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Skincare and Cancer

Upon beginning my chemo tablet of Tagrisso, I developed a pesky skin rash. It was only on my chin, chest, and back. It was so strange and so annoying. It didn’t hurt at all. I just had an overabundance of tiny little dots on my skin that were puss-filled and gross.

Treating my pesky rash

I gave it two weeks in hopes of it leveling out. It didn’t! I tried using all sorts of treatments for my face. I found that a goopy over the counter product helped but didn’t take it away. I also learned that if you treat a skin rash and what looks like acne with acne products, you will only make a bad situation worse. I say this in hopes of helping someone not make the same mistake. It was not good.

I finally gave in and called my doctor about getting something to combat the skin rash. Thankfully, an antibiotic called doxycycline cleared it up. I was on that medication for approximately 8 months and the rash subsided and hasn’t reared its head again.

Thinking about what’s in our products

I wanted to share with you the things that we put on our skin. Many times, we don’t even think about grabbing something off the shelf to use on our skin or bath in hopes of it helping a skin issue or just because. The really scary part about this is that in the United States, these products are not really monitored by the FDA.1 Just because a product is on the shelf doesn’t mean that it is safe for us or doesn’t have harsh chemicals in them.

Our skin is also an organ and a delicate one at that. Products can sometimes absorb into our skin. I have always gone after products that were effective and smelled good and never thought twice about what they could be doing to my body.

European standards for cosmetics and skincare means they ban over 1300 chemicals and substances. The United States only bans or restricts only 11.2,3 To read more about this topic, you can compare the European vs United States standards for cosmetics.

Remember to drink plenty of water

The best skin healer of all for me is good ole H20. I have found when I drink my required amount of water, based on my weight, that my skin is clear and has an incredible glow to it. Fill up those water bottles and get to drinking. You will feel better and your skin will thank you.

Reevaluating my skincare products

How can you tell if your products are harsh chemical-free or not? I use an app called “Think Dirty”. You can scan the barcode of your products or simply look for it in the directory and it rates the product for you and breaks down the ingredients. There are other options out there, but this is one that I use on a regular basis.

I firmly believe that eliminating the use of harsh chemical-free products helps to eliminate the environmental causes of some of the inflammation in my body. I just wish that I would have paid attention a long time ago. It seems like a daunting task to evaluate your skincare and cosmetic products, but once you realize and identify the safer brands, it becomes easier.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. FDA Authority Over Cosmetics: How Cosmetics Are Not FDA-Approved, but Are FDA-Regulated. United States Food and Drug Administration. Available at Accessed 7/13/2020.
  2. Prohibited & Restricted Ingredients in Cosmetics. United States Food and Drug Administration. Available at Accessed 7/13/2020.
  3. International Laws. Campaign for Safe Cosmeticsc. Available at Accessed 7/13/2020.