What should you look for in skincare products?

What makes Defiant Beauty different?

Defiant Beauty was created at the request of some of the lovely people at our local hospital, boy, were they strict about the ingredients!
  • No Water
  • No Anti-oxidants
  • No essential Oils
  • No BPA
There are so many factors that need to be taken into account when deciding upon skincare for cancer patients. We created a specialist skincare collection at the request of some of the lovely people at our local hospital, boy, were they strict about the ingredients! Here we cover the detail behind formulation decisions, the factors influencing the choice of packaging and product creation. First up – the story of Defiant Beauty ...how did Defiant Beauty come into being? During the development of the Jennifer Young range I was invited to a meeting on the chemo ward at my local NHS Hospital, University Hospital North Staffs. The hospital had recently opened a new Cancer Centre and had included a beauty salon on the chemo ward. The beauty team there were looking for, and failing to find, a skincare range that suited their requirements. The Nursing team had some very strict ingredients criteria and none of the brands that they had asked could meet the criteria, or “The Rules’ as I now call them. In addition, many salon brands require a minimum order of thousands of pounds worth of stock and this salon could not have afforded that, even if the nurses would have allowed them to be sold from their salon. I decided that I would create a range that met their needs exactly, rather than attempt to get something already in existence to be a best fit. I worked with the salon, the nurses, the volunteers, cancer patients some of those that had completed their treatment and, together, we created the range that is now known as ‘Defiant Beauty’. The Rules provided by the nurses and the needs of the patients made this a very challenging range to create. The ‘rules’ meant that a lot of my first choice ingredients were excluded. The absence of oestrogens in the Defiant Beauty Range is one of the most significant differences between this collection and the many other natural skincare brands. Here are (some of) ‘The Rules’ Oestrogens Women with cancer are advised to avoid plant oestrogens (phyto-oestrogens) as many female cancers are oestrogen positive. This means that oestrogens feed those cancers, encouraging them to grow. Many skincare products, especially anti-aging products, contain oestrogenic oils, such as avocado and aloe vera. Defiant Beauty does not contain any plant oestrogens. Fragrance Free The range is fragrance free as cancer patients are very sensitive to smell and it is impossible to predict who will be adverse to which smells. Suitable for ‘chemo skin’ When women go through treatment for cancer, their skin and nails can be affected. Skin becomes dry, sore, sensitive, itchy and flaking, and nails can split, break or drop off. I was asked to provide products that would combat these issues. These rules made making the products really quite tricky, as if this wasn't enough, I decided to make life even more difficult as a result of the research I did into chemo skin, cancer, chemo and the potential impact of skincare on cancer treatment. The research resulted in my extending the rules to include
  • No Water
  • No Anti-oxidants at a level that would be high enough to benefit the skin
  • No essential oils that, theoretically, could impact cancer treatment
  • No BPA (an endocrine disruptor that can leach from the plastic cosmetics containers often seen in beauty halls)
The reasons behind these decisions are quite scientific and technical. The detail isn’t for inclusion here but please do contact me if you would like me to spend an hour or so at your local hospital or support centre discussing the detail. There are a lot of ingredients that are still available to us and we are often complimented on the effectiveness of our skincare collections. Take a look at the product pages to learn more.

By Jennifer Young

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