Our History

For over 25 years, Look Good Feel Better has been giving women on their cancer journey the tools to look good and feel better about themselves during treatment. Here is a synopsis of our history.

Our Annual Impact

150

Companies supporting
the US program

50,000

Women served in the 
United States

15,000

Workshops held across
all 50 states

150,000

Estimated hours
donated by volunteers

 

History of Look Good Feel Better

Look Good Feel Better was developed in 1989 by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation - a charitable organization established by the Personal Care Products Council (formerly the cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association). But its story began with one patient.

In 1987, a physician asked former Personal Care Products Council President Ed Kavanaugh how he could organize a “makeover” for a woman in cancer treatment who was experiencing dramatic appearance side effects. The woman was so depressed and self-conscious she would not venture outside her hospital room. Kavanaugh made some calls and was able to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist – and the makeover transformed not only the woman’s look, but also her outlook. She felt happier, less burdened and laughed for the first time in weeks.

With such a profound result, the Personal Care Products Council recognized the opportunity for its industry to help more women maintain their confidence and self-esteem. Kavanaugh presented the idea to the Personal Care Products Council membership – the nation’s cosmetic industry leaders – who immediately offered funding and cosmetics. The American Cancer Society enthusiastically joined the effort, providing a vital national network to assist women seeking information and access to the program. Finally, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) signed on as the third collaborator, encouraging its member cosmetologists to volunteer their services. The program – dubbed Look Good Feel Better – launched with two groups workshops at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., in 1989.

Today, Look Good Feel Better group programs are held in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using products donated by Personal Care Products Council member companies. Teen and Spanish programs, self-help mailer kits, online support, and a 24-hour hotline are also offered – as well as numerous independent licensed international Look Good Feel Better affiliate programs across the globe.