Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chemotherapy & Skin Care

Chemotherapy is hard on the entire body, not just your skin. If you are currently undergoing chemo, you are undoubtedly experiencing severely dried-out, dehydrated skin among other things. Your face may look hard and dry, and the skin may be flaking. The two most important things to do for your skin while on chemotherapy are moisturizing and exfoliating.

Exfoliating will help to rid your skin of a lot of the dry, flaky cells while helping your moisturizer do its job. Because the chemicals being introduced into your body may make your skin very sensitive, finding an exfoliation process or product that works without irritating your skin may be a challenge.
  • Usually abrasive scrubs will be too harsh and cause redness. You can try a scrub meant for very sensitive skin and see if your face will tolerate it.  
  • Gommage, one of my favorite Yonka products, is a non-abrasive gel that does a great job of exfoliating.
  • There are also enzyme peels that can rid dead cell buildup.
If the scrub you’re using feels too harsh, try mixing 1/2 scrub with 1/2 cleanser and perhaps this will be a bit more soothing.

Along with exfoliation, you need to use a good moisturizer to ensure your skin stays well-hydrated all day long. During chemotherapy it is doubtful you will have many problems with breakout, so you may be able to use heavier moisturizers that might otherwise cause problems.

Normally I don’t recommend products with ingredients that are derived from petroleum. This is because they have a large molecular structure and sit on the surface of the skin, usually causing congestion along with possible breakout. In this case, while taking chemotherapy, some of these heavier moisturizers may be what you need to get your skin feeling hydrated. To most rules there are exceptions, and this is one of those exceptions. If your normal moisturizer just isn’t doing the trick, opt for a cream that will get the job done—which may be a product containing petroleum. 

Chapped lips can also become a problem while on chemotherapy. Keeping them coated with a non-petroleum lip balm—at all times—is sometimes the only thing you can do to keep your lips somewhat hydrated. Chapped lips can sometimes be a persistent problem.

While on chemotherapy you will probably go through periods of feeling tired with low energy. Why not get a facial? In the tranquil environment of the facial room, you can take care of yourself on two levels; you’ll be helping your skin to feel smooth and healthy as well as helping yourself to relax on a deep level. I have given many facials to women who are in the middle of chemotherapy. I always feel privileged to have the opportunity to create a serene environment while they are fighting the good fight.  

Blessings to all of you on your healing journey.

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