Tag: organic skin care

What Are You Putting On Your Skin?

Having gone through radiation and chemotherapy, the realization came that there are other ways that we chemicalize ourselves – often unwittingly.

Skin care products is just one of many ways we do this.  Many harmful chemicals are used in most of the over the counter products we are exposed to every day.  Here are a few ingredients to watch for on the label:

Mineral oil, paraffin wax, paraffin oil, sodium laureth sulfate, talc powder, toluene, sodium hydroxide, rancid oils, propylene or butylene glycol, lanolin, fragrance and finally, isothiazolinone.

Our skin breathes and whatever we put on our skin is absorbed into the body.  Harmful substances such as the ones above can cause damage ranging from clogging pores to skin damage to intake of carcinogens resulting in cell damage.

There are more natural and organic skin care products on the market these days.  Make sure to check these products as well to ensure that they are, in fact, natural and/or organic.

Skin – Our Glowing Reflection of Health

Our complexion (skin) is the outer sign of health.  When it becomes dull, dry and/or blemished, it indicates that we might need to pay attention to our lifestyle – diet, sleep, habits, environment.

With cancer, skin is affected by cancer treatments, both chemotherapy and radiation.  The body is being exposed to chemicals, both internally and externally.  Chemicals in skin care products and makeup often create unwelcome reactions.

It is therefore very important, for both men and women, to find and use organic skin care products – those that are free of harmful chemicals and aligned environmentally.

Skin Care During and After Cancer Treatments

Skin is a barometer of how we are feeling, what we are or are not eating, is susceptible to climate changes, and often erupts with rashes, itching, etc. due to drug interactions.  Going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer definitely affects our skin.

It is so important to find Organic Skin and Hair Care Products to use during this time.  Our skin is more sensitive to harmful and harsh ingredients while going through treatment and needs to be pampered with safe and natural skin care.  Perfume and/or scent is often not tolerated.  Our Wellspring cancer center has signs up asking members to please not wear perfume. For many, this is an issue no matter what their situation – certainly is for me.

Be aware, read the list of ingredients, choose skin care products that have few if any chemicals and watch your skin benefit.  I’ve had to do this for years as I have sensitive skin which was complicated by all the heavy makeup I wore when I was in the theatre.  Going through chemotherapy and radiation made me doubly aware of what I put on my body.

Be kind to yourself and your skin.  It pays to not only eat right and radiate from the inside out, but to also make sure you are protecting your skin from the outside in.

Are Your Skin Care Products Safe?

There are many products on the market these days promising anti-aging, natural and/or organic, fragrance free, etc.  Many of these products have chemicals that are harmful to the skin and our environment.  However, there is a growing awareness of safe cosmetics – those that are not only good for the environment (green) but are also good for our skin.  One such agency for information is the The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Here is a list of chemicals to avoid cited by The Breast Cancer Fund, especially for those going through cancer where extra care is needed:

  • Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids
  • Hair dyes, especially dark permanent dyes
  • Liquid hand soaps with triclosan/triclocarban
  • Nail polish and removers with formaldehyde, DBP or toluene (which can be contaminated with benzene)
  • Skin lighteners with hydroquinone
  • Heavily scented products
  • Moisturizers, ointments and skin creams with petrolatum (which can be contaminated with PAHs)
  • Fungicides, shaving creams, hair gels and hair coloring containing nonylphenol
  • Hair spray, gel, mousse or shaving cream that contains isobutane, a propellant that can be contaminated with 1,3-butadiene
  • Sunscreens with UV filters that mimic estrogen

Whether you have cancer or not, finding quality, true organic skin care products is worth the search.  Have a look at what you are currently using.  Do your products fit within these guidelines?  Your skin, whole body, and our environment will benefit if you switch.

Skin Care Guidelines for Cancer Patients

Cancer treatment requires special care during both radiation and chemotherapy.  Radiation can cause sensitivity in the area being radiated, even redness and sometimes burning if your skin is fair.  Chemotherapy, because it is internal, can cause dryness, itching, sensitivity to UV rays, and skin pigmentation changes.

Being mindful of what you put on your skin at this time is particularly important.  It is best to stay away from products that have fragrance or scent.  Not only will this affect your skin, but heightened sensitivity to scent is also one of the side effects of cancer treatment.  Something for your family and friends to be aware of.

General guidelines to help your skin during cancer treatment:

1.  Be gentle to your skin – wear loose fitting clothes to avoid rubbing, cotton is better than synthetics or wool, avoid heat extremes (hot and/or cold), use gentle, natural skin lotions to keep your skin moisturized.

2. Make sure your skin is clean – be aware if products are irritating your skin – switch to more gentle ones such as natural or organic skin care, stay away from perfumes, lanolin or alcohol in products.

3. Hydrate your skin – drink plenty of water (8-10 glasses per day), apply moisturizer while skin is damp, keep lips moist with lip balms or lotions.

4. Nail care is important – many people find they even lose their nails.  Wear gloves when working, use hand lotion liberally, apply cuticle creams.

5. Protect your skin from the sun – stay out of the sun between 10 am and 3 pm, wear a brimmed hat and clothing that covers your skin, wear wraparound sunglasses to protect the eyes, and most importantly, wear suncreen with SPF 30+ strength.

These are a few tips to help you during this time.  Most of these issues will disappear once treatment is over.  However, during treatment, make sure you look for organic skin care products that will be gentle on your skin and offer the most protection.

Skin Issues During Cancer Treatment

If You Can't Eat It Don't Put It On Your Skin

During cancer treatment (radiation and chemotherapy), skin texture changes.  It will become more sensitive and need extra care.  You will want to look for organic skin care products that are non-oily, easy to rub on your skin, and absorb readily.  Perfume can be an issue, so lotions and creams with no scent are best.

In summary:

1. Dryness and Sensitivity – both chemotherapy and radiation will create skin dryness.  Hence the need for super hydrating lotions that will absorb easily and flow onto the skin without excessive rubbing as the skin will be more sensitive than before.

2. Intolerance of scents/perfumes – find skin care lotions and creams with no scent.  You could try a light citrus or lavender scent – some people can tolerate these mild scents.

3. Powders during radiation – they suggest using powders that do not contain alum.  One good option is corn starch – a basic.

4.  Sun Sensitivity – Chemotherapy most often causes sun sensitivity.  Suncreen and light colored clothing will help immensely.

These suggestions are good ideas for selecting skin care products going forward.  Your skin will appreciate the extra care and attention.

Different Seasons, Different Skin Care

As the leaves fall, ice melts and temperatures boil, our skin also begins to change, requiring different products for every season. This doesn’t mean you need to alter your entire routine, but you might need to change out a few items. For instance, when winter arrives, your once normal to oily complexion can become drier. Come the summer, however, and you’re constantly running out of blotting papers.

To save dry skin during wintertime, invest in an oil-based moisturizer; and during the summer, for skin that tends to be oily, follow your soap-free cleanser with an alcohol-free toner. Regardless of the product you’re buying, it’s always best to go with organic skin care products. When you use organic products, you can rest assured you aren’t introducing any harsh chemicals or additives to your skin.

Organic Skin Care: Importance of No Parabens

Breast cancer has been linked to cosmetics and in particular, parabens in the products we put on our skin.  Our body absorbs these chemicals and not all of them are eliminated from our body.  Since women are the major users of skin care products and makeup, it stands that we are the most exposed.

Paraben is used mainly as an antimicrobial preservative in cosmetics and personal care products.  In research, paraben has been found in 18 out of 20 tumours tested and indicates that it mimics estrogen-like activity in our body.  Breast cancers respond to estrogen.  With the rise in breast cancer among women, 1 in 3, it pays to be alert to products that can cause us harm.

Look for organic skin care products with no parabens and be on the safe side.  Your health may depend on it.

Toxins in Skin Care Products

That sure gets one’s attention!  Having cancer is bad enough, but finding out that the products we use on our body are actually contributing to cancer is even more scary.

Several manufactuers, Dr. Alkaitis for one, have woken up to the fact that there is a need to have safer alternatives in the marketplace.  Research yourself – look for organic skin care lines.  Check the ingredients to ensure that they are indeed organic and safe.  Regulations are still lax around the definitions that can be put on packaging.

It pays to be educated – it could mean your life.  Cancer statistics indicate that 1 in 2 people will get cancer (any cancer) in their lifetime.

Why Organic Skin Care?

Just having come back from the hairdressers, I was reminded of all the toxins and chemicals that are in hair care products, skin care, nail care, etc.  My hairdresser was talking about finding a practioner for chelation to rid her body of the buildup of toxins from her years in this industry.  Her joints are really bothering her – a side effect.  Imagine what all these toxins are doing to all of us, especially women who wear make up.  Think lead in our lipsticks.  And, products we use on infants.  Scary.

Organic skin care and make up products are also crucial after one has been through cancer.  In fact, they are saying that these toxins cause some of our cancers.  For sure, toxins are not natural and shouldn’t be in products where they can be absorbed by our body.  Let’s do what we can to create a safer and healthier world for not only ourselves, but for our children.  Be proactive, use organic products that are proven to be so.  To see what is in the products you currently use, go to www.safecosmetics.org.  You’ll be surprised and shocked.