council is the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry. Founded in 1894, the Council’s more than 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 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.