Elizabeth Hurley: Breast Cancer Is a 'Disease That Knows No Boundaries'

10/01/2013 at 10:00 AM ET

Elizabeth Hurley Estee Lauder Breast Cancer AwarenessCourtesy of Elizabeth Hurley Beach

If you are even a casual voter in our “Last Night’s Look: Love It or Leave It” gallery, you’ve undoubtedly seen Elizabeth Hurley in a dress in her favorite shade: pink. That’s because she’s a tireless representative for the Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness campaign — a role she’s had since 1995, when she began modeling for the company.

RELATED: Five pink products our editors are buying to support the cause!

“I have been part of such an amazing effort to carry on Evelyn Lauder’s mission to defeat breast cancer,” Hurley tells PEOPLE of the ongoing efforts made by the campaign — notably, raising $48 million over the past 20 years to go towards research and awareness projects. “This year, The BCA Campaign is committed to raising $5 million to support breast cancer research, education and medical services globally. Each and every dollar, and hour, committed to research will be a step closer to eradicating this unyielding disease.”

Another major initiative Hurley has undertaken as a spokesperson for the BCA Campaign: Coming up with a new shade of lipstick bearing her name each year that benefits the cause. “There have been so many beautiful shades of pink over the years but I am especially excited about this year’s Pink Ribbon lip collection. It comes in a very stylish two-toned pink clutch that is perfect to carry anywhere you go. And I’m proud to say that Estée Lauder will donate 20% from every sale to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”

In addition to fundraising, the actress practices healthy living (think: Exercise and eating organic meat she raises on her own farm) and advocates for education for all. “Women everywhere need to take better care of themselves during the ongoing search for a cure,” she says. “Very simply, many women may know the facts about breast cancer, yet have not been sufficiently motivated to change their behavior.”

And part of that motivation, she hopes, will be the Estée Lauder Companies’ latest initiative, We’re Stronger Together, which encourages women to start “circles of strength” and tag friends and family on social media to encourage them to participate in actions which could help raise money or awareness of the disease.

Visit the site today to learn more about it, and tell us: How do you celebrate BCA month? Will you be spreading the word?

–Alex Apatoff

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KJM on

Thank you, Ms. Hurley, for being a voice for those of us suffering with breast cancer.

Yvette R.Wittmann on

Thank you Ms. HurleyI–breast cancer is indeed without boundaries. I am 2 years breast cancer free. I am the first in my family to have been diagnosed with two different breast cancers at the same time. And with no genetic history of it.

Sunny on

I think she is just beautiful- what a kind soul to be an ambassador for breast cancer and using her fame to benefit others worldwide.

Charlotte on

This is a great cause and it’s wonderful that celebs use their voice for a purpose, I just wish Estee Lauder could be a wholesome company all around and show compassion for animals as well. Not sure why we can’t help people fight battles, and avoid using harmless animals in unnecessary and painful experiments as well. Seems pretty simple. And before anyone bashes me for using this forum to speak my mind, don’t forget I said it’s nice to see the good deeds Estee Lauder is doing. Wouldn’t hurt to go one step further and be a company that is great for many things.

kimpm16 on

Something else just as shocking is called pinkwashing. Pinkwashing is a term used to describe companies who promote pink ribbon merchandise or breast cancer awareness but continue to produce, manufacture, or sell products linked to the disease. As one of the organizers of breast cancer walks around the United States, Avon talks the talk but literally doesn’t walk the walk. Avon is one of the most flagrant examples of pink washing. Avon continues to use chemicals linked to breast cancer including triclosan, parabens, and so many more. A paper in the June 2011 issue of Environmental Justice cites Avon’s “Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer” campaign as one of the company’s most “poignant instances of pinkwashing.” Designed to raise funds for breast cancer research, the initiative launched in 2001 and contained six shades of lipsticks all containing endocrine disruptors linked to breast cancer.
Avon is not the only pink washer. Revlon also sponsors runs and walks to support breast and ovarian cancer, I have walked in one myself. And Estee Lauder companies annually run the Power of Pink campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness. All of these companies, through their trade association, have opposed a California Bill that would require cosmetics companies to disclose their use of chemicals linked to cancer or birth defects. And none of these three companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to remove hazardous chemicals and replace them with safer alternatives. They have all been asked to sign the campaign and have all refused. So why do these companies act like they care about breast cancer? One easy answer: profits. Corporations develop brand loyalty, get free advertising and dissuade questions about the roles of their products and a link to cancer. Furthermore, research has shown that, given the same cost and quality, more than half of consumers would switch from a particular brand to one connected to a good cause. And what better cause than breast cancer?

kimpm16 on

According to the President’s Cancer Council, Breast Cancer is genetic only 10% of the time. The other 90% is caused by environmental factors from not only pollution but the chemicals in our food and water, pesticides, fertilizers, teflon pans, and especially the chemicals in our cleaning and personal care products-like the endocrine disrupting chemicals found in many of Estee Lauders products!

kimpm16 on

Pinkwashing is a term used to describe companies who promote pink ribbon merchandise or breast cancer awareness but continue to produce, manufacture, or sell products linked to the disease. As one of the organizers of breast cancer walks around the United States, Avon talks the talk but literally doesn’t walk the walk. Avon is one of the most flagrant examples of pink washing. Avon continues to use chemicals linked to breast cancer including triclosan, parabens, and so many more. A paper in the June 2011 issue of Environmental Justice cites Avon’s “Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer” campaign as one of the company’s most “poignant instances of pinkwashing.” Designed to raise funds for breast cancer research, the initiative launched in 2001 and contained six shades of lipsticks all containing endocrine disruptors linked to breast cancer.
Avon is not the only pink washer. Revlon also sponsors runs and walks to support breast and ovarian cancer, I have walked in one myself. And Estee Lauder companies annually run the Power of Pink campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness. All of these companies, through their trade association, have opposed a California Bill that would require cosmetics companies to disclose their use of chemicals linked to cancer or birth defects. And none of these three companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to remove hazardous chemicals and replace them with safer alternatives. They have all been asked to sign the campaign and have all refused. So why do these companies act like they care about breast cancer? One easy answer: profits. Corporations develop brand loyalty, get free advertising and dissuade questions about the roles of their products and a link to cancer. Furthermore, research has shown that, given the same cost and quality, more than half of consumers would switch from a particular brand to one connected to a good cause. And what better cause than breast cancer?

js on

This is the same person who said, “I’d kill myself if I was as fat as Marilyn Monroe!” and “I always wear make-up as I’ve never seen the point of looking less than your best.” Really? I remember as a young girl thinking she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Until I read that quote about Marilyn… What a let down.

Coupadi on

I agree with kimpm. Is it not hypocritical for Ester Lauder to be supporting this breast cancer awareness campaign when their own products are likely made with toxic ingredients.

jcsfny on

She needs to be continually relevant. I guess this is her new/old venue. I thought she retired. At least, we all hoped she did.

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