Continuing with the second part of our Beauty Regimes During Treatment blog, we want to touch on care for your hair, your nails, and beauty product options.
We are back with the second part of our Beauty Regime blog, with tips and suggestions on how to make yourself physically feel better during and after treatment. In the first part of this blog, we talked about mental health, skincare, and beauty products that can make a world of difference. They can help you feel more comfortable, more at ease, and feel more like you. For this blog, we are going to be adding a few more tips for makeup, regrowth of your hair, and caring for your nails. Your hair and nails are sometimes the two biggest factors during treatment where you will see effects before anywhere else in your body. Depending on how you react to treatment, as you know, you can begin to lose hair all over your body, not just on your head. It is already difficult to lose your hair, but attention needs to be drawn to the difficulties of losing your eyebrows, your eyelashes, and even your arm hair. It's a hard adjustment and can make you feel a little out of touch from your own body.
The same goes for your nails. Unless you're within the circle of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorhood, how chemo and treatment affect your nails can come as a big surprise. It can be a painful process for your nails. They can become very brittle, begin to crack and flake, and even fall out. This can happen to both your fingernails and toenails, making everyday tasks difficult and making shoes very painful to wear. Taking time to care for your scalp, skin, and nail beds during and after your treatment can help with encouraging healthy hair regrowth and healthier nails.
One of the first things we wanted to mention is that there are so many amazing outlets available to you to help your survivorship journey. While planning this blog, we stumbled across many important resources but wanted to share one in particular. We found an amazing channel on YouTube called "Breast Cancer Care". Not only do they have videos on how to give self-breast exams, but they also have tons of different videos on how to care for and create eyebrows, eyelashes, skin care, lip care, and more for those going through chemo and beyond. Visit their channel by following the link below. This channel and their website is an incredible resource and a huge comfort for those going through treatment and recovery!
Being kind to your hair, even if it's not so kind to you during treatment, is key. Using mild shampoos and conditioners can help care for your skin and hair while it's going through so much during treatment. There are also many other head covering options available to you. You can add a wig into your wardrobe if you'd like. A lot of insurance companies, according to Everyday Health, will cover the cost of a wig for medical purposes with a prescription for a cranial prosthesis. Soft and gentle head scarfs are also an option to keep your head warm and protected from the sun and other natural elements. Keeping your head covered can help regulate your body temperature, which is key in keeping you healthy. Please do not forget sunscreen if you're going to be outside. We also encourage you to invest in a deep healing lotion for your skin. After your treatment has ended, there are wonderful all-natural growth options to help stimulate your hair, eyelashes, and nail growth. After treatment, as your hair begins to regrow, it will be very fragile. Be kind to it in every way possible. Keep it short until it becomes stronger, and avoid dying or getting it permed or chemically straightened during this regrowth process.
The focus on hair loss often overshadows the effect that chemo and treatment can have on your nails. Using a cuticle cream and moisturizing hand lotion can strengthen your nail beds. Keeping your nails short and trimmed neatly can avoid painful tears, cracks, and infection. Avoid using acrylic and other similar nail techniques, as they can lead to infection. If you want to use a polish, use all-natural and water-based polish brands. Avoid going to the nail salon if you can, but if you have to go, bring your own sterilized equipment, polish, and tools. Make sure all spaces that your nails are worked on are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before you get your nails done. Avoid chewing on your nails and cuticles, as opening up your skin or creating an irritation can also lead to infection.
Please remember that you can visit us through your treatments and survivorship journey. We provide scar revision, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, and laser hair removal, among our many resources. How you define and feel beautiful in your skin is whats important. No one has the power to take that from you or define how you should be doing this for yourself. Be bold, be strong, and continue to fight beautifully. If you have any questions about this any of our services, don't hesitate to reach out. During these continued difficult times, we encourage you to take extreme caution protecting yourself and your loved ones from the pandemic. Please stay safe and be well.
You fight so hard during your treatment while your body gets beaten up every day. What can you do to make yourself feel better in your daily regime of self-care?
As we've discussed throughout many of our recent blogs, claiming and celebrating who you are is a challenge during breast cancer treatment and recovery. Coming to terms with and allowing yourself to feel positive about how you look, feel, and care for yourself is part of your battle and survivorship journey. Self-care and self-love are just as important to your battle as your doctor's visits are. You might be rolling your eyes as you read that, but think about the days where you felt good or were truly realized through your treatment and recovery. Did you get a good night's rest? Feel like yourself again? Feel good in your skin? Did you take time for yourself and maybe had a bath and a facial?
[Mental Health and How It Feels]
These little moments of good have such a huge and positive effect on your mental health, which is one of the first things affected by your diagnosis and treatment. Improving any part of your health and quality of life during these difficult times can help strengthen your battle. So please, don't turn your nose up at self-care. Before your diagnosis, you had your beauty regime and care that was unique and so wonderfully you. That doesn't have to stop with your diagnosis. It might change and evolve, but that's ok too! In this two-part blog, we are going to be sharing some tips and suggestions on how to have and maintain a beauty regime that celebrates you and is dedicated to making you feel better during and after treatment.
The physical changes that you can see are sometimes harder than the effects that chemo and treatment leave behind. It sinks in when you can see the changes, and not see you looking back in the mirror. Your body hair can be gone, your skin is dry, blotchy and pained, your nails are weak and cracking, the shape of your body can change, and you could have pieces of you removed and then added back, with scars left behind. Every fashion item you used to come into contact with affects you differently than it did before, from how it feels to how it will affect your skin or toenails. Fashion magazines offer little when it comes to positive reinforcements or guidance. Thankfully, designers like Stella McCartney has designed bras for those who have had double mastectomies. Jewelry like statement earrings and necklaces can really pop against scars or bald heads or hide a chemo port. More and more designers are creating comfortable, flattering, and beautiful clothing pieces, head scarfs, and other garments with breast cancer patients in mind. But what about your skin and the rest of your regime?
Chemo affects your skin in so many ways and can leave your complexion blotchy and even change it completely. Chemo also affects your sense of smell, so anything overly perfumed or has a strong smell can make you sick during or after treatment. Try finding and investing in natural skincare that has little to no fragrance and is paraben-free. Nontoxic beauty products can limit the exposure to harmful chemicals and ingredients while your skin and body are so sensitive and susceptible during treatment. They are also much gentler on the skin, which could have become extremely sensitive as a result of your treatments. This goes beyond facial lotions, washes, and toners. Look into all-natural and fragrance-free nontoxic eyeliners, lipstick, lashes, lash glue, eyebrow pencils, and more. Be mindful, there are toxic ingredients that still exist in manufactured makeup and beauty products that can cause cancer. You don't want to put these in or on your body, as you are already at risk with a compromised immune system. Adding natural deep hydrating lotion and healing ointments can combat whatever chemo does to your skin and soothe it away. Add in under-eye patches, face masks, sheet masks, and at home facial kits to help you relax, care for your skin, and give it a new glow.
When washing, make sure all of your skin is cared for, and not just your face. Use very gentle soaps that also have light or very little fragrance. Avoid products that contain alcohol and put away your antiaging creams and products. Many of which, according to Everyday Health, can irritate your skin even more than it is during treatment. Cornstarch can soothe irritation on your skin, and limiting shaving can help avoid irritation as well. Make sure to limit your sun exposure, and always wear sunscreen. Don't forget to cover your head and always bring your lip balm!
In the same safe non-toxic and organic world of beauty products, you can add some fake lashes and brows too. The options are staggering when it comes to these products. You can even professionally have sets of eyelashes put in, and you have the option of stencils, stamps, pencils, and eyebrow wigs to fill your eyebrows. Using bronzers and highlight can help with a natural glow without wearing too much makeup, and quartz colors around your eyes and a bold flash of red can make your lips pop!
Please remember, the choice to do any of this is yours and yours alone. Not societies, not a family member, not a friend. Many of our patients use these tips to feel more like themselves, to feel more feminine, and to care for their skin during and after treatment. But, just like your journey through survivorship, it's unique to your personal needs. In the second part of this blog, we will be discussing tips for your nails, regrowing your hair, and hair care. If you have any questions about this any of our services, don't hesitate to reach out. Continue to fight, be proud of the journey you're on, and be well.