Clarisonic working to help cancer survivors look and feel good
By LINDSAY LARIN
Bellevue Reporter Former Staff Writer
July 9, 2010 · Updated 3:04 PM
Clarisonic CEO David Giuliani, the Bellevue-based inventor of sonic personal care products, is in the business of beauty and giving.
He first built his business on the foundation of social responsibility. Over the years, he has stayed true to this philosophy, partnering with a number of local and national organizations to help fund and raise awareness about important causes.
One such partnership has been the Pink product campaign for breast cancer. Clarisonic donated $5 a unit for every Pink Clarisonic product that was sold, donating more than $850,000 to breast cancer research programs last year alone. To date, Clarisonic has raised nearly $1 million to fund research in the fight against breast cancer with its pink Clarisonic Skin Care Systems.
The success of the Pink Ribbon campaign has spurred the momentum for the newest partnership between Clarisonic and Look Good...Feel Better, a national public service program created to help individuals with cancer look good.
"We were thinking, breast cancer is very important, but it is actually well funded. We wanted to seek out other applications where we could make an impressionable difference," Giuliani explained. "We are in the skin care business so we thought how could we combine those two things?"
He realized that when people get cancer, whether it's skin cancer or not, patients often experience severe skin problems due to the cancer itself or treatment.
"We wanted to get involved," he said.
Through the Look Good...Feel Better program, professionals in the beauty and hair industry volunteer their time to teach women how to overcome the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. The national organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., hosts mini workshops all over the country to share simple beauty techniques and tips for skin and nail care, makeup application and coping with hair loss caused by cancer treatment.
Breast cancer survivor Aarika Johnson understands what its like to watch her appearance change almost overnight. Rounds of chemotherapy caused hair loss, skin dryness and skin discoloration.
"My skin turned green, literally. I looked sick," Johnson said.
She learned about the Feel Good...Look Better program through a cancer center and attended one of the classes.
"It was great to meet other women who were experiencing the same things I was," Johnson said. "It was like a huge weight off my shoulders."
Louanne Rourke, executive director of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, oversees the Look Good...Feel Better program, working closely with the American Cancer Society and the Professional Beauty Association, National Cosmetology Association. The three organizations have been working together since 1989 to make Look Good...Feel Better available to the public.
"We offer a free public service program that helps women as well as men, teens and hispanic women to understand and cope with the appearance related side effects of cancer treatment. Things like hair loss and skin dryness, hyper-pignitation and more," Rourke said.
Those in the program get helpful tips for things like buying a wig that flatters, and how to pencil in eyebrows that may have fallen out during treatment.
It gives them the control to manage their looks and feel somewhat normal again," Rourke explained.
Clarisonic presented the Personal Care Products Council Foundation with a $100,000 check in June for the Look Good...Feel Better programs.
"We realized Clarisonic is very good for treating skin problems such as the redness and blotchiness caused by radiation and chemotherapy," Giuliani explained. "When we learned about what the Look Good...Feel Better programs, we quickly realized it was a perfect fit."
Currently, only about 8 percent of the women take advantage of the Look Good...Feel Better program. Giuliani hopes to raise an increased awareness through the new campaign.
"We want to do what we can to help," he said. "The more people who participate, the more local workshops and free seminars will be available to patients. The more we give, the more they (Look Good...Feel Better) give. It's a beautiful thing."
Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425-453-4602.
To learn more about Clarisonic, visit www.clarisonic.com. For information regarding the Look Good...Feel Good program or to sign up for free classes in the area, visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.