Worrying about looking good when you’re battling cancer might at first glance seem trivial, but the truth is for a lot of women it’s not. Many cancer treatments have visible side effects which can make you feel self-conscious and less confident.
We think that anything that helps you take your mind off your treatment and feel more like yourself can only be a good thing, so ladies we’re suggesting a little pampering this holiday season!
Dealing with dry skin
Cancer treatment can result in dry, flaky or sore skin, so help your skin feel better by gently cleansing and generously moisturising regularly. Choose soaps/cleansers that are gentle and won’t dry your skin. Use a rich moisturiser, specifically designed for dry, sensitive skin. Mildly scented or unscented creams are a good choice.
Minding your manicure
Not only can treatment play havoc with your skin, but it can leave you with fragile, discoloured or brittle nails. Keeping your nails short will make them less prone to breakage or splitting and protecting your nails as much as possible by wearing gloves when washing up or doing household chores will help prevent them drying out. Keep your nails well moisturised using a nail oil, there are even some brands out there developed specifically for cancer patients. Painting your nails is a great way of hiding blemishes and protecting them, but do make sure to use an acetone free nail varnish remover.
Lips at this time of year can feel dry and chapped, but if you’ve been undergoing treatment for cancer it may make them even worse. So take care of your lips with a good quality balm, we particularly like ones that include aloe vera as they are wonderfully soothing. For a pop of colour this festive season, try a moisturising lipstick, there are so many gorgeous shades to choose from!
If you’re experiencing redness or blotchiness on your skin due to chemotherapy, why not try using a little green colour corrector under your foundation. Just a small amount can really help disguise redness and even out your skin tone.
You may have lost some or all of your eyebrows due to treatment. But with a little practice you can recreate brows using make up that look great and help frame your face beautifully. The key tips to getting a natural look are to use a combination of powder and a sharp eyebrow pencil. We love this how-to video by beauty blogger Carly Severn.
If you have lost some or all of you eyelashes, you may have sore or sensitive eyes. In that case it may be preferable not to use make up or false eyelashes, which could irritate further. It’s always advisable to check with your chemotherapy nurse if in any doubt.
If your eyes don’t feel sore or sensitive, there are a few options you can try to create the illusion of lashes. The most subtle is to use eye shadow to create a soft line close to your eyelash line. Use a small flat brush and for a stronger look, you can first dampen the brush. Don’t forget to add a little under your lower lash line too, towards the outer corner of your eye. This will help create balance.
Eyeliner is another great option to create the appearance of lashes. If you’re using a pencil rub it first against the back of your hand to soften it, then apply starting at the outer corner of the eyelid and work inwards. Blend with a cotton bud to soften the line. Liquid liner should be applied from the inner corner of the eye working out. Pull your eyelid gently outwards at the outer corner to stretch the lid a little, this will make it easier to apply. Don’t worry about applying it in one go, that’s impossible!!! Balance with a little pencil or eyeshadow on the bottom lid.
Finally, you could choose fake lashes, do check with your healthcare team first as eyelash glue can irritate and potentially cause infection. There are a wide array to choose from, individual lashes or full lashes in any number of lengths and thicknesses. There are lots of tutorials online, but a key tip is to wait a little after you apply the glue to the lash, as the glue dries it gets stickier and it will make the lashes easier to apply.
No matter what your beauty routine, taking a little time out to pamper yourself is something we highly recommend. Whether it's treating yourself to a rich soothing cream or glamming it up with some false lashes, it's all about doing things that make you feel that bit better.
If you have any beauty tips you'd like to share please let us know in the comments box below!