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Beauty products for cancer patients

Posted Sep 14 2008 1:28pm


I was reading about some new beauty products specifically designed to treat the skin problems of cancer patients and it got me thinking about how illness affects our image of ourselves. As the article points out, hormone therapy, radiation, and chemotherapy can wreak serious havoc on your skin.

Are Lindi Skin, Jeans Cream, and Alra products really the best skin care for cancer patients? I suspect there probably are cheaper options at the drugstore that are every bit as effective. And yes, you could consider the idea of marketing to cancer patients (a vulnerable population) somewhat manipulative. Aren't they already spending enough money on cancer treatments, after all?

However, there's a kernel to this idea that I find really appealing: making cancer patients' lives more beautiful.

These aren't just ordinary skin treatments standing in a long line of other medical treatments; these are lavender-scented ways of pampering yourself during an illness. As someone who has dealt with the ravages of treatments -- not to mention the dehumanizing experience of hospitals and insurance battles -- I know how important it is find psychic uplift and to regain your sense of self in the midst of all the havoc. Regaining some control over your skin really helps you to feel more hopeful, and if you feel pampered on top of it, all the better.

This is why I created a line of medical alert jewelry that is actually beautiful and fun! It's another way of taking control of your illness, humanizing it, and making yourself feel more empowered and, yes, attractive.

I hope new cancer-specific skin care becomes more affordable for all patients, not just the lucky few with ample incomes. I also think these products would make great gifts and should have a place in cancer-related charities.

Hope in a jar? Maybe. I'm not saying beauty products for cancer patients will save anyone. Excellent medical care, exercise, rest, good nutrition, large doses of emotional and psychological support, and the right treatment may save you. But some scented lotion created just for you that makes the dry patches go away may be just the lift a cancer patient needs to get through just one more day.

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