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Skin care/household products after cancer treatment

Posts: 274
Joined: Oct 2017

Has anyone switched up their skin care and household products? I'm trying to get better about using cleaner products to help reduce the chemicals, if possible.

I have very sensitive skin so it takes awhile to switch. My daughter got on me about some of the things I was using, and she was right.

Anyway, I switched body lotion and face wash to Alaffia. Not expensive and it works.

Moisturizer is always hard for me, but I'm trying SW basics. It's coconut oil, Shea butter, and olive oil. So far so good, but it's only been a week. It's a little expensive for the ingredients so if it works I might try to make my own. My foundation rated ok (Loreal true match) so not switching that, and switched my lipstick to Mineral Fusion, which I like.

I use hair dye, which I know isn't great chemical wise. Henna is a little too messy, so trying Herbatint, which I can buy at Vitacost. We'll see how that works.

For household products I mainly use Mrs Meyers and 7th generation, or vinegar, water, and baking soda. Still using Kirkland detergent, but I've reacted to a whole lot else so probably won't change that.

Any suggestions or ideas?

cmb's picture
Posts: 730
Joined: Jan 2018

I'm only sensitive to soap or cleansers on my face. This has been life-long, not a result of my cancer treatment. Right now I'm using Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser, but when a company discontinues a product or switches the formula, as has happened several times over the years, I start a search for a new product that won't irritate my skin. FYI, I tried the Alaffia facial cleansers during my last search, but unfortunately they still irritated my skin.

To help with my facial sensitivity, I wash my bed linens in Dreft Newborn liquid detergent and don't use any fabric softeners. Between the facial cleanser and Dreft detergent, I keep my face from becoming red and itchy.

Tamlen's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2018

I use vinegar solution for general kitchen cleaning. To take the edge off the smell, I gather orange peels in a jar with vinegar and periodically drain off the vinegar to combine with water in a spray bottle. We've also used vinegar in place of dryer sheets and fabric softener for years; it works well and even in the thick of winter we don't deal with much static cling. For laundry we use 7th Generation like you do, barnyardgal.

For washing my face I like Dr. Bronner's castile soap and I use witch hazel on my skin after the shower. My skin is drier than it used to be, maybe due to the aromatase inhibitor, and I haven't yet found a moisturizer that makes much of a difference. I hope someone replying to this thread can suggest some good options.

Posts: 274
Joined: Oct 2017

I'm on Letrozole and have the same problem with dry skin. But the Dr thought it might be because the medicine I'm on for hyperthyroidism made me hypo for a little while. It does seem better since the levels normalized. But still dryer than before.

derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

My face isn't particularly sensitive, but it breaks out if you look at it. I use First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and it hydrates my skin without break outs or irritation. For my hands, heels, etc., I use Coloplast Sween Moisturizing Cream, which I found at a hospital. They use it for seniors and those prone to bed sores. Both these creams have no scent that I can detect. For laundry, I like Nellie's Non-Toxic Vegan Powdered Laundry Detergent. I don't have skin sensitivities but I have a painfully acute sense of smell, and the 7th Generation detergent I was using got to be to strong for me. Nellies has no odor whatsoever and leaves my sheets clean and crisp. All items are available on Amazon, etc.

EZLiving66's picture
Posts: 1479
Joined: Oct 2015

I know you're all gonna laugh but I use vaseline on my face, hands and feet. My skin is so dang dry! I wash my face with just water, lightly pat it dry and then put a light layer of vaseline on it. I buy an unscented goat's milk soap to use when I take a shower and make sure the water is cool. Just writing this makes my skin itch - LOL! 

When I was going through chemo all my skin peeled off but it was especially bad on my left side. I still have a little rash-like thing going on my left cheek and it's been almost three years! I use Tide Free & Gentle and it works great. I can usually tell just by smelling something if it's going to bother me. My massage therapist uses pure coconut oil and my skin just soaks it up. I bought some and use it on my arms and legs - it's hard to put vaseline on your legs and arms. 

I use a magic erasure for most of the cleaning I do. Luckily my husband likes to clean and does most of it around here. 

Best of luck!!



Tamlen's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2018

Years ago, I saw a dermatologist about something or other and moisturizing came up. She told me she washed her face with water and used only a tiny bit of vaseline as moisturizer. I've had a few nights when my skin was so dry and itchy since being on an aromatase inhibitor that I pulled out a tub of vaseline too! It worked and is my fallback when I'm so dry and itchy I can't sleep.

Armywife's picture
Posts: 452
Joined: Feb 2018

I use All Free and Clear laundry detergent and fabric softener.  I don't have a sense of smell so I can't tell you what might irritate your sniffer, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hummingbird Farms unscented heavy cream and their lavender liquid hand soap.  Both are pricy, and I'm very frugal on the regular, but after trying these during treatment, I'll never go back.  The owner of the company is a cancer survivor and developed the aloe-based creams and lotions when she had radiation burns.  I won a gift basket from them, and have been a regular customer ever since.  

Geofront's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2021

About Vaseline.  I also use it. Vaseline is a moisturizing product that is safe for most people to put on their faces. People can apply Vaseline to help with short-term skin concerns, such as temporary skin dryness or irritation. Vaseline is also suitable as a long-term moisturizer, helping keep skin hydrated and soft. 


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