©LGFB – Feeling better
A few years ago, fashion and beauty lover Madeline Della Mora applied to be a Cosmetic Advisor Volunteer at Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), Canada’s only charitable program dedicated to helping women manage the effects cancer and its treatment have on their appearance. This year, Madeline celebrates five years of volunteering with LGFB and being part of a community that offers women supportive care so they can feel like themselves again.
“You’re never alone while volunteering with LGFB,” Madeline said. “This volunteer work has been something that I look forward to so much—especially because of the sense of community and friendship shared among volunteers. Going through cancer treatment is hard, but you should not feel alone. That’s why we are here!”
One of the most challenging aspects of a cancer diagnosis is the loss of identity that comes with it. For 30 years, LGFB has been helping women and teen girls facing the difficult cancer journey to recognize themselves again.
Body image is a critical psychosocial issue for patients with cancer because they often undergo significant changes to their appearance, like hair loss and skin changes. At the heart of the LGFB programs are complimentary workshops that address the appearance-related impact of cancer and its treatment while offering women a community where they can connect with other women facing similar challenges.
“Many of the side effects of treatment are common, especially among women. At LGFB, we are overflowing with products, ideas, and techniques to make the side effects more tolerable and manageable,” shared Madeline.
“The moments I cherish the most are candid interactions between participants. In one workshop, a woman who had attended years ago and is now a cancer survivor came with her recently-diagnosed friend. She took out her old wig and gave it to her friend just to try on.
The wig looked so wonderful on her friend that when she went to take off the wig and give it back, the woman said, ‘Actually, you keep it. What do I need it for anymore?’ There were tears and hugs, but this moment meant more than simply passing on a wig to a friend. It symbolized the support, love, and camaraderie that our LGFB workshops embody.”
At LGFB, there is something for everyone. As the seasons change and the sun comes out, Madeline reminds us of some must-know tips for summer skincare—starting with spring cleaning our makeup bags!
“Did you know products should ONLY be used for three to six months? Once they’re opened, oxygen begins to degrade the formula, and they’ll start to expire—regardless of the use-by date. And sunscreen is a non-negotiable all year round, but especially in the warmer months when we’re spending more time with our skin exposed!”
Madeline’s Summer-Ready Self-Care Tips:
- The best sunscreens are broad-spectrum, and are a minimum of SPF 30.
- If you have sensitive skin, look for a fragrance-free and/or a mineral-based formula.
- Avoid the eye area to be extra safe, and choose a trendy pair of sunglasses to protect that delicate skin instead.
- Always wash off your sunscreen at night; a gentle foaming cleanser with a washcloth is my personal favourite.
- A thermal water spray is lovely in the warmer months and can also help calm down redness and rosacea. Keep a bottle of this moisturizing, vitamin-enriched water in your fridge for a cooling and calming spritz either during your skincare routine or throughout the day.
- Finally, a light layer of mascara and a bit of brow pencil can go a long way.
More Look Good Feel Better Stories
At Look Good Feel Better, we know that true health care treats the whole person – not just the physical, but the emotional and psychological aspects too. Research and medical treatments are priorities but there is a growing gap in care for the psychosocial needs of patients facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment – emotional fallout from cancer is often overlooked.