These Editors Are Teaming Up With Brands to Donate Beauty Products to Healthcare Workers

After hearing from hospital workers that they were dealing with skin breakouts and irritation from wearing PPE all day, four writers with ties to the beauty industry mobilized. 

It all started with a text.

Cheryl Wischhover, beauty reporter and former nurse practitioner, received a text from a colleague explaining that her friend's personal protective equipment (PPE) was ruining her skin. Inspired, she decided to take action on Twitter, where she tweeted this: "Beauty editors/brands: I've heard from hospital staff that their faces are breaking out/skin a mess from wearing masks. Trying to organize some donations—acne products, cleansers, gentle moisturizers, balms. It's small but something we can do RN."

Like many great movements, the initiative really took off once it hit social media. Kristina Rodulfo, beauty director for Women's Health, Kathleen Hou, beauty director for New York Magazine's The Cut, and author Caroline Moss promptly joined Wischover to form the four-person force that is Donate Beauty.

Today, the group has donated over 140,000 products to over 400 hospitals, to benefit over 300,000 workers. Over 200 brands have donated to the cause, including brands like Marc Jacobs, Supergoop, Drunk Elephant, Glow Recipe, and more.

"Donate Beauty partners with beauty brands to coordinate product deliveries directly to frontline healthcare workers, to benefit both their skin barriers and their morale," says Hou. "We know everyone from doctors to custodial staff to administrators is affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We are still a small grassroots organization, but looking into 501c3 status to become truly official. We also have a handful of volunteers."

While the organization itself may be small, the impact they've made so far has been significant. "Every day, we get thank you notes and are tagged in dozens of photos from recipients across the U.S. It's a highlight of our day," Hou says. Although the brand acknowledges that beauty products aren't considered as "essential" as an N95 mask, the joy and excitement it gives healthcare workers serves as a glimmer of happiness in an environment that really needs it.

According to the brand, the biggest challenge to date is the sheer volume of requests they receive daily. What started off with 20 requests a day from new healthcare workers has turned into 300 requests a day, with products like hand creams, lip balms, and moisturizers being the most popular requests. "We ask that people bear with us, as we are still a very small team of volunteers and we are working hard to try to fulfill everyone's requests," says Hou.

You don't have to work for a beauty brand or be a beauty editor to get involved. If you have unopened products to donate, simply contact Donate Beauty at with what you have available. Any sized donation can help, and a representative will work to connect you with a local hospital or smaller team.

If there's anything we can take away from the inspirational initiative, it's how much the little things can count in today's current climate. According to Hou, one of the most memorable parts of the experience came from smaller brands who poured a bit of their heart into each donation they gave: "The Honey Belle shop wrote personal notes on each box sent to a healthcare worker, urging and cheering them on. Otto Skin Goods was started by a former dermatological nurse, and her shipments to each hospital also contained hand-drawn cards written by her kids that said things like, 'We love you, we are here for you.' That one made everyone cry."

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