Suzanne Somers' Cancer Was the 'Wake-Up Call' That Led to Her Organic Beauty Line
We caught up with the actress to chat all-things beauty
For decades, Suzanne Somers has been sharing her healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle tips with women thanks to her best-selling workout routines, health books and organic line of skincare and food items. And she’s still dishing out her expert know-how today.
PEOPLE recently caught up with the 72-year-old star to talk about exciting new launches to her beauty brand, Suzanne Organics.
She says the idea for the brand all started when she diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000.
“I would say one of the greatest gifts I had was getting cancer twenty years ago,” she tells PEOPLE. “And you don’t think that the day you hear the words: ‘You have cancer,’ but, it was my wake up call. What am I doing? What am I eating? What’s my lifestyle? What products am I using?”
That’s when she decided to make a major lifestyle change by removing every toxic chemical from her home and deciding to forego chemotherapy treatment. “I just thought, I’m going to win this my way, I’m going to change my life. I’m going to eat until my life defends upon it,” she recalls. “And I’m going to eliminate as many chemicals from my life, my lifestyle and diet, as I can possibly consume. So that’s what I’ve done. There’s not one chemical in our house and you can feel it when you walk in.”
That decision also led her to develop her own line of organic, toxic-free, gluten-free hair, skin, body and makeup products. “I saw this need and I’m filling the need,” she says. “We want something free and pure.”
Somers explained that she was giving people advice through her health books and wanted to extend her knowledge to their vanities.
“When writing my books, I kept saying to my readers that it’s very important that you eat organic and use organic skincare and then it just made perfect sense for me to create my own line,” she shares. “My one caveat to the formula [of the products] was that it has to be as good or better than the chemical stuff. Because if it’s not as good or better, women will go back to the chemical stuff because we fall in love with our products. And I know that we’ve achieved that.”
She has well over 50 items alone in just her skincare collection and only sees the line growing from here. “I’m real proud of it,” she says. “I would like to send everybody in America a care package of skincare because once people try it, they love it, but I’m not that rich.”
Out of her massive amount of inventory, she’s most excited right now about the brand’s volumizing shampoo and conditioner because it “really works.”
“Most organic shampoos don’t suds up and they’re really less than satisfying when you wash with them,” she says. “Our stuff lathers all up because we use shea butter and quinoa.”
And the True Brazilian Activating Serum is her solution to an at-home blowout without the cost or the chemicals.
“It takes about $500 to $700 to get a Brazilian straightening treatment in a salon and you have to sit with formaldehyde all over your head for 45 minutes under the hot hair dryer — the stuff they embalm bodies with. So that’s going into your brains right there.”
Her product tames unmanageable, frizzy hair and “turns it to silk” when you blow it dry and straighten it after applying. “It lasts from wash to wash. It coats the end of your hair and when you use the flattening iron, it strengthens your hair and stops breakage. So therefore, your hair gets longer because you’re not having breakage.”
The number one fan of the product? Her husband of 42 years, TV producer Alan Hamel. “He actually has curly hair. He loves the Brazilian product because it relaxes it. He looks really great. And everybody in the family uses it for two reasons: one because they love and two because it’s free.”
She also swears by the Ageless Serum to restore firmness and bounce-back that has noticeable results in just 28 days.
During her Three’s Company days she used an expensive face cream that contained sea algae and she knew she wanted to incorporate the powerful ingredient into her line. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plus thanks to the addition of African birch, stressed, aging skin feels and looks rejuvenated.
So what’s next for her booming business? She’s working on developing CBD-infused products and wants to expand her hair color selection.
“The one thing that I’m looking for is non-toxic hair color for blondes,” she says. “So far we’ve been able to find it for brunettes but we can’t get there for blondes and that’s the only chemical that I use. So we’re working on it.”