October is breast cancer awareness month and the beauty business world knows it

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

October is breast cancer awareness month and the beauty business world knows it
The pink ribbon movement celebrates 25 years this month and prominent cosmetics and personal care companies are marking the milestone with donations, data, research partnerships, and specially branded products to raise money for the cause.

Big names in beauty, like Avon and Estée Lauder, have been active in the breast cancer awareness and elimination movement since the beginning.

This year The Estée Lauder Companies is launching a new campaign “to create a breast cancer-free world,”​ according to a company media release. The Estée Lauder Companies have committed $8m to the campaign, are raising money via social media, releasing a short film, and more.

“The Estée Lauder Companies has long been committed to making an impact on communities around the world, and our efforts through The Breast Cancer Campaign are a reflection of that purpose,”​ Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies tells the press. “The awareness we’ve brought to the movement brings us great pride, and fuels the next – and what we hope to be the last - stage of The Campaign: ending breast cancer.”

Corporate endeavors

Even before October arrived Avon released new survey data documenting women’s knowledge of breast cancer’s early symptoms and the lifestyle choices that often correlate to cancer. In late September the company circulated findings from a survey of over 19,000 people in countries where Avon does business, countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Turkey and the UK.

The majority of survey participants, 73%, are watching for changes in the appearance of their breasts. Yet 60% “would hesitate to seek medical advice,” ​found the survey. And, “When asked to identify 10 common symptoms of breast cancer, only 2% managed to select all 10 correctly.”

Only about 35% of survey respondent know that exercise may help prevent breast cancer and that alcohol may up the risk.

Avon, of course, hosts the annual Walk to End Breast Cancer. And this year the company is launching a dedicated site called the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, with self-care tips and resources as well as news and data about the ‘crusade’ itself.

“Early detection is crucial to fighting breast cancer, yet our survey found that women don't know their risks or what signs to look for,” ​acknowledges Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon, in remarks to the press. “We want to change this lack of knowledge by using the power of our global network of women – 6 million Avon Representatives and more than 26,000 Associates – and our breast cancer partners, to educate women.”

“Our Promise outlines our long-term commitment to ensure every woman is breast health aware, every day,” ​says McCoy.

Consumer participation

Individual brands, from Avon, from The Estée Lauder Companies, and from the wider beauty industry are involved in this month’s awareness and fundraising campaigns. While, consumer-facing beauty media are helping spread the word.

For Vanity Fair, Nora Maloney put together a slideshow of 18 products​ from 'Beauty Brands [that have] Come Out Swinging in October for Breast-Cancer Awareness'. Her piece features, for exapample, the Estée Lauder Pink Ribbon Knockout Eyes Collection, that company’s Bobbi Brown Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzing Powder set, and Jane Iredale’s Magic Mit.

And, Jesa Marie Calaor, writing for Allure, showcases a selection of products​ whose purchase will help raise money for “breast cancer screening, treatment, and research.”​ Her article includes the Bobbi Brown Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzing Powder Set, the Beautyblender Bubble, Ralph Lauren’s Romance Eau de Parfum, and Sigma Beauty’s F80 Flat Kabuki Brush, among others.

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