Beauty and wellness treatments
Beauty for a Better Life brings beauty and wellness treatments to medical and social institutions to support people suffering physically, psychologically or socially.
Delivering beneficial beauty and wellness treatments
Professional, high quality treatments are delivered by beauty therapists known as ‘socio-aestheticians’ and ‘socio-hairdressers’, who have been specially trained to work with people living in situations of illness or fragility. With a gentle touch and empathetic approach, these beauticians offer facial care, manicure, pedicure, massages, make-up services and hairdressing.
Socio-aesthetics and socio-hairdressing are specific disciplines requiring specific competencies. For instance, socio-aestheticians must undergo specific training, such as the CODES in France, a sector-leading training program delivering 600 hours of learning. Recognizing the importance of this vital learning process, we support the professional development of socio-aestheticians and socio-haidressers.
Participants can benefit from for either individual sessions or group workshops. In addition to their treatment, they may also receive advice on how to manage aesthetic changes to their appearance, tips on personal hygiene, relaxation or feeling at ease with their body. The treatments provide a welcome distraction from their difficulties and offer women an opportunity to focus on their wellbeing and enjoy some precious moments of peace.
More than that, they form an important step in people’s journey to feel comfortable looking in the mirror again, helping to boost their body image and preserve their social identity.
On average, the Beauty for a Better Life program provides around 16,000 people with beauty and wellness treatments every year and delivers in total 49,000 free treatments in France.
49,000 free treatments are delivered every year in France.
Supporting medical patients on their journey to recovery
There is strong evidence to show that beauty and wellness treatments, as part of a holistic rehabilitation program, make a real difference to people recovering from serious illnesses. Indeed, these treatments have been officially recognised as ‘cancer support treatments’ since 2003 in France.
For example, socio-aestheticians can help cancer patients to cope better with the undesirable side effects of difficult or upsetting treatments (such as hair loss, redness, dry skin or changes to nails), helping to ease their anxiety. Together, the treatments and relaxing moments of conversation contribute to restoring patients’ physical and psychological integrity, humanising their medical care and helping them to feel themselves again.
The majority (92%) of cancer patients who have experienced beauty and wellness treatments confirm that they were distracted from the disease, promoting mental wellbeing and self-confidence, for example¹.
¹ Fondation L’Oréal’s survey of 305 adult cancer patients in France, Odoxa Institute, 2018.
Only 12% of cancer patients in France benefit from beauty and wellness treatments.
However, the positive contribution of these treatments is still little known, with only 12% of cancer patients in France currently benefitting from them². We believe this must change, particularly as the cases of cancer continue to grow, treatments create increasingly undesirable effects for the skin, and patients need more support once they have left hospital.
To reach more cancer patients, we have formed partnerships with hospitals, associations and scientific institutions to offer beauty and wellness treatments throughout France. Importantly, we help to ensure that patients are able to benefit by promoting the integration of these treatments within medical treatment plans.
To help provide patients with enough support when they are discharged from hospital, we explore different ways to deliver innovative services in their towns and communities, enabling patients to access the same beauty and wellness treatments locally. For example, working with Rose-Up, a charity helping women to retain a sense of femininity during and after cancer, we offer free beauty and wellness treatments to patients at its centres in Bordeaux and Paris. A real place of social connection, the ‘Maisons Rose’ offer a beauty room for individual or collective sessions delivered by socio-aestheticians and socio-hairdressers, together with essential work and lifestyle advice.
Beyond this, we also partner with organisations including the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris and the Maison des Adolescents to offer beauty and wellness treatments as a key way to help troubled young people to reinvest in their appearance.
² Fondation L’Oréal’s survey of 305 adult cancer patients in France, Odoxa Institute, 2018.
Empowering women experiencing social or economic hardship
Convinced by the power of inclusive beauty, we work to expand access to treatments for vulnerable people through dedicated partnerships with organisations able to deliver these services.
Women who go to the Joséphine beauty salon in Paris, for example, are encouraged by social workers to benefit from a series of beauty and wellness treatments, in order to reintegrate with their communities and boost their self-esteem.
At the EMMAÜS Solidarité shelters or day centres in Paris, socio-aestheticians propose individual treatments as part of people’s wider program of rehabilitation and wellbeing. An atmosphere of warmth and conviviality is central to these sessions, enabling people to speak freely. As people begin to reconnect with their body, they gradually feel better equipped to face life’s daily challenges.
We launched a new ‘mobile’ approach to inclusive beauty in 2019, taking a ‘beauty bus’ - furnished as a beauty and wellness salon - to the heart of underprivileged rural areas and neighbourhoods in France. Some 800 women benefited from free beauty and wellness treatments and workshops, enjoying a precious moment of relaxation and well-being, while building their self-esteem and social confidence.