Skincare While Treating Cancer

There’s a lot of chatter about preventing skin cancers with skincare and sun protection, but what about caring for skin when you’re already dealing with cancer?

Cancer, of any sort, shakes up entire health routines and lifestyles– everything that once was gets reconsidered, reworked, and often simplified. Skincare is no exception. Everything from the toxicity of radiation to the myriad of alternative treatments people try can badly damage skin, so it’s important to be especially mindful of what’s going ON the body (as well as in).

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Dr. Debra Luftman, Simple Advisory Board Dermatologist, says “radiation therapy can cause skin cancer and a dermatitis as well as broken blood vessels. It is helpful to use daily SPF and emollients.” Products like Simple’s Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15 are ideal for both women, men, and sensitive skin types.

“Some physicians believe it is best to avoid soy products both orally and topically because it is a phytoestrogen and some tumors are estrogen sensitive.”

Dealing with chemotherapy and other harsh treatments requires patients to weed out the non-essentials from their skincare (dyes, chemicals, fragrances) not only because the skin is more susceptible to irritation, but because these chemicals can more easily penetrate skin’s malfunctioning outer layer and get inside the body.

Companies like CV Skinlabs have products tailored to cancer patients’ needs, like a basket full of skincare products and literature about the cancer experience and how something as basic as skincare can have a real impact on health.

Many experts also recommend looking at your pantry for skincare reinforcements. Organic coconut oil makes a great deep moisturizer for cracked heels and flaky elbows, while olive oil on the lips makes for a helpful manicure-enhancing option (think cuticles, moisture, and nailbed softening).

Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, planes with WiFi, summer clothes, & Sucre brown butter truffles. Bryce's aim is to do to luxury what Elton John did to being gay. Follow her on twitter @brycegruber