Helping you to go chemical-free after chemotherapy

11/05/2020 — By Hannah Mepham

Helping you to go chemical-free after chemotherapy

If you’ve undergone treatment for cancer it is likely that you have experienced a change to your hair or skin.

Caring for skin and hair after chemotherapy

The drugs used on cancer patients can have a toxic effect on skin and hair follicles[i] and, depending on the form of cancer you have and the treatment you undergo, you can find that your skin becomes dry and that your hair gets thin, patchy or even falls out[ii].

Often the hair will re-grow, but during the re-growth period both the hair and skin on the scalp can be particularly itchy and sensitive to chemicals[iii].

For this reason, specialists such as The Royal Marsden hospital recommend that cancer patients consider changing the way they care for the hair and scalp and switch to mild personal care products[iv].

Here, we discuss the benefits of going chemical-free after chemotherapy and reveal the Green People products that can help to care for your hair and skin without exposing them to harsh chemicals.

Shampoo and conditioner for after chemotherapy

  • When the hair re-grows it can be fine and vulnerable to falling out. This risk can be minimised by using mild shampoos, limiting washing the hair to bi-weekly and avoiding vigorously massaging the scalp[v].
  • Hair can be very dry after chemotherapy and the scalp may become irritated by chemicals and oils that are commonly used in hair care formulas.
  • To hydrate the follicles and minimise irritation, use our Neutral Shampoo and Conditioner. SLS and fragrance free they clean the hair whilst being gentle on the scalp.

Scent Free Shampoo 200ml
4.8 star rating 476 Reviews

Scent Free Shampoo 200ml

An ultra-gentle shampoo, soothing for sensitive scalps

£12.50

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Scent Free Conditioner 200ml
4.8 star rating 251 Reviews

Scent Free Conditioner 200ml

An ultra-gentle, easy-comb conditioner for sensitive scalps

£12.50

Buy Now

 

Skin care for after chemotherapy

  • Depending on your skin type and the type of cancer treatment you have, you might find that your skin becomes dryer, itchier or is increasingly sensitive to sunlight[vi] after treatment.
  • To minimise discomfort, avoid perfumed, soapy products[vii] that can dry and irritate the skin.
  • Instead use gentle, SLS free products that cleanse the skin without drying it.
  • To help maintain the skin’s natural barriers pat our Neutral Scent Free 24 Hour Cream onto clean, dry, skin, taking care not to rub it and risk further irritation.

Scent Free Anti-Ageing 24-Hour Cream 50ml
4.8 star rating 624 Reviews

Scent Free Anti-Ageing 24-Hour Cream 50ml

An ultra-gentle anti-ageing moisturiser to soothe and nourish sensitive skin

£20.00

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Scent Free Cleanser & Make-up Remover 150ml
4.9 star rating 391 Reviews

Scent Free Cleanser & Make-up Remover 150ml

Ultra-gentle cleanser & make-up remover

£20.00

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Scent Free Facial Sun Cream - SPF30 50ml
4.8 star rating 705 Reviews

Scent Free Facial Sun Cream - SPF30 50ml

High factor, scent-free SPF30 facial sun cream for sensitive skin

£19.00

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Deodorant and shower gel for after chemotherapy

  • Some people may be concerned that the harsh chemicals used in antiperspirants can cause the skin under the arms to become sensitive and sore.
  • Others may be concerned that non-natural ingredients could be absorbed into the body and affect other organs.
  • For many, these factors are enough of a concern to make them want to switch to a natural alternative that doesn’t clog the pores and prevent the body from eliminating toxins through perspiration.
  • For a gentle, perfume and paraben free deodorant try our Neutral Scent-Free Deodorant. Suitable for sensitive skin it contains prebiotics which support the skin’s healthy flora.

Scent Free Deodorant 75ml
4.6 star rating 213 Reviews

Scent Free Deodorant 75ml

An effective, ultra-gentle deodorant for sensitive skin

£10.50

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Scent Free Shower Gel 200ml
4.8 star rating 288 Reviews

Scent Free Shower Gel 200ml

An ultra-gentle bath and shower gel, soothing for sensitive skin

£12.50

Buy Now
Scent Free Hand & Body Lotion 150ml
4.8 star rating 208 Reviews

Scent Free Hand & Body Lotion 150ml

Ultra-gentle hand & body lotion for sensitive skin

£21.00

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Scent Free Hand Wash 300ml
5.0 star rating 103 Reviews

Scent Free Hand Wash 300ml

An ultra-gentle hand wash, pH-balanced for sensitive skin

£13.00

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Toothpastes for sensitive teeth and gums

  • After undergoing Chemotherapy you might find that foaming agents like SLS and Triclosan irritate the gums[viii]. Dry mouth and ulcers are also common side effects[ix].
  • Switching to natural, non-foaming toothpaste could help to alleviate bleeding or sore gums.
  • To help relieve dry mouth, look for products that contain Betaine, a natural ingredient that helps boost salvia production.
  • All Green People toothpastes contain Betaine and are free from SLS and Triclosan so, you can care for your teeth safe in the knowledge you won’t aggravate sensitive gums.

Fennel & Propolis Toothpaste 50ml
4.8 star rating 386 Reviews

Fennel & Propolis Toothpaste 50ml

Natural antibacterial toothpaste for sensitive gums

£4.75

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Minty Cool Toothpaste 50ml
4.5 star rating 335 Reviews

Minty Cool Toothpaste 50ml

Certified organic minty fresh toothpaste

£4.75

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Peppermint & Aloe Vera Toothpaste 50ml
4.6 star rating 361 Reviews

Peppermint & Aloe Vera Toothpaste 50ml

Organic mint toothpaste, suitable for all the family

£4.75

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Citrus & Aloe Vera Toothpaste 50ml
4.6 star rating 277 Reviews

Citrus & Aloe Vera Toothpaste 50ml

Certified organic citrus-fresh toothpaste for sensitive gums

£4.75

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Jasmine's journey

Jasmine underwent chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Whilst the treatment successfully targeted the cancerous cells, Jasmine noticed dramatic changes to her hair skin and nails.

Jasmine was advised to use a mild, baby shampoo on her hair but came to us for help after noticing her hair felt dry and the products she was using were causing her to break-out in spots on her scalp. She also told us that whilst undergoing treatment she developed ulcers in the mouth and found that her skin had become flaky, leaving her with sore feet and hands that felt like sandpaper.

Deodorant was also a huge concern to Jasmine who told us; ‘I was fortunate enough that actually the cancer hasn’t spread under my armpit, but I just didn’t want to wear anything perfumed under the arm pit’.

Understanding Jasmine’s concerns, we recommended our Scent Free personal care range. You can find out how she got on with it in the video below:

 

 

3 steps to going chemical-free after chemotherapy

If, like Jasmine, you want to go chemical free after Chemotherapy we’ve developed a simple 3 step routine that you can follow:

1) CHECK: Being diagnosed with and treated for cancer can trigger many changes to the body and for this reason it is important that, before making any major changes to your skin or hair routine, you conduct a patch-test and seek guidance from your specialist about the types of products you should avoid, and which products and ingredients might be suitable for you.

2) CHOOSE: Before choosing a product check the label for natural, skin soothing ingredients. Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Green Tea, Jojoba, Perilla and Calendula are all gentle on sensitive skin and have soothing benefits. Avoid using harsh synthetic chemicals such as SLS, phthalates, parabens and triclosan as these are known to irritate the skin.

3) CHANGE: Alter the way you apply products and take your time to apply them gently. To minimise the risk of irritation pat the skin instead of rubbing-in creams and do not wash the hair vigorously as this can harm vulnerable hair follicles. Remember, if you experience any irritation when using a product, it is important that you stop using it until you have spoken to your specialist.

 

Are you wanting to switch to chemical free products after chemotherapy? Our customer care team are happy to help you identify which of our natural skin care products might be suitable for your skin. Please call us on 01403 740350 or email organic@greenpeople.co.uk.

 

[i] https://www.trichologists.org.uk/index.php/conditions/hair-conditions

[ii] http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/chemotherapy/living-with/hair-dye?_ga=2.75466523.886049625.1516810319-1105024071.1516810319

[iii] https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/hair-loss/tips-to-help-you-look-after-hair-and-skin.html#247874

[iv] https://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/your-care/living-and-beyond-cancer/hair-loss-and-hair-care

[v] https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/hair-loss/after-treatment.html#11726

[vi] https://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/your-care/treatments/chemotherapy/effects-and-side-effects/chemotherapy-side-effects-skin

[vii] https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/changes-to-appearance-and-body-image/changes-during-treatment/caring-for-skin-and-nails.html#46097

[viii] https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/mouth-problems/looking-after-your-mouth-during-chemotherapy.html#162955

[ix] https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/mouth-problems/how-chemotherapy-can-affect-your-mouth.html

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