A cancer diagnosis is often devastating and treatments can last for months. Even in remission and a post-treatment, all-clear diagnosis, survivors deal with the anxiety of follow up examinations, fearful that cancer will return. Cancer and cancer treatments take a physical and emotional toll. Being strong emotionally is necessary to endure an aggressive treatment protocol so doing everything you can to lift your spirits and feel positive is important. Any type of cancer can attack skin cells so proper skin care during treatment can help anyone look their best and feel more confident. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month so now is the right time to explore how cancer affects the skin and special ways to keep it healthy. NOSI Skincare is here to help with gentle products and experienced advice on how to care for skin compromised by cancer.
All types of Cancer affect Skin Cells
There are many different types of cancer and skin is affected by all of them, not just by skin cancer. Radiation treatments can burn the skin resulting in redness, flaking and peeling. In some cases, it may blister. Repeated radiation exposure will cause damage faster that the skin can repair itself. Chemotherapy treatments affect all cells in the body not just cancer cells. According to dermatologist and breast cancer survivor, Cynthia Bailey MD, as quoted in Self magazine, “When you are on chemotherapy, your skin cells don’t replace themselves like they normally would and your skin becomes fragile and dry. In addition, the skin is the largest organ in the body, protecting you from external risks such as infection. Irritant rashes will break open the skin’s now fragile protective barrier.”
The most important guideline to follow when caring for fragile skin is to be gentle. Ditch all harsh skincare products filled chemicals. It amazes me that anyone would use these products in the first place! I know one popular skincare line with warning labels for pregnant woman and anyone with compromised immune systems. Be gentle with your skin. You want effective and safe skin care that will restore and rebuild skin cells so they look vital and healthy.
Use a gentle cleanser applied with your fingertips in a slow, circular motion. Only use products that are alcohol-free, hypoallergenic, free from preservatives, parabens, minerals, and dyes. And never use anything containing retinol because it is known to cause redness, burning and peeling. NOSI skincare products are ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. All NOSI products are plant-derived and paraben-free and a creamy cleanser like NOSI’s Mandarin Acai Cleansing Creme is perfect. It contains soothing sunflower seed oil and is packed with natural ingredients to cleanse without stripping the skin of vital nutrients. Skin will feel soft and dewy, not tight, itchy and dry like some other harsh cleansers. When drying your skin, be sure to pat it dry with a clean, soft towel. Avoid rubbing the towel across your face because it could easily damage highly sensitive, compromised skin.
Hormones can cause cancer to grow
According to WebMD, about 80% of all breast cancers are “ER-positive.” That means the cancer cells grow in response to the hormone estrogen.” Anyone with ER-positive cancer should avoid Phyto-estrogen products. WebMD also states that about 65% of these cancers are also “PR-positive.” That means they grow in response to another hormone called progesterone, so avoid anything that contains progesterone. Know exactly what type of cancer you have, research it relentlessly to know what makes it grow and read labels on everything you consume.
Cancer and cancer treatment can ravage the skin leaving it very fragile and dry. To safely and effectively re-hydrate your skin, use NOSI’s CO Enzyme Q-10 Cranberry Crème. This lush crème is rich with DMAE and Cranberry Seed oil. It enhances the body’s naturally produced oils and emollients making it an excellent moisturizer that restores and renews damaged skin cells.
Gentle Masks and a Bonus Tip
Here at NOSI Skincare we are always inventing masks using simple, natural ingredients found in any home kitchen. Here are two soothing masks that use honey and will help add moisture to dry skin. But before using either on a large area, do a patch test to ensure you don’t experience a negative reaction.
Honey Bee Gentle Mask
½ ripe Banana, mashed
1 Tbsp. Acai Berry Powder
1 Tbsp. Manuka Honey
Pretty in Pink Mask
½ ripe Banana, mashed
½ Tbsp each ripe strawberries and raspberries, mashed
1 Tbsp. Manuka Honey
For either mask, combine all ingredients in bowl and mix to a smooth paste. Gently apply to a clean face and décolleté skin using your fingertips in a circular motion. Leave on for 5 and up to 15 minutes. Splash with tepid water to rinse and pat dry with a soft, clean cloth. And here is one last tip to help you feel fresh. . . make a mist using green tea and keep in a small spray bottle in the refrigerator. Anytime you need a little pick-me-up, reach in and mist on. Your face with feel instantly refreshed and smooth.
We are here to help
Almost everyone I know has either had cancer or been touched by it from someone close to them. Those suffering from cancer need to keep a healthy, confident and positive attitude. Looking healthy and vibrant can help patients feel confident. NOSI skincare can show you how to care for skin compromised by cancer and look your best under difficult circumstances. While on any treatment protocol, if you notice any skin changes, consult with your doctor, and keep her or him informed of any side effects that you may experience. I’m always available to chat with you directly on this or any skincare topic. Simply go to NOSIskincare.com, and click on the Free Advice button at the bottom of the screen. It’s just under my picture. I look forward to chatting with you soon!
Donna Mansbart, a skincare and haircare professional, is the owner of NOSI Skincare.