Norwich student launches new make-up for cancer patients

Amy Bland (left) and Sacha Burke (right)

Amy Bland (left) and Sacha Burke (right) - Credit: supplied

The mineral and natural wax based range is suitable for both men and women without any harmful ingredients.

Specialist make-up for cancer patients has been created by a Norfolk student as part of a university project.

Sacha Burke, of Thorpe Marriott, worked with friend, Amy Bland to create what they believe is the first make-up specifically designed for people undergoing chemotherapy - inspired by Amy's grandmother, Margaret, who was unable to use her normal make-up during cancer treatment.

Now the 21-year-old friends plan to launch a company specialising in products for people with cancer.

Their first product, an eyebrow pomade for both men and women, is made from a natural wax, coconut oil and mineral eyeshadow, for people whose brows have been lost or thinned due to the chemotherapy. "We are making eyebrow stencils for those who have completely lost their eyebrows and have no natural hairlines to guide them when they draw them on," said Sacha. "We are also developing a spray-on tinted moisturiser using the same ingredients. We are hoping to expand quickly to other products because there are so many that patients undergoing harsh treatments can't use. Chemo and radiotherapy makes the skin incredibly dry and susceptible to infection. Most cosmetics contain water, alcohol, and fragrance and although these seem simple ingredients, they make the skin drier and irritable for patients. Our products include extra moisturising properties and no harmful ingredients, to lower the risk of infection."

Sacha of Thorpe Marriott, near Norwich, said: "Amy's nan was diagnosed with cancer and had to throw away all her make-up. To watch someone you love not feel like themselves, we realised something needed to be done."

They plan to name their products after cancer patients, with the first called Margaret for Amy's grandmother. "Sadly she isn't here to see it but has inspired something we both hope will help so many people," said Sacha. But she added: "Our product is so much more than just about helping people we know. It's about people we've never met, because we admire their strength and want to help them, even in the smallest way. Anything that makes their experience easier is what we strive to provide. Each product will be named after someone who has suffered with cancer, as a tribute from families or as a celebration for beating cancer."

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Sacha and Amy are in their final year of a degree in creative advertising at the University of Lincoln. They have named their brand ChemoCosmetics, applied for a patent and have already received positive responses from people undergoing cancer treatment, industry professionals and a household-name high street pharmacy.

They hope to sell their products online initially, alongside developing careers in advertising, with a proportion of any profits going to cancer charities.

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