The Foundation of Self-Esteem - Your Skin: Cover FX and celebrity entertainment anchor Lee Thomas team up to raise awareness of debilitating skin conditions

    TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ - On Monday, April 27, and Tuesday, April 28,
Cover FX co-founder Lee Graff and celebrity entertainment anchor Lee Thomas
will join forces in Toronto to discuss the issue of self-esteem and how a
disfiguring skin condition has been turned into a valuable opportunity to
educate and inspire people with skin pigmentation challenges.
    In the current economic downturn, as people fight to retain a job, obtain
a new position, or win a promotion, any hurdle that can affect self-confidence
may lead to a dire situation-on both a psychological and a financial level.

    Dealing with a Skin Disorder

    Lee Thomas, Emmy-award-winning anchor and entertainment reporter at WJBK
FOX 2 Detroit, has turned the camera on himself to raise awareness of the
chronic skin disorder vitiligo, which causes loss of pigment and for which
there is no cure. Thomas, who is proud of his African-American heritage, first
noticed white spots on his scalp and then his left hand. Concerned that he
would lose his job, a position that he had diligently pursued, he began
wearing one glove - just like famous vitiligo-sufferer Michael Jackson. As the
loss of pigment progressed to his face and other parts of his body, Thomas had
to inform his employer about the battle he had been waging with this health
issue. Now, with the enthusiastic support of his family and his co-workers at
WJBK-TV, Thomas has learned that there is no obstacle he cannot conquer to
achieve his dream. And he wants to reach out to help others who suffer from
this condition.
    One of the requirements of being a TV journalist is the use of makeup
-especially now as the industry moves to High Definition television. For
Thomas, the search for a makeup that would look natural and be quick to put on
was a necessity for his professional status. Fortunately, he discovered the
Canadian company Cover FX, whose formulas can match any tone, conceal
virtually any flaw and feel completely weightless. As Thomas says, Cover FX
" not only safe, but good for your skin and gives you maximum
cover...even more important, it's easy to apply."

    Cover FX

    The story behind Cover FX is one of determination and innovation. Since
1985, co-founder Lee Graff has headed the CosMedic Clinic at Toronto's
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre - the first clinic of its kind in Canada.
Through the use of special makeup, Graff has helped her patients cope with the
physical and emotional toll that skin conditions such as rosacea, acne,
psoriasis, vitiligo, burns and eczema cause. After fifteen frustrating years
of working with imperfect methods of mixing various products together to
achieve the correct colour and most natural-looking finish, Graff decided that
if she could not find the right solution in the marketplace, then she would
make it.
    In 2000, Graff, together with Jenny Frankel, a chemical engineer with
expertise in cosmetic formulation experience, and Dr. Neil Shear, currently
Head of Dermatology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, developed a
full-coverage makeup that looks completely natural on the skin. Right off the
mark, leading dermatologists provided their support for Cover FX, and its
products are rated number one in dermatologist-recommended makeup in Canada.
    Graff says the cause of vitiligo may be related to an autoimmune
condition; it affects both men and women, of any age, and can also cause the
loss of hair colour. Symptoms appear as patches surrounding normally pigmented
skin, with sharp, often hyper-pigmented edges in strong contrast to the
normally pigmented surrounding skin.
    Lee Thomas has written a book about his battle to define himself and his
struggle to come to terms with revealing his condition in such a high-profile
medium as television. He has become an outspoken advocate and has established
a charitable foundation that provides support to others who face vitiligo's
psychological effects. Thomas has appeared on such major news programs as
Larry King Live, 20/20 and CBC The Hour to communicate his message that no
matter how difficult this disfiguring condition has been to cope with, he has
embraced life and has become the man he always wanted to be.
    For television and print interviews, Lee Graff and Lee Thomas will be
pleased to demonstrate the application of the Cover FX products. To view clips
of Lee Thomas on Larry King Live, applying his specially blended makeup,
please see Thomas' website at:

    Other Skin Conditions

    While vitiligo affects about one percent of the population, many of us
struggle with more common skin conditions such as rosacea. And today, acne is
not only a part of our teen years, but is affecting a large percentage of the
adult population. In her wide-ranging practice, Lee Graff has also treated
patients of many ethnic backgrounds with skin conditions such as melasma,
which is hyperpigmentation.
    Rosacea, a chronic facial skin condition that affects one in 10 North
Americans, appears as a rash or sunburn, with broken blood vessels and blotchy
skin, and can be triggered by overexposure to the sun, spicy foods or stress.
Graff recommends beginning with the Cover FX product SkinPrep FX to calm the
redness, followed by Cover FX or Natural FX to cover flushing and broken blood
vessels. These products have been tested on sensitive skin, are free of oil,
fragrance and parabens, and provide SPF 30, UVA and UVB protection.
    As we look forward to the short Canadian summer season, sun damage will
be a potential skin condition that we all must guard against. More than $1
billion are spent each year on sunscreens, but over one million skin cancer
cases are diagnosed annually in North America. Graff recommends that we
minimize our sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that filters both
UVA and UVB rays. Cover FX will launch a brand new product in May 2009 to
fight the effects of photo-aging-the damage done to the skin by UV radiation,
such as sun spots and hyper-pigmentation. BritePrep FX is a unique foundation
primer that provides SPF 50, with a UVA/UVB broad spectrum water-resistant
complex. BritePrep FX blurs the appearance of fine lines and pores and
protects the skin against premature signs of photo-aging. The product has been
tested on sensitive skin, is free of oil, fragrance and parabens, and has been
developed without harming animals (the product is PETA approved).
    More than 60 million North Americans suffer from active acne-20 percent
of them adults. Even though over 20 million North Americans develop scars due
to acne, only 11 percent will seek the help of a physician. Cover FX offers
relief from this condition with ClearPrep FX. This product's benefits include
the reduction of sebum build-up with willowbark extract; increased cell
turnover to unclog pores and allow drainage with natural fruit AHA; and
reduction of acne blemishes with African bark extract.
    Today, Cover FX has evolved into a global complexion palette that offers
the widest variety of coverage options, textures and finishes to match all
skin tones and skin types. In addition, specially formulated skin products and
professional application tools have been added to the line to offer a complete
foundation system, allowing each person to become his or her own complexion
    Cover FX is available in Canada at select Bay stores, Shoppers Drug
Mart/Pharmaprix, Sephora and Jean Coutu. In the United States, you will find
Cover FX products at select Sephora and Nordstom accounts, as well as on In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Cover FX is exclusive to
Harvey Nichols in London, Manchester and Dublin.


    LEE GRAFF is the "heart" of Cover FX. As the Head of the CosMedic Clinic
at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Graff has worked with
thousands of patients with various skin conditions. She sits on the board of
New Beauty magazine and is on the Advisory Council of Humber College's Spa
Management program. She has not only taught, but also designed courses on
para-medical camouflage for Sheridan College, Humber College and Centennial
    In addition, Graff's professional outreach to hospitals in the United
States includes the establishment of camouflage clinics at NYU Medical Center
in New York City, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Howard University in
Washington, D.C. Graff is involved with a non-profit organization in the
United States, "Angel Faces," which offers support to young girls with birth
anomalies and burns.
    "My dream was to help men and women with skin conditions face the world
with confidence by offering them makeup products with therapeutic benefits
that would perfectly match their skin tone, be affordable, well tolerated by
even the most sensitive skins and achieve a pefectly natural, flawless effect.
After receiving feedback from thousands of patients who use Cover FX products
every day, I'm proud to say we've done it!" - Lee Graff, Co-founder and

    LEE THOMAS is a playwright, journalist and four-time Emmy-Award-winning
television broadcaster. Currently residing in Detroit, he is an
anchor/entertainment reporter and travels on a regular basis to Hollywood to
interview such major stars as Dustin Hoffman and Will Smith. Thomas has a B.A.
in Speech Communications from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He
can be seen daily on Fox 2 News Morning in Detroit.
    In his thought-provoking memoir, Turning White (Momentum Books), Thomas
shares the physical and mental battle he is waging with vitiligo. Lee Thomas's
inspiring story has touched people from South Africa to Sacramento.

For further information:

For further information: If you would like further information about
Cover FX, Lee Graff or Lee Thomas and if you are interested in scheduling an
interview with Lee Thomas and Lee Graff, please contact: Diane Hargrave and
Donna Nopper, (416) 467-9954,; For further information on
Cover FX, please visit the website at:

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