'Look Good...Feel Better' Gives Back to Cancer Patients

Look Good...Feel Better (LGFB) is an American Cancer Society program that allows licensed cosmetologists to teach cancer patients how to use makeup and hair wigs to hide the effects of their treatment. The program is open to any cancer patient at any stage of treatment—from just diagnosed to the early stages of remission.

During a typical LGFB session, cancer patients are given a bag of goodies including cleansers, lotions, sunscreens, lipsticks, foundations, and eye makeup. The leading cosmetologist instructs the cancer patients step by step on how to use each product. The instruction discusses the common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and how to combat anything from dry and wrinkly skin, as a result of immunodeficiency. A portion of the session also teaches patients who are experiencing hair loss on how to wrap head-scarves; sometimes they allow patients to try on and take wigs home. All the products and services are free for cancer patients in the program.

The company donates all the products in the goodies bag, which have very high-quality cosmetics. LGFB avoids promoting specific brands, and the cosmetics vary from CoverGirl to Chanel. The American Cancer Society approves all the products for safety before they are given to the LGFB participants.

If you’re not a licensed cosmetologist, you can still volunteer for LGFB. Although you won’t be allowed to apply makeup on the participants, non-licensed volunteers assist licensed cosmetologists who lead the sessions. All volunteers go through a local three-hour training session before they can attend the first session.

I found the entire LGFB experience entirely rewarding. It was heartening to see women who were at first apprehensive about removing their headscarves end up laughing while experimenting with orange eye shadow to match their new red-headed wigs. As a non-licensed volunteer, I got to help open difficult packages and offer advice on application techniques, but the most important job I had was to provide company and comic relief to women looking for a fun way to tackle cancer.

If you’ve got an interest in makeup and are looking for a way to give back to your community, sign up to volunteer for Look Good...Feel Better.

If you are or know a cancer patient who is interested in the program, you can find more information here.