Skin Care Tips for Those Undergoing Chemo and/or Radiation Therapy


I have been receiving many articles lately on how we can protect ourselves against radioactive contamination following the destruction of the nuclear facilities in Japan.   Once radioactive material is released into the atmosphere it can travel many miles along wind patterns.  I don’t know how serious or plausible a threat is to the United States, but many people on the West Coast are buying out potassium iodide and kelp supplements from stores, such as Whole Foods and Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacies, as these supplements are thought to help combat radiation in the body.


Since radioactivity is in the news, I wanted to dedicate this blog to those who may be going through your own personal crisis and undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. I would like to offer a few tips on the best way to care for your skin during this difficult period in your life.


Finding a safe and effective skin care routine during treatment can be challenging due to the side effects of radiation on the body and skin. The skin is your largest organ and often reflects what is going on inside your body via symptoms on your skin.  Managing the reactions and side effects of chemotherapy/radiation on your skin ensures a comfortable recovery.


Since chemotherapy and radiation weaken your immune system, your skin’s ability to protect itself from the elements also diminishes greatly.  In addition, dehydration and photosensitization of your skin is a common side effect.   Here are the 5 tips for keeping your skin healthy and safe during treatment:

Keep your skin as moist as possible at all times.All products that come into contact with your skin MUST be free of toxins, dyes, and synthetic fragrancesPurchase products that soothe your skin with gentle ingredients such as chamomile, passion flower and sunflower oilUse essential oils to replace your skin’s natural oils, which get depleted during treatment.  Cypress Oil has been known to be beneficial since it builds blood corpuscles, especially the white cells. In addition, apply skincare containing oils such as olive oil and argan oil, that are rich in Vitamin E (argan oil has twice the vitamin E content of olive oil)Use mineral make-up and protect the skin with a safe, natural SPF with broad spectrum protection to block UV rays

Products you should avoid:

Drying alcoholsPerfumes and synthetic fragrancesSodium Lauryl Sulfate (everyone should be avoiding this ingredient anyway)Harsh and abrasive cleansers and household cleaning products

As we reflect upon our blessings in the light of the difficulties and challenges of today, I would encourage each of you to send a prayer up for all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and for those who are fighting cancer.    Here are two links that provide an opportunity for you to help those affected. : and


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