Brave and beautiful: Skin care for cancer sufferers

What products are suitable for those with cancer – and what's the best way for beauty retail staff to recommend them on the shop floor?

Cancer treatments can present their own set of skin care challenges. Help your customers feel more like themselves again this Breast Cancer Awareness month, writes Lucy Copp

Talking about cancer is never easy. Whether you’re the one suffering or supporting someone with it, nothing can prepare an individual for the physical demands and changes that may be on the horizon, nor the emotions that go with them. While the taboo surrounding cancer is slowly but surely giving way, there is still one topic that just isn’t being talked about enough: cancer and skin care.

There is no question that when a person is diagnosed with cancer, their health and recovery are their top priorities. However, for many women, taking control of their appearance – whether that means perfect nails, flawless skin or a healthy scalp – can be the deal-breaker between a day feeling self-conscious or confident, negative or positive, much in the same way as pre-diagnosis.

Jennifer Young, Founder of cancer support website Beauty Despite Cancer and creator of the Defiant Beauty range of skin care products, says: “Cancer patients often lose their sense of identity when diagnosed: they become ‘the cancer patient’. Confidence can suffer and bodies change. If nothing else, to go out ‘looking like a cancer patient’ is an open declaration of medical history to the world.” All things considered, it’s understandable why someone might want to experience a glimpse of normality when life feels far from it.

Facing facts

One in two people in the UK are now predicted to develop cancer at some point in their life. When you think about that in real-time, that’s half of all the customers you’ve helped today. Looking at women specifically, 165,000 are diagnosed each year with cancer and 50,000 of those will be diagnosed with breast cancer. . . .

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