MANILA, Philippines – Skincare is all about caring for one’s self and feeling beautiful, no matter what this fast-paced world throws at us. It makes us feel good on the inside and the outside.
There are so many skincare brands available nowadays, mostly catered to women who want to achieve glassy, Korean-inspired skin, look younger, or maintain their bouncy appearance. But one might wonder – has the skincare industry forgotten about men and women with compromised skin – patients with skin disorders, severe skin aging, sensitive skin, and suffering side effects from cancer, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, operations, and other illnesses?
This is where local brand Skincare for Hope comes in.
“There is no local skin care brand that caters for cancer patients,” board-certified dermatologist, Staying Beautiful and Hopeful author, and Skincare For Hope founder Dr. Claire Reyes-Habito said in an interview with Rappler.
“Cancer patients’ skin needs are seen more and more as new cancer therapies cause many skin side effects. Hence, we thought of building Skin Care for Hope, which offers paraben-free and SLS-free (sodium lauryl sulfate) skin care products that are so gentle, mild, and moisturizing that even cancer patients can use them,” Dr. Claire said.
Many people prefer to use natural, holistic cosmetics that do not carry parabens nor SLS. Parabens are synthetic chemicals commonly used as preservatives, while SLS is the cleansing and foaming agent of shampoos and soaps.
Dr. Claire created these products knowing the reality that there is no skincare brand that caters to cancer patients whose treatments have adverse effects on the skin. She wanted a line that was as gentle and natural as possible. However, the brand is not just for cancer patients only, but for anyone who wants to feel cared for and comforted.
The goal is simple: for customers to feel as if they are being brought hope and healing through its products while bringing them together to form a compassionate skincare community that “puts God’s hope at the center of it all.”
Bringing healing to customers
Skincare for Hope offers 10 thoughtfully-made, fragrance-free products that cater to different kinds of skin types. Their products come in three gift bundles: Scalp and Skin Care, Hand and Foot Care, and Skin Moisturizing.
The Scalp and Skin Care bundle contains skin moisturizing essentials that are gentle to the skin and scalp. The products that are in the bundle consist of the SLS-free Mild Shampoo made for thinning as well as color-treated hair; the Moisturizing Oatmeal Soap Bar made for sensitive skin with its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties; and the Scalp, Skin, and Nail Oil that contains 100% naturally moisturizing virgin coconut oil which promotes blood circulation and relaxation.
All these products are gentle and moisturizing enough to be used by those who undergo chemotherapy, which causes brittle nails, dry skin, and thin hair.
The Hand and Foot Care bundle contains skin moisturizing essentials for your hands and feet. In the bundle, you can find the Mild and Gentle Hand Wash, Hand Sanitizer, Hand and Foot Moisturizer, and the Scalp, Skin, and Nail Oil which is also included in the previous bundle.
The Mild and Gentle Hand Wash is an antibacterial liquid soap with soft powder fragrance made with glycerin that moisturizes as it cleans, while lifting dirt and debris without over drying your sensitive skin. The Hand Sanitizer is a moisturizing alcohol gel with 60% alcohol, and has hyaluronic acid sodium to soothe and hydrate your skin. Finally, the Hand and Foot Moisturizer is a rich cream that replenishes your skin and moisturizes cracked hands and callused feet. It is made with shea butter and chamomile extract to soothe sensitive skin while also being paraben-free.
The Skin Moisturizing bundle that is made up of the Mild Body Wash and Skin Relief and Moisturizing Cream.
Made up of calendula oil with anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties as well as tomato fruit extract with natural antioxidants, the Mild Body Wash is a silky, soap-free cleanser that has a mild fresh shower scent.
Additionally, the Skin Relief & Moisturizing Cream is a steroid-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free moisturizing cream that helps soothe and moisturize dry and irritated skin, uniquely made from nata de coco, natural oils of calendula, and Buah Merah. These ingredients contain antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties that also serve as natural wound and skin healing agents.
According to Dr. Claire, the Skin Relief and Moisturizing Cream, which helps calm and soothe dry and irritated skin, is their most popular product yet.
“We developed this with sensitive skin and cancer patients in mind especially those undergoing radiation therapy. Radiation burns are worse and painful when skin care is not started early on. Eczema rash is also best treated with rich hydrating emollients,” Dr. Claire explained.
Its other products that are not included in the bundles are the Face and Body Lotion that hydrates and replenishes the skin without blocking pores, and the Mild Sunscreen Cream which provides non-irritating protection from UV rays for the face and body.
Feeling beautiful in one’s skin
According to Dr. Claire, since its founding in 2020, the brand has received generous and encouraging feedback from mothers who used the products on their babies; senior citizens who loved how moisturizing the products are; and cancer patients who were relieved from uncomfortable side effects of their radiation treatments.
Skincare For Hope is also partnered with the ICanServe Foundation for their commitment to donate chemo and radiation skincare bundles and books for cancer patients annually.
“We hope that these can be seeds of faith and bring hope and healing in their cancer journey,” Dr. Claire said.
As for Dr. Claire’s future plans for her business, nothing is set in stone yet. For now, they want to focus on bringing hope to as many people as they can.
“We want to educate as many as possible on gentle and moisturizing skin care and emphasize the importance of self-care. We hope to grow our skin care community with more advocates. We look forward to bringing Skin Care for Hope to many provinces and bringing hope and healing across the country,” she said.
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Samantha Onglatco is a Rappler intern under the Life & Style and Entertainment section.