Women don’t stop being women when they are diagnosed with cancer

'Women don’t stop being women when they are diagnosed with cancer.' 

I often find myself saying this as a way of explaining why I started  Beauty Despite Cancer  and why I created  Defiant Beauty skincare and beauty collections for cancer patients. 

You didn’t stop being a woman when you were diagnosed with cancer but, in many respects, you have stopped being treated like one. No longer are you able to relax and enjoy products from Selfridges Beauty Hall (or the cosmetics aisle at Morrisons). Someone has told you to avoid a few of the ingredients in cosmetics but you’re not entirely sure what they are and which products they are in. Gone are the luxurious and delicately fragranced, beautifully wrapped serums, lotions and potions only to be replaced by thick white gloopy cream from a plastic pump topped dispenser – that’s your new skincare regime? You didn’t sign up for this. 

To make matters worse, your skin isn’t your skin anymore. It is itchy and sore and it reacts angrily when you put your favourite moisturiser on it. Losing your hair and feeling poorly, you were prepared for. But this??? Nobody mentioned your nails either did they? I hear this all of the time from cancer patients, each one thinking it is just them, or not wanting to ask about maintaining their appearance as they have cancer and so, to worry about how they look is shallow and unnecessary, but worry they do. Shallow and unnecessary it is not. It was being told of all of these extra burdens carried by cancer patients that provided the motivation to create the Defiant Beauty Skincare Collections.

A group of patients and survivors from my local hospital asked me to work with them to develop the range. The staff joined in and Defiant Beauty was the result. Skincare was just the beginning – more products have followed –  all at the request of cancer patients, charities or support groups. We now not only have product ranges for those going through cancer treatment, we have Beyond Beauty for those who have finished treatment, or are in remission, and to address some of the emotional needs of patients, the Well Being Beauty range.

No matter what is going on in life, we want to help women out there feel like themselves. The new collections are created using the same ingredients criteria set out by the NHS team that we worked with. However, even then, we were failing to meet some of the needs of women with cancer – www.beautydespitecancer.com  goes some way towards meeting those remaining needs, but skincare is only one dimension of that.

As a result, we created a blog and newsletter to share the experiences of those affected by cancer. It was very clear that women with cancer are treated differently and they don’t want to be. Therefore, our blog also contains the information you have asked for - cancer-specific beauty and wellbeing; offering scientific insight into skincare ingredients and sharing resources for support. Business and finances are covered, as are insurance, and post–treatment health concerns.

Don’t stop being a woman when you are diagnosed with cancer - recognise yourself.

Men's self care needs are also addressed. Our Men's Collection can be found hereWe have a fantastic male cancer blogging community too.  

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