imageMy friend Rachel leads education at Sephora in the King of Prussia Mall in suburban Philadelphia, PA. I’ve come to consider Rachel as my personal guress on all matters related to skin care. She’s a trusted member of my personal health ecosystem.

I met with Rachel last week to consult on what lipsticks contain SPFs that could prevent my lips from burning in the sun for my vacation week on Lakes George and Placid. She informed me that very few cosmetic lip products have sufficient sun protection ingredients to protect my lips-on-the-Lakes.

We accomplished our consult for my very small question quite quickly (see Postscript in the Hot Points, below). After, a longer, much more important dialogue happened between us. Rachel told me about a customer new to the store who asked her for help with her eyebrows. Let’s call her Carol. Carol had lost her eyebrow hair due to being on chemotherapy. This is a very common happenstance for people battling cancer, and can be a side effect from other therapies and some vitamins and supplements, as well.

Rachel had met other women dealing with the Eyebrow Challenge, she explained to Carol. In the ensuing thirty minutes, Rachel introduced Carol to a variety of products and techniques that effectively and easily fill in eyebrow arches that may not exist one minute…then with the stroke of a pen, pencil, or mousse and brush appear.

Once Carol had her new-and-improved arches over her eyes, she expressed her appreciation in ways that took Rachel by surprise. Rachel, who has dealt with health challenges herself, has a particular empathy with clients managing through bumpy life moments. Carol was deeply grateful, moving both client-patient and beauty educator to tears: happy ones.

imageHealth Populi’s Hot Points: In the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better program, women managing cancer are given support to help deal with the impacts of chemo, radiation and other therapies that can wreak havoc on our bodies, our selves.

My own mother, who battled lymphocytic leukemia for 9 years in the 1970s, intuitively knew that, for her, lipstick, foundation make up, and a great tailored Pendleton suit helped her feel better. This was over a decade before the Look Good Feel Better program was founded in 1987.

For Carol and Rachel, the looking good also led to feeling better. Health is beautiful. But beauty can also be healthy.

Postscript and shopping tip: I ended up purchasing the Sugar lipstick from Fresh with an SPF of 15. And it’s working out very well this week on holiday.