Every year when October rolls around, commercial outposts are pink-washed with breast cancer awareness products. While we love retailers' enthusiasm to support a worthy cause, many are jumping on the bandwagon more to see higher profit margins than to fight against breast cancer. (We documented this phenomenon last year, too.)
Several blogs have cropped up around the subject of pink ribbon abuse, and Think Before You Pink recommends asking some questions before reaching for a ribbon-clad beauty product - among them: how much money actually goes to a charity, which charity, and does my purchase affect that number? We asked just those questions, and these are the products we found that benefit both the charity and consumer (plus one that doesn't).
Good: Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment, $19.50. We found that many products’ price points were marked up when labeled with a pink ribbon, but that wasn't the case with Ojon's limited edition pink ribbon Damage Reverse. About one quarter of the purchase price from each tub of this hair moisturizer goes to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. The catch? Only purchases made during October count, even if the pink ribbon label is there.
Better: philosophy Shower for the Cure, $20 or two for $32. philosophy has a long history of supporting charitable causes, and is donating all net proceeds from the philosophy Shower for the Cure body wash to the Women's Cancer Research Fund. Because it's unclear what the profit margin is on this product, however, we couldn't rank it the best beauty product for breast cancer. It does get kudos for its popularity with buyers though — 93 percent of shoppers at philosophy.com say they'd recommend it to a friend.
Best: Estee Lauder Evelyn Lauder Dream Compact with Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder, $75. This may be a high price to pay for a powder compact (a translucent powder, at that), but you can simply consider it a stylish thank you for donating $75 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. That's right, 100 percent of the purchase price of this limited edition compact goes directly to the BCRF. Plus, if you're not interested in spending $75 big ones, you can also go to the Facebook page for Estee Lauder's breast cancer awareness campaign and comment on the Milestones of Courage — Estee Lauder is donating $1 for each comment or quote shared.
Buyer Beware: Perfumania selected fragrances, $8-$65. During the month of October, Perfumania is donating $1 of every purchase of selected perfumes. There are just one problem here: these perfumes range in price from $8 to $65 — while a $1 donation on an $8 product is respectable, when that $1 is less than 2 percent of the $65 purchase price, it's a bit less admirable.