Beauty For a Better Life Moments of compassion and relaxation in the fight against cancer

Since 2011, L’Oréal Foundation has been supporting beauty and well-being treatments in the oncology department of Diaconesses Croix Saint Simon hospital. This department gives special importance to supportive care. The hospital is very focused on each individual patient, and its size reflects this: 13 beds in its outpatient service and 16 beds in its conventional hospital, where patients benefit from a multi-disciplinary care program to combat the disease. 

Corinne Chenet, who has been working as a beauty and well-being professional for eight and a half years, received her CODES diploma in 2007 (Beauty training with a Humanitarian and Social Option). Her specialized treatment revolves around a non-medical approach, aimed at bringing her patients a moment of relaxation and comfort during their chemotherapy treatments.

A non-medical approach based on human contact

The well-being of each person is Corinne's main priority. With a different approach for those in outpatient services to those with long-stays in the hospital, she adapts her treatments to the needs of each individual.

In outpatient care, patients come for their chemotherapy treatment and go home on the same day. Corinne's work is above all to support and advise them. She talks to them about the side effects of their treatments, discussing the problems of losing their hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. She also carries out facial treatments, as well as treatments for the hands and feet and performs massages or manipulation, upon the patient's request.

For patients with long hospital stays, Corinne’s treatments are adapted to suit the physical condition of the individual and aim above all to reduce pain and fatigue. In these cases, the treatments offer relaxation and an escape for the patients, allowing them to distance themselves from their illness for a moment, and to enjoy a hand, foot or face massage.

A deeper impact

The impact of these beauty and well-being treatments plays an important role, beyond the physical benefits, especially in lifting the patients' mood. For them, while going through a very difficult and painful time, an exchange with a person outside of the medical context allows them the space they need to relax and to approach their illness with a different, non-medical perspective.

“I have a wonderful job”

The human and interpersonal side is very evident in Corinne’s job. She is often called “Mrs Happiness” or “the magician with the treatment bag”, when she arrives in the chemotherapy clinic. When she is asked to talk about memorable times with patients, she immediately thinks of many examples. One in particular that comes to mind: at the end of a facial massage, a patient thanked her, saying, “you can’t know the effect you’ve had on me, the good you have done for me, you have massaged my soul”. Or another who told her, “what you are doing is wonderful, it's called humanity”.

She is well aware of the impact of these encounters, and her interactions with patients confirm it. Ending her reflection, she states: “I have a wonderful job”. We wouldn't disagree!

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