Going through chemotherapy comes with physical and emotional side effects. While this is a trying time for most, there are certain things Hynt Beauty Founder Meryl Marshall discovered along the way that made it a little easier to deal, whether emotionally or physically. Here Meryl shares her during-chemo comfort and beauty tips that she wishes she’d known from the start.
Bald is beautiful! Embrace it by wearing fun earrings, statement necklaces, and a bright lip. If your head feels cold from being used to having the warmth of your hair, try lush, bold print scarves. They’re a fashionable alternative to a wig. Soft cotton caps are also wonderful when at home.
Give your eyebrow area some T.L.C. by using our Eyebrow Definer for a nourishing feel on sensitive skin. With our Brow brush, tint above and below the brow using gentle, light handed strokes to create a natural looking eyebrow arch. You may line your upper lash line with this product as well.
Moisturize your face and body frequently with skincare that is made with clean ingredients and free from synthetic fragrances and alcohol. Unscented products are an ideal option for sensitive skin and smell. Do not neglect your neck and décolleté. Let the moisturizer settle in before applying any makeup to optimize longer wear.
No Lashes? Try This Trick
The absence of eyelashes can make you look sleepy. So, use this makeup artist trick that makes eyes look fresh and wide open: Start by swiping a bright shimmery eyeshadow across your lid. Next, apply a touch of light shimmery shadow in the inner corner of your eyes. Finish with a brown eyeliner to define. Try wiggling your eyeliner in between leftover lashes or on both the upper and lower water line to make eyes pop.
Stay out of the sun as much as possible when skin is sensitive from chemo. Protect skin with an SPF that has zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient and stay away from chemical SPF ingredients, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate. Check the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Sunscreen Guide for more information on using safe sunscreens.
You may experience hyperpigmentation or steroid-induced redness during this time but it is best to hold off on treating it during chemotherapy. A good quality concealer topped with a dusting of non-drying finishing powder can disguise these spots easily. Our award winning DUET Perfecting Concealer may be used exactly where you need it.
A powder with a yellow undertone evens out the appearance of discoloration and is best at covering dark spots. Our Finale Finishing Powder in Neutral Yellow has organic arrowroot to lend a calming sensation and the yellow tone will neutralize redness. When applying powder foundation, only use synthetic brushes. Animal hair brushes are surprisingly coarse and irritating to already sensitive skin.
LESS IS MORE
Less is more when it comes to makeup, especially during treatment. Stay away from silicones in skin products and makeup primers. They are very heavy and prevent the skin from breathing.
Lipstick and lip gloss are always great mood lifters. Use organic-based, natural lip products that are unscented, as your sense of smell will likely become acute during treatment. Try bright, bold shades to brighten your beautiful face. Lips can become ultra-dry during chemo treatment, so have a moisturizing lip balm (or two, or three) on hand to moisturize your lips.
For non-vegans, organic bone broth can help boost your depleted immune system. You can get them now in local markets or order them online. If you are vegan, try foods like organic sweet potatoes, organic teas, and mushrooms. But please consult your oncologist for the best nutritional guidance that’s tailored to you.
Treat yourself to an assortment of lozenges to calm nausea and soothe dry throats. Queasy Drops are a favorite with a wide variety of flavors.
Listen to your body and nourish it with rest. Your recovery time after treatment will improve as you go.
SELF CARE IS NEVER SELFISH
A smile and a warm heart filled with positivity goes a long way in feeling confident and your best. Self-care is never selfish. Finding a song that can give you strength, motivation, and inspiration also helps to lift your mood when you aren’t feeling all that.
Take short walks. You may feel too tired but moving will help keep you energized. Looking into the distance as you walk, walking in the park alongside nature or along the water are all effective ways to relax your eyes and mind.
Talk to your doctor about massages. Many patients benefit from getting massages during treatment but it’s important that your doctor gives you the okay and that your massage therapist is oncology certified.
For your chemo treatments, pack a bag with a soft cozy blanket, as you will feel chilled during treatment. I liked spa socks infused with aloe, my favorite cotton cap, loose fitting clothing, snacks that I could tolerate, and fluids to keep me hydrated. My infusion chair had a T.V., so I was able to watch what I wanted to. They did not have iPads in 2003 when I went through treatment, but I think it would be great to have one to play ‘Words With Friends’.”
Let others help when they offer. A meal or offers to drive the kids somewhere or take them for a few hours of entertainment can feel like an enormous weight lifted. You require rest and quiet which is so important. You will have your chance to pay it forward to someone else in the future.
It’s a good idea to avoid nail salons during treatment. The best solution is to keep your nails trimmed and bare. Towards the end of treatment, they will go through changes, like ridges or black under the nail. This will eventually go away.
Depending on the particular chemo, you may experience menopause. Most hot flashes last about four minutes. Keep a plastic bag filled with ice cubes and a washcloth handy for a quick cool down. During the flash, use the cold cloth around neck and arms, and especially wrists. Keeping a tower fan in your bedroom helps ride out hot flashes during the night, which can be more intense during chemo than during regular menopause. These tips will help you to stay your most comfortable during chemotherapy treatment and your skin feeling its healthiest. Let your family members in on your plan and stow this list where it’s handy for reference. We are available with beauty questions during chemo and are proud to offer cosmetics that are designed to help brighten your days.