WELLBEING EXPERTS  /  SKINCARE / Choosing the right skincare products

Choosing the right skincare products

Skincare is personal, and every person’s experience of cancer and cancer treatment is different. The important thing is to find products that work for you, and that you feel comfortable using. However, these tips will help you find products that are gentle and effective:

  • Choose natural skincare products with a minimum number of ingredients.
  • Look at the ingredients list and keep it as simple as possible. If you don’t understand what an ingredient is (it should be listed in Latin and then the common name), then look it up first.
  • Try to use soap-free cleansers where possible – look for a pH balanced, moisturising, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free cleanser.
  • Use gentle skincare products rather than heavy or abrasive ones (like anti-acne or peeling products).
  • Avoid products containing alcohol (they dry out the skin).
  • Choose moisturising products with a higher % oil to water (not one that lists water first on the ingredients list). The addition of water means product preservatives are needed, exposing the skin to more ingredients that may cause sensitivity.

Top tip: Storing products in the fridge can help cool and soothe the skin.

BY MARIAN HOOK

References

Cancer Research UK
https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/physically/skin-problems/dealing-with-itching/tips

Cancer Care
https://www.cancercare.org/publications/76-caring_for_your_skin_during_cancer_treatment

Duffy R, Jennings T, Sahu J. Gentle skin care guidelines for patients with mycosis fungoides. Chin Clin Oncol 2019,8 (1): 14.doi:10.21037/cco.2018.10.04
https://cco.amegroups.org/article/view/22064/html

Sheffield Hallam University 2020
https://shura.shu.ac.uk/26246/1/2020_version_4_final_practice_guideline_radiotherapy_skin_care_llv1.pdf

Application of red light phototherapy in the treatment of radioactive dermatitis in patients with head and neck cancer
https://wjso.biomedcentral.com/counter/pdf/10.1186/s12957-018-1522-3.pdf

Light therapy fast-tracks healing of skin damage from cancer radiation therapy
https://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2022/01/029.html

Additional Information

https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

https://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk/reduce-your-risk/chemicals-and-environment/

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

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