Breast cancer treatment can affect the skin, leaving it dry or flaky and more sensitive to exposure to sun, wind, and other elements. If you or someone you know have recently underwent chemo or radiation treatment for cancer, here are some changes you might want to consider for your skin care routine:
Chemo reduces the amount of oil your glands secrete, so you’ll need to moisturize more frequently or use a heavier weight moisturizer than you did before treatment. It is recommended that you drink at least 2 quarts of water a day.
Suggested Product: Rhonda Allison Cucumber Spritz
To prevent nails from drying out, use only non-acetone-based nail polish remover. Moisturize your cuticles and push them back rather than cutting them with scissors.
Suggested Product: Mama Mio Omega Wonder-full Balm
Treatments make your skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet light. Protect your skin from the sun with a product that blocks UVA and UVB rays. Also remember that chemo and radiation make your skin more susceptible to infection so toss cosmetics you’ve used for more than six months, especially those that require dipping a finger into them.
Suggested Product: Sonya Dakar Microvenom Daily Defense
Don’t forget your lips. Since they have few oil and sweat glands, they don’t have protection from ultraviolet rays. Use products with moisture-sealing ingredients and SPF protection of 15 or higher instead of using lip balms that have camphor, menthol, or phenol, says breastcancer.org.
Suggested Product: Hempz Lips Ultra Moisturizing Herbal Lip Balm SPF15
If you use any skin products on days you have radiation therapy, use them at least four hours before treatment, the National Cancer Institute advises.
Use a gentle, moisturizing soap or cleansing cream and avoid products with heavy scents.Breastcancer.org recommends soaps used for babies since they are usually gentle and perfume-free.
Suggested Product: Sonya Dakar Irritation Relief Complex
Wash clothes, bedding and towels in mild, hypoallergenic detergent.
Tips for Healthy-Looking Skin
- Learn to sleep on your back, preferably with your head elevated. This reduces the puffiness most of us see in the mirror each morning.
- Don’t smoke. The heat and smoke of the cigarette itself will constrict your blood vessels and cause wrinkles. And overuse of the muscles used to draw in the smoke can cause just as many wrinkles. And smoking, as you surely know, is a risk factor for lung cancer.
- Don’t use alcohol-containing products on your face. They’re too drying, even for oily skin.
- Don’t wash your face more than twice a day, unless you exercise. In that case, be sure to wash away any sweat that could be drying to your face as it evaporates. You might also consider a non-soap skin cleanser.
The Spa of Essex’s In Spa and Online Boutique offers several products that follow the suggestions mentioned above. Have specific questions regarding your skin? Get a FREE Skincare Consultation & Analysis from a Spa of Essex Skincare Expert.