You already know all too well the havoc cancer can wreak on your body and your mind and your spirit, especially while you’re undergoing treatment, like radiation and chemo. Your list of worries is lengthy and diverse, and you might feel guilty that near the top of the list are concerns about your appearance. Oh, sweetie, don’t feel guilty, or silly. It’s natural to want to look your best, even under the worst of circumstances, and I can help. First of all, the cucumber-on-the-eyes trick really does help perk you up… and next, ginger ale might just help calm your tummy… and I have lots of beauty tips for fighting cancer. Here are 10 excellent, and simple, beauty tips for during chemo (and beyond).
Chances are, you’ll know a couple of weeks in advance before you begin chemo. Use this time to gather all of the skin care and beauty items you’ll use for your new regimen, and get used to using them. You’ll find out right away which new products you’ll love, and which you’ll want to replace before you start chemo.
This is a beauty tip during chemo that applies even after you’re done with your rounds and you’re in remission. Happy skin is skin that’s hydrated, inside and out. Make sure you’re drinking enough water, and make sure you’re keeping your skin moisturized. Invest in a good facial moisturizer, like Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar, and also find a good hand and body lotion.
While you’re undergoing chemo, your skin may be much more sensitive than usual. If so, use gentle, fragrance-free and dye-free cleansers, lotions, shampoos, laundry soaps, and such. As dry and flaky as your skin might be, resist the temptation to use a scrub. Instead, exfoliate with a warm, soft washcloth. You certainly don’t want to risk adding a rash to your current list of concerns.
Not everyone loses their hair during chemo, but if you’re worried you might, make a preemptive strike and cut your hair short. This beauty tip during chemo will help make the transition from thick tresses to thinner hair a little more manageable, and besides, you’ll look so chic with a short bob or pixie cut! Also, as your hair begins to grow back in (and it will, right away), keep it trimmed and tidy, and rock the pixie cut again for a while.
If you’ve ever wanted to go blonde, or blue, or bright pink, now’s the time! If your hair has thinned or fallen out to the point you’re considering a wig, don’t feel like you necessarily have to go for something that’s “natural-looking.” Be bold! Choose a wig that’s daring, something you might have always wanted to try, but were too afraid to. Or, if your budget allows, choose a wig that’s natural and flattering, and then choose one for fun.
If your hair is thinning, you might also be losing your eyebrows. Fortunately, there’s a beauty tip for chemo to deal with this, too — use a pencil, with or without a stencil, to lightly sketch them back on, or just fill them in. I highly recommend a stencil, but not the stick-on kind, since the glue on them might irritate your skin.
For the same reason (glue irritating your skin), you might want to avoid using false lashes, too. If you do decide to use them, try one eye first, then wait half an hour to make sure the glue doesn’t hurt the delicate skin around your lash line. Then go ahead and try the other eye. Protip: trim the lashes BEFORE you apply them.
I know it’s tempting to pile on concealer to camouflage the blotchy skin your chemo has caused, but don’t. The blotchiness will subside over time, and too much make-up might irritate your skin… and make you look like a clown, or worse, Tammy Faye. Use a light hand.
Again, this is a beauty tip during chemo that works even when you’re in remission. There’s nothing like a golden or peachy glow, and you can still have that, using a little blush or bronzer. Use as a highlighter, on the apples of your cheeks and even along your brow line (just a little). A light hand is best (you’ll have to wash it all off at the end of the day anyway), but you’ll be amazed how much a little bronzer can improve your overall skin tone, and maybe even your outlook.
You’re scared. You’re tired. You’re probably nauseous. But even under these dire, demanding circumstances, you’ll find humor. And when you do, you’ll smile. You’ll giggle. You might even laugh. This is when you’ll be the most beautiful, make-up or wig or no. Wear a smile when you’re happy, and you’ll be gorgeous, and inspiring, no matter what.
You are a warrior, a beauty inside and out. You’re inspiring and brave — and later, when your cancer is gone and you’re healthy again, I hope you’ll let me know which of these beauty tips for during chemo helped… and what new tips and ideas you have to share with women who are fighting the same battle. Thank you!
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