When you are – or someone you know is – going through the rigours of cancer treatment, you might think that the last thing of any importance is a beauty pampering treatment. But in fact, taking care of yourself and giving yourself a bit of a lift can be a real boost.
Keeping Things as Normal As Possible
When you’re going through cancer treatment, things can feel as if they are upside down and nothing’s going to be normal again – so it’s important to maintain some semblance of normality in your everyday routine where you can. It can lift your spirits to slap on some make up, give your skin a deep moisture treatment or an all over body scrub. After all – you’re worth it!
Taking Care of Your Skin
If you’re thinking of going for a facial to lift your spirits, go for a deep moisturising, creamy cleansing facial, not anything harsh. Explain to the therapist that you’re a cancer patient and that you’re looking for something that’s going to revitalise your skin – which can dry out during harsh chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Ask for a non-stimulating, alcohol-free toner and finish with a rich and gentle moisturiser. It’s best not to have any exfoliating treatments as they can be too harsh for delicate skin – you might find that as well as drying out, your skin could become sensitised to some treatments. It’s all about being kind to yourself and your skin when you have cancer.
Ask for fragrance and alcohol-free hypoallergenic beauty treatments and products, to take into account your sensitive skin…be gentle on yourself!
Be aware of hygiene – make sure that your therapist uses clean, disposable applicators, sponges and brushes every time. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are at a higher risk of infection because the treatments suppress the body’s immune system.
Keep Your Skin Well Protected
It’s even more important to make sure that your skin is protected from the sun if you’re having cancer treatment, so slap on the sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). Stay away from the sun when it’s at its hottest (11-4pm) cover up where possible and invest in sunglasses and a hat.
Keep Yourself Looking Beautiful!
Some treatments may make you lose your eyebrow hair, or thin it out, and many therapists are skilled in using the right make up to fill in thin brows or recreate them completely. They will also be able to teach you how to do the same for yourself.
Don’t bother using artificial nails or fill ins when you’re having treatment for cancer, as they aren’t recommended at this time. If your nails have discoloured or are looking unhealthy, have a manicure with a funky opaque polish to pep them up, and save the acrylics or gel in fills until your celebration ‘cancer free’ party! Use an acetone-free nail polish remover too.
Your Crowning Glory
Don’t have any colours or highlights in your hair – or any other chemical treatments – during cancer treatment and for up to six months following any chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Make sure that you keep your scalp protected from harmful UV rays with sunscreen or a hat, and if you decide you want to try a wig, keep a lock of your original hair to colour match. Or you could use the opportunity to go for a funky new colour instead?
Rub the Pain Away
Research has actually proved that an aromatherapy massage is beneficial for cancer patients. The results of the research, carried out by Marie Curie Cancer Care using Roman Chamomile essential oil, showed that massage helped to improve cancer patients’ symptoms, and their quality of life. So don’t hold back, book yourself in for a soothing aromatherapy massage and feel pampered all over.
It’s all about keeping things normal in a time of upheaval when you have cancer treatment, and beauty and spa therapists will have been trained in the special requirements of cancer patients, so go ahead, book yourself a treatment, relax and take care of yourself.