When someone close to me was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, it didn't take long for them to come to me for recommendations for natural deodorant and heavy moisturizers. This made me think about all the other gentle, natural beauty products that she could use while going through treatment.
Cancer treatment definitely takes a toll on one's physical and emotional wellbeing, and as someone who writes about beauty, I know how much of a difference a bit of pampering can make. It might seem trivial to some, but sometimes putting on a nice-smelling facial oil before bed or using your favorite body lotion after a hot bath can make a world of difference. Plus, if you're going through chemo, you probably don't want to use any products that have potential irritants, so finding the most gentle products is a priority. Many patients also find products with naturally derived ingredients to be reassuring.
So I put together this list of beauty products that are made with gentle, nourishing, organic ingredients and that are sure to help promote relaxation and calm. Any one of these products (or a gift basket containing several) would be a nice way to let someone know you're thinking about them.
This Beauty Royal Rose Stem Cell Mask from Bella Schneider Beauty contains shea, jojoba, rose oil, mallow, and grape cell extract. It's extremely hydrating and soothing, and the antioxidants will give dull skin a nice boost. Best of all, it smells exactly like roses, without any artificial fragrance added).
I really like Ecco Bella for natural, organic makeup. They have everything from liquid foundation and bronzer to mascara and lipstick, and while there's not a huge shade range (don't expect to find any bright green mascara here) there's lots of really pretty options for women who prefer a more subtle makeup look. Plus, all of their products are cruelty-free and comprised of plant-based ingredients.
Pictured above is their Flowercolor Face Powder in Pale, Good For You Gloss in Pleasure, and Flowercolor Blush in Purity: the perfect trio for creating a quick, pretty makeup look when you're feeling a little tired or lackluster.
Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant has a cult following, and now I finally know why. As I uncapped each one to sniff it, I had the following thoughts: "I don't like the smell of coconut but I love this one... I don't like lemony scents but I love this one... I don't like grapefruit but I love this one. What the hell, Lavanila?" It must be the addition of vanilla to each scent that makes my nose so happy.
Whatever it is, each deodorant smells amazing — and they actually work, too, which isn't always a given for natural deodorants. And if you're not into any of the above scents, they have others, as well as a fragrance-free option.
These are three of my current favorite natural cleansers at three different price points. Ecco Bella Deep Cleansing Gel contains aloe vera, vitamin E and vitamin C, and is particularly recommended for those with sensitive skin or rosacea. Restorsea Reviving Cleanser is a sulfate-free cleanser that's good for sensitive skin and contains some intriguing natural ingredients such as hydrolyzed roe and Songyi mushroom. Skinfix Foaming Oil Cleanser is an excellent choice for sensitive, dry skin. It's very creamy and emollient, and won't dry out or irritate your skin. It's free of parabens, sulfates, fragrance, and so on, plus it's pH-balanced.
I really like the Amala Hydrate line, thanks to the short and thoughtful ingredient lists and the beautiful packaging. This Hydrating Toner contains jasmine, aloe, and sandalwood to moisturize and soothe dry, irritated skin while helping to even out skin tone and tighten pores.
A serum is a great way to deliver some much-need moisture and potent ingredients to the skin. Skinfix Moisture Boost Serum uses natural ingredients such as peony root and red seaweed to boost collagen, brighten skin, and reduce pigmentation.
Drunk Elephant is one of my favorite skincare brands and their C-Firma Day Serum does not disappoint. It contains vitamin C and ferulic acid to replenish the skin's lipids while protecting from free radicals. In other words, it will keep your skin looking firm and radiant.
I've heard from some cancer patients that chemo made their skin dry, so it's definitely important to have a rich, hydrating face cream on hand. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream is great because it somehow manages to be extremely emollient without feeling heavy or greasy; my skin absorbs it almost immediately. Amala Hydrating Face Cream combines jasmine, avocado, macadamia nut, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and shea butter for an extremely creamy, hydrating experience. Better Skin Mirakle Cream contains coconut oil, sea buckthorn, shea butter, cocoa butter, aloe, and other natural ingredients to soothe and hydrate the skin (and it comes in a lovely cloth pouch with a colorful pattern that matches the jar).
Organic facial oils are a great gift because they feel extremely luxurious to use and they're a nice pampering treat for your skin before bed. You can, of course, buy some of your favorite oils and blend them together yourself to save money, but any of the options pictured above would make for a particularly lovely gift.
Arya Essentials Face Oil is a luxurious blend of argan, jojoba, rosehip, sweet almond, sandalwood, and even more oils. Marie D'Argan Paris creates organic, ethically produced facial oils in France. Pictured above is their Macadamia Oil, Nigella Sativa Oil, and Argan Oil.
I know a lot of people (myself included) are divided on whether eye creams are worth it. If you're going to treat yourself to a nice eye cream, however, definitely make it one of these.
Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream works to reduce fine lines, puffiness, and dark eye circles with the help of hesperidin, wild oat extract, shea butter, and hydrolyzed roe. Skinfix Brightening Eye Cream is an affordable option comprised of some great natural ingredients such as alfalfa seed extract, red seaweed extract, macadamia oil, and essential vitamins to brighten dark shadows and reduce puffiness. Arya Intensive Eye Balm is a potent balm full of natural antioxidants and organic oils to hydrate and smooth the eye area.
A mineral sunscreen is a great product for a cancer patient to have on hand, and I love this one in particular. Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 is creamy and hydrating without being greasy or leaving behind a thick white cast. It's also loaded with natural extracts and antioxidants.
Everything below the face needs hydration too!
Skinfix Rash Repair Balm soothes redness, irritation, razor burn, chafing, and even insect bites — all with natural ingredients and no added irritants like fragrance that could make matters worse. Ecco Bella Organic Water-Free Vanilla Herbal Body Lotion is an extremely rich, concentrated body lotion that smells delicious and doesn't feel greasy on your skin. Skinfix Ultra Rich Body Butter contains shea butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and antioxidants to soothe and deeply hydrate the skin without feeling too greasy or thick.
And finally, here's a few other natural beauty products that I like that don't really fit into a neat category.
Skinfix Lip Repair Balm is an affordable, natural lip balm that is made up of 40% coconut oil, as well as jojoba oil and soybean oil. It's free of fragrances, flavor/sugar, and parabens and is lightweight but extremely hydrating. Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream contains shea butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, aloe leaf juice, chamomile and calendula to provide rich, instant hydration without making hands feel greasy.
SweetSpot Grapefruit Verbena Gentle Wash is a 97% natural, pH-balanced cleanser meant for your "sweet spot" (you get it), but it's also great for washing your entire body. SweetSpot Vanilla Blossom On-The-Go Wipes is the same idea: natural, pH-balanced, gentle cleansing wipes so that you can feel fresh on the go. Both the wipes and the gentle wash smell amazing, by the way.
Once you've gathered a few gentle, luxurious beauty products and you're ready to give them to someone who needs a bit of pampering, there's only one thing left to do: find something cute to put it all in. A gift basket is always a good way to go. You could also put the products in a cute and practical bag. This weekender bag from Everything But Water isn't beauty-related, true, but it is related to breast cancer. Everything But Water teamed up with Living Beyond Breast Cancer to donate 25% of the proceeds of each pink-accented weekender bag to LBBC's mission against breast cancer.
Not only do the proceeds go to a good cause, but it's also a gorgeous vegan bag that's perfect for toting around a ton of beauty products.
Phew! That was quite the roundup. But if I missed your favorite natural, gentle, and/or super-moisturizing beauty product, feel free to share in the comments!