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Chemotherapy Skin Care

Dermatologist-Recommended Skin Care Products for Sensitive Skin Undergoing Chemotherapy Treatments

In 2013, at the age of 55, I was diagnosed with hereditary breast cancer. After undergoing a strong series of chemotherapy treatments with multiple chemotherapy drugs, I personally and professionally understand the challenges chemotherapy patients face.

As a dermatologist and patient, I used my experience as a "living laboratory". The results are the products and recommendations you see below. They are practical, highly effective, and custom-designed for chemotherapy patients -- so that you have one less burden during this trying time.

What are the effects of chemotherapy on your skin?

Cancer treatment with chemotherapy is a stress to your entire body, including your skin. Your skin is your body's biggest organ and it is constantly exposed to potentially harmful elements in your outside world.

You need to keep your skin healthy during your chemotherapy treatments because your skin needs to protect you from outside stressors such as germs, chemicals, and harsh weather. Remember, during chemotherapy your immune system is weakened and this is not the time for problems with your skin. My skin care kit and products are designed to support your skin, giving it the best chance to stay healthy and strong so as to protect you well while you undergo your chemo treatments.

On chemotherapy, your skin may become drier and more fragile than ever before. Your nails and cuticles may become brittle, your skin and nails may become discolored from the medicines you are receiving, and you may even become more sun sensitive.

If you take good care of your skin when you are on chemotherapy, it is possible to keep it soft, healthy, comfortable, and attractive throughout your treatment process. Even more important, healthy skin is essential to your physical well-being during chemo. Dry, sensitive skin is prone to eczema, itching, and sores that can become infected.

Remember, your skin is a huge organ. Its exposure to the germs, chemicals, and the air of the outside world make you vulnerable when it is damaged. During chemotherapy, your immune system is suppressed and you are more vulnerable than ever before − which means you need healthy skin to protect you and keep you well.

How do you keep your skin healthy when undergoing chemo treatments?

The most effective way to keep your skin healthy during chemotherapy is to diligently use a gentle, hydrating skin care routine every day. Follow these 4 key skin care steps daily during your chemotherapy:

  1. Use only gentle cleansers.
  2. Use only hypoallergenic products (those that don’t have fragrances, or complex or irritating ingredients).
  3. Use warm − not steaming hot − water on your skin when it is suffering from dryness.
  4. Always apply an intensive hydrating moisturizer right after toweling dry.

Some products will take care of more than one step in your Complete Skin Care Routine.

If your chemo medicines make you more sun sensitive, then you will also need to apply a good sunscreen every day. Remember, even sun exposure through a window can cause a drug-induced sun sensitivity which can lead to a rash. Your sunscreen needs to be broad spectrum blocking UVA and UVB. I have included products that are gentle on your skin, yet strong against the sun's UV rays, in the list below. You can also view my full sunscreen selection on the Sun Protection Products page.

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  1. Vanicream Free & Clear Conditioner

    Vanicream Free & Clear Conditioner

    $13.50

    Dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic conditioner for extremely sensitive skin, eczema and skin allergies. Non-medicated, preservative and gluten-free conditioner that leaves hair feeling clean and healthy. Great for the entire family. 

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  2. Pressed Mineral Makeup Powder™

    Pressed Mineral Makeup Powder™

    $24.00

    Oil-free pressed minerals give you medium to full coverage with a smooth, long-lasting matte finish. This mineral makeup foundation is full coverage, yet oil-free. The light reflecting powder is so fine that it won't flake or cake. You get a natural, healthy skin look because the tiny mineral particles are so fine that they layer imperceptibly on your skin giving you complete coverage to show off your skin.

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  3. Baked Mineral Trio Eye Shadow

    Baked Mineral Trio Eye Shadow™

    $20.00

    Luscious, creaseless, long lasting shimmery color. Do you love your eye makeup? I do, and it's because this is what I use every day!

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  4. Nutritic Lip Treatment Balm

    Nutritic Lip Treatment Balm

    $16.00
    The best lip balm with deeply hydrating ingredients for moist lips all the time. Learn More
  5. Survival Kit for Busy Hands™

    Survival Kit for Busy Hands™

    $22.90
    Dermatologist−recommended skin treatment for dry, busy hands. Learn More
  6. Makeup Brush Set

    Makeup Brush Set

    $36.00
    Beautiful, economical, and ethically sourced professional brush set and tasteful tie pouch. Learn More
  7. Chemotherapy Skin Care Kit

    Chemotherapy Skin Care Kit

    $74.00

    This is the skin care routine I used while undergoing chemo treatments myself. I designed these kits to help chemo patients simplify one aspect of their chemotherapy self-care. Be confident that you are taking good care of your body’s largest organ while you undergo chemo. These are also the perfect gift to send to a friend or family member who is undergoing cancer treatment. 50% of the profits donated to cancer research.

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  8. EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    $10.00
    Protect your delicate lips from the sun every day with a sunscreen lip balm you will love to use. Learn More
  9. MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum

    MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum

    $32.00
    Luxurious, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with a Silky "Barely There" Finish. Learn More
  10. Vanicream Cleansing Bar

    Vanicream Cleansing Bar

    $4.00
    Dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic cleansing bar for extremely sensitive skin. Learn More

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