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20 Cancer-Friendly Beauty Buys in honour of World Cancer Day

Non-toxic buys to soothe and comfort.

By Jenny Brownlees

To commemorate World Cancer Day on Thursday, we wanted to help support those diagnosed, living with or recovering from cancer with a beauty list targeted specifically to them.

While we know skin, hair and body care aren’t important in the grand scheme of the illness, all three are hugely affected by cancer. Chemotherapy, as well as causing hair loss in some (but not all) cases, can make the skin all over the body extremely dry, sensitive and prone to irritation. After chemo or radiotherapy, skin can also suffer increased pigmentation and look greyed or yellowed. Nails too can become dry, brittle and prone to cracking.

Many of the aforementioned issues are caused by the fact that the drugs used to kill off cancer cells also affect the growth of new skin cells. Because of this, we’d advise against any exfoliation treatments and products – so pass on all acids, scrubs and retinol. Doctors will often want patients to change to products that are gentle, without fragrance and don’t include chemicals such as SLS, phthalates and parabens. Luckily, there are a number of brands catering specifically for these needs, helping to tackle and soothe some of the skincare issues associated with cancer and its treatments.

When something as life-altering as cancer happens, small rituals of self-care like this can be so helpful – and anything that helps someone retain or regain their appearance and sense of self can only be positive. If you’d like practical tips as well as products, charity Look Good Feel Better shares some great tricks to mastering make-up, headscarves and more, to help boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of people living with cancer.

To help find the right products for you, we’ve rounded up the buys that’ll bring comfort and relief. And, as it’s often hard to know how to help someone you know who’s suffering from cancer, the following picks would also make both a practical and thoughtful gift for a loved one.

SKINCARE

Jennifer Young Defiant Beauty Basics: £63.00

Jennifer Young is an experienced microbiologist and associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine. She’s combined her knowledge and passion for natural skincare to create Beauty Despite Cancer – offering specialist skincare for those living with and beyond cancer. The Face Basics gift set is the perfect collection for damaged skin associated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hot flushes or hospital heating. The set includes a Defiant Beauty Cleanse & Moisturise (a cleanser, moisturiser, and facemask) a healing calendula and sweet almond oil Lip Balm, Hydrating and Cooling Facial Mist and rich Macadamia and Jojoba Serum to revive tight and flaky skin.

Defiant Beauty Face Basics | Gift Set | Cancer Patient Skin Care – Jennifer Young (beautydespitecancer.com)

 

Green People Scent-Free Eye Cream: £15.50

Green People’s organic skincare line has been praised by chemotherapy patients for offering relief from tired, sore skin. This eye cream is scent-free, using avocado, seaweed and evening primrose extract to soothe and hydrate the under-eye area.

Scent Free Eye Cream 10ml | For Sensitive Eyes | Green People UK

MooGoo Skincare Oncology Care Pack: £25.00

A wonderful gift for those going through chemo or radiation therapy, this pack was created to help patients hydrate, protect and care for their skin during and after treatment. As well as dry, sore skin, a side effect of cancer treatment can often be cold hands and feet, so some cosy MooGoo socks are also included.

Oncology Care Set | Chemo & Radiation | MooGoo Skin Care

My Trusty Sunflower Hand Cream: £3.99

Leading NHS skincare scientists, dissatisfied with the moisturisers that are generally available, developed this high-grade natural sunflower hand cream – rich in hydrating yet non-greasy linoleic acid. This fragrance-free cream will keep sensitive skin soft and supple for up to 24hrs. It utilises skin-improving vitamins E, F and K to nourish and soften without lanolin, parabens or SLS.

My Trusty Sunflower Hand Cream – Fragrance Free – NHS Skincare – 100ml – My Trusty Skincare

Love Avon Cancer Care Pack: £25.00

Created in collaboration with cancer survivors, this is would make an ideal gift for a loved one during their treatment. Not only is it amazing for their skin, but it’s also vegan friendly, fragrance-free, and allergy and dermatologically tested – so you can be sure their skin is in safe hands. Better yet, 100% of the profits from the sale of this product will be donated to Avon’s charity partner, Look Good Feel Better.

Love, Avon Cancer Care Pack | AVON UK

Aveeno Dermexa Long Lasting Balm: £12.85

Nourish skin all over the body with Aveeno’s Triple Oat Complex and Ceramide moisturiser. Intensely hydrating, it’s proven to immediately soothe itchy-feeling skin for up to six hours.

Aveeno Dermexa Fast & Long-Lasting Itch Relief Balm 75ml (shopcosmetis.com)

Frances Prescott Tri-Spritz: £40.00

A mist is a handy way to add hydration on the go, and Frances Prescott’s Tri-Spritz is infused with nourishing coconut water and chuffa milk to help repair skin cells.

Tri-Spritz | Repair. Condition. Protect. | Frances Prescott

MAKE-UP

Rodial Lash & Brow Booster: £25.00

If chemo has affected your eyelash and eyebrow hair, try Rodial’s vitamin B5 and keratin rich serum to encourage regrowth.

Lash & Brow Booster | Makeup | Brows | Rodial

Ilia Multi Stick: £33.00

Organic and mineral make up is no longer second-rate. We love Ilia for its natural organic ingredients, high-end finish and staying power. Use this multi-stick to bring a flush of colour to cheeks, lips and eyes.

Ilia Multi Stick – Naturisimo

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream: £40.00

A BB or CC cream is an easy way to boost the skin’s hydration while adding a touch of coverage. Wearing sunscreen daily is so important to protect the skin, and this cream boasts SPF30. Juice Beauty uses no artificial dyes, and shades are effective on skin tones ranging from very light to dark.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF30 – Naturisimo

Bare Minerals SPF 20 Correcting Concealer: £22.00

This creamy formula is perfect for dry skin and offers essential SPF protection, too. More than just a concealer, it works to decrease the appearance of dark spots and discolouration over time, for a brighter, more even complexion.

SPF 20 Correcting Concealer | All Shades | bareMinerals UK

Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Lip Conditioner: £12.00

Nutrient-rich avocado and kiwi seed oil help hydrate the skin, thanks to potent levels of natural antioxidants, including Vitamins A, B1, B2 and D. This Omega-infused balm is also certified vegetarian and free from all nasties.

Kiwi Seed Oil Lip Conditioner | Antipodes (antipodesnature.com)

Ere Perez Chamomile Eye Palette in Lovely: £29.00

Made with calming and soothing chamomile, this palette is ideal for sensitive eyes. The easy-wear browns are flattering to all skin tones and ideal for creating a natural daytime look. This versatile palette is also infused with Vitamin E, loved for its moisturising properties.

Ere Perez Chamomile Eye Palette Lovely – Naturisimo

Dimples Natural Arch Eyebrows: £65.00

Considered the go-to for realistic eyebrows, Dimples brows are available in six shades and, if cared for well, can last up to four months. Testers have even gone swimming whilst wearing the brows, so feel safe in the knowledge that these won’t budge day-to-day.

Dimples Human Hair Eyebrows | (STYLE 22) | Simply Wigs

Velvet Matte Lipstick in Berry Nude: £17.50

Made with organic beeswax, minerals and sunflower, this vitamin E-enriched lippy will lift every complexion.

Velvet Matte Lipstick – Berry Nude | Natural Lipstick | Green People UK

Green People Scent-Free Make-Up Remover: £22.00

Perfect for gently removing eye make-up whilst still leaving skin soft and hydrated. Both anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory, this alcohol and scent-free remover gets rid of every last trace of make-up using 92% certified organic ingredients.

Neutral/Scent Free Cleanser & Make-up Remover 150ml | Green People

HAIRCARE

Faith In Nature Fragrance-Free Shampoo: £5.49

This wonderfully simple shampoo gently cleans the hair and scalp without the use of Parabens, SLS, fragrance, or essential oils. Vegan Society Certified, the neutral formulation is hypoallergenic – ideal for extra-sensitive skin. 

Faith in Nature Fragrance-Free Shampoo | Holland & Barrett (hollandandbarrett.com)

Briogeo Pink Satin Scarf: £40.00

We love this tropical satin scarf from Briogeo for its luxe-feel and on-trend print.

Briogeo Paradise Pink Satin Scarf at BEAUTY BAY

Rosa Twirl Turban Viva Collection Christine Headwear: £19.50

Alternatively, this twirled turban comes in a huge variety of shades and patterns.

Rosa Twirl Turban | Viva Collection | Christine Headwear (simplywigs.co.uk)

Philip Kingsley No-Scent Shampoo: £20.00

Inspired by Philip’s wife’s battle with breast cancer, No Scent No Colour was designed to be gentle enough to use when undergoing chemotherapy. It’s suitable for all hair types and even the most irritated of scalps.

Gentle Shampoo – Fragrance-free | Philip Kingsley

Green People Scent-Free Conditioner: £13.00

Organic aloe vera, green tea, and B vitamins help boost the hair’s condition, as well as strengthening locks over time. 

Neutral/Scent Free Conditioner 200ml | Natural from Green People

 

If you or a loved one has been affected by cancer, or you’d like to donate, look to local and national charities Daft As A Brush, Maggie’s, Charlie Bear For Cancer Care, MacMillan Cancer Support, and Cancer Research UK for information and details and about supporting the fight against cancer.