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Keeping your skin healthy on holiday


Today we have a guest blog from Jennifer Young who has created the skin care collection Defiant Beauty which she created for people who have been diagnosed with cancer.  The changes to your skin after cancer treatment can be quite dramatic, and Jennifer’s blog below sheds some light on why this may happen and what we can do to minimise the effects.
Over to you Jennifer…
Our clients tell us that travelling after treatment for cancer is very different to holidays ‘before’. Not only is travel insurance that covers cancer more of an issue but their skin isn’t the same and their tolerance to heat seems to have changed as well. The body goes through a lot during treatment for cancer and there are many reasons for those changes.
A lot of the chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of cancer are known to cause skin-related side effects in some individuals. Radiation treatment also impacts skin health, both at the time of treatment and post treatment 1
Clients tell us of problems being exacerbated by exposure to the sun and describe their skin reaction as an extreme photosensitivity resulting in a red rash and then dry and scaly skin.
There are a number of things that can be done to help with this skin condition, ranging from avoiding the sun to protecting the skin when in the sun.
Here are a few ideas for your holidays (I am so British- it’s my assumption that there’s no sun without travel).
·         Make sure you know that where the shade is/will be and when
·         Keep your sensitive areas covered with loose fitting, light cotton or bamboo clothing
·         Don’t use heavily fragranced body care products
·         Use UV protection
·         Keep your skin moisturised
Moisturising your skin
Moisturising the skin may be trickier than it at first appears. Often Skin becomes extra sensitive after and during treatment for cancer. The majority of our clients tell us that they are no longer able to tolerate the skin care brands that they used to love and they now wish to avoid ingredients that they now discover are included in many skincare ranges.  On average, creams and lotions have about 5 times the number of ingredients used in oils and balms, so that’s five times as many ingredients for sensitive skinned cancer patients and survivors to react to.
Our Defiant Beauty products are oil-based, we have no water containing products such as creams or lotions. This is for very good reason. In order to make a cream or lotion, water and oil must be mixed and emulsified in order for the cream or lotion to form. This emulsification process requires the addition of emulsifiers to the formulation. Preservatives are also needed as water is included and so bacteria, moulds and fungus could and will grow if they are not included. There are many more ingredients that need to be added to the formulation so that the oil/water mix feels soft and smooth on the skin and has an appropriate pH.  Water is a useful ingredient but oils are more moisturising and easily absorbed, therefore those ingredients best known to be soothing and healing are oils.
Furthermore sensitive skin is not only a problem for those who have had treatment for cancer, many medications can affect the balance of the skin, we tend to forget that the skin is an organ too, and therefore the above advice can apply to anyone who is experiencing skin sensitivity due to their medication.
1.     Shamban, A., 2011.Heal Your Skin. John Wiley and Sons Inc New jersey
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