One of the many side effects of chemotherapy is dry skin. After I had the initial diagnosis, I decided to remove anything from my bathroom cabinet which contained sodium laurel sulphate, which is in many shampoos and shower gels, and is suspected to cause health issues. That along with the many other chemicals in everyday products, made me want to seek out natural alternatives.
I am lucky to live near Julie Wackrill who makes soaps and skincare products from organic ingredients, so when I found her stand at a music festival last year, I asked her advice. Julie advised me to use Rosehip Beauty Balm on my face during the day, and then a couple of drops of Sea Buckthorn Oil at night. The products were absolutely perfect for my skin, and lasted throughout my chemotherapy treatment. What was astonishing is that people remarked on how good my skin was looking, despite receiving a heavy dose of toxins on a regular basis. I used Julie’s soap to clean my skin, which I am sure really helped to support my body. It wasn’t until the last two weeks of chemotherapy when my body had decided it had had enough that a rash appeared on my hands and arms. I also became very sensitive to sunlight, so I needed to add Factor 50 suncream on top. I am now finishing my radiotherapy and have burning and blistering on my skin – I’ve just received a jar of Calendula and Dandelion balm, so I’m hoping it’s going to do the trick. Julie’s website is www.thatsoap.eu if you’re interested in seeing her products. Julie suggested going without shampoo ‘no-poo’ when my hair starts to grow back. I’m going to give it a go.
I was reluctant to put moisturiser and oils on my body, as the skin is the largest organ of the body, and I wanted to try and detox as much as possible. Blocking the skin’s pores didn’t make sense to me. My stepdaughter Kirsten brought me Epsom Salts and Dead Sea Salts, which really worked a treat. Having a bath after each chemo treatment, and soaking in the salts, kept my skin soft, as well as helping to get rid of the toxins. Dry brushing your skin before hand also helped. Lying in a bath, listening to guided mediations helped me cope psychologically with what felt like an attack on my body.