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 | National Cosmetology Association (PBA | NCA) 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.