Through all the emotional ups and downs of going through cancer and all the side effects of chemotherapy it can be difficult to keep yourself feeling human. My skin has felt so rough and dry, I get small pimples everywhere after infusions, bags under my eyes from sleepless nights caused by the medical menopausal night sweats, chapped lips and just an overall dullness.
A small saving grace for me during this time has been my skincare routine. Not only does it revitalise my complexion, but the act of pampering myself brings a sense of joy and control. I love nothing more than to sit with a facemask on in the bath or massage oils into my skin whilst diffusing essential oils.
I’d always been more of a bath kinda gal, but since being bald I’m equally loving a shower. Before I would only wash my hair once a week, so I’d always be avoiding getting my hair wet in the shower until it was hair wash day on a Sunday. We’ve got one of those showers with 2 shower heads, the small side one on the side and then the big overhead rain fall shower. I never really used that overhead one until being a baldie! Oh my! Standing under that with no hair is a game changer!
After showering I find my scalp dries out quite a bit, so I like to use Jennifer Young’s scalp oil. Just a couple of drops over my scalp and then I massage it all in for a few minutes before wrapping my headscarf on. It just feels so nice being able to really take care of my scalp, it’s not something easily done when I had hair so I’m definitely making the most of it now.
I’ll probably have 2-3 baths a week, there’s no denying how relaxing a hot bath is. I use Epsom salts in my bath to detoxify my body and relax my muscles, I usually lay in the bath for 30-40 minutes (sometimes longer until I’m all pruney!) I have no phone, no music, no distractions. Just peacefulness....until my dog busts in but we’ll ignore that for now.
I like to use a freshly made facemask and Jennifer Youngs dry scalp treatment balm once a week for that extra deep skin nourishment. I’ve been using it as a hot cloth treatment whilst I’m in the bath, I let it work it’s magic on my scalp for 10 or so minutes then gently cleanse it away using a muslin cloth. It really does feel like a luxury pamper!
My evening routine is where things get really exciting! (For me) I spritz the bedcovers with a Lavender based sleepy spray and jump into bed. I pop a couple of drops of lavender oil on the soles of my feet to help promote calmness, the smell of lavender really helps me get ready for sleep.
I then massage Defiant Beauty Nail Mask into my toenail cuticles and fingernails. This soothes and restores sensitive, dry nails weakened by chemotherapy. I was delighted to see it was a natural product made with organic butters and essential oils and not the usual chemical products we’re used to being prescribed.
I had a mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction, so I have quite a few scars. I use a Crystal quartz roller to gently massage oil into my scars. It’s amazing to see how quickly skin can heal itself after such a big surgery. My scars are only a few months old and they’re already fading away nicely.
Finally, I like to give my face a massage using a jade Gua Sha and Defiant Beauty Serum. Gua Sha is such a lovely way to massage oils in, it ensures all the oil seeps into the face and not your hands. Plus, it boosts circulation and plumps the skin. It really does feel good!
I love to use natural skincare products, it’s really important to me that my skin is nourished without added chemicals. Jennifer Young’s products are all natural but most importantly they’re made with us in mind.
Chemotherapy effects the skin so much and to find products that specifically targets those problems can be difficult. I was over the moon to find scalp products that actually focused on the care my scalp needs during chemo.
So there it is, my little skin and scalp care ritual. It may not seem like much, but it makes me feel SO good.
Some of you may remember Keely from her blog about how she managed to start thinking rationally and set her main focus on helping its body in its recovery, after the initial shock response to discovering she had breast cancer. She described her "Plan of Action List". Click here to read.
Keely can also found on Instagram @pookys_page. See some of her posts below: