Sunscreen, nails, & other summertime essentials
My favorite season is just about to begin, summertime. Known for its sultry heatwaves, raucous sport games, outdoor concert scene and amusement park antics summertime represents the arrival of string of good times in my opinion. Lazy beach days, picnic packing outings and time well spent with family, friends or quietly getting some alone time by the pool, the arrival of summertime makes me very happy.
So as someone who went thru chemotherapy treatment during the spring & crawled out of it just as summer began there are a few key tips I want to share regarding summertime activities and how to get thru, in one piece.
Chemotherapy for breast cancer patients brings on a slew of difficulties. Some of the more common complaints I had were skin sensitivity, taste buds askew, bald head & body sweating profusely, sun screen coverage & exposure, lethargy, hydrating the skin and attempting to keep my nails strong.
So what's a girl to do when she wants to enjoy summer, but has to make a few adjustments?
- Get a sunscreen. Chemotherapy has an odd effect on the skin. We all know it's a case by case scenario. My skin was extra sensitive. I could not wear gold or costume jewelry around my neck and wrists for days at a time. I broke out in hives and my skin really struggled the first round of chemo. Applying sunscreen really helped me reduce damage to my skin on days I felt well enough to hang out. I opted to try to find an organic sunscreen that would not further irritate my skin. Here are a few of the choices that are available this summer. Some include organic bug reppellant & zinc oxide
- Take care to cover your head in direct sunlight. I used to cover my head when in the sun with a Yankee baseball cap (NY baby!), rock a floppy sun hat at the beach or slip on a scarf. When things got to hot I shed my hat for a small clean face towel that I kept in my purse. It was great for absorbing the sweat off my baldy and I could just pop the towel in the wash & grab a fresh one. I evened slathered sunscreen on my head on days I chilled under an umbrella.
You can get a really nice head scarf of your choice for free thru the Good Wishes Program. For more information give them a call at 888-778-5998. Or contact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you can tolerate it, switch out your normal deodorant & skin care for something a little kinder to your body while going thru chemo, radiation and the weeks recovering. I stopped using my regular brand & I've known some women who just stopped using their own products all together. Same with the skin care. I opted for simple hydrating brands with formulas that left my skin dewy, refreshed, soft and lightly moisterized in the heat. It's an individual choice, especially now with so many options that are on the market. Here are a few of my picks.
Finally I had the chance to check out a nail salon that uses polishes with less toxic ingredients, a cool, cozy and comfy spot in Brooklyn called pH7. Most of the polishes used by the nail technicians in pH7 are either Big 3 or Big 5 Free. So what does that mean? Well, that means that the polish is free of these chemicals DBP, Formaldehyde & Methleyne Glycol. In addition some manufacturers are producing polish without Formaldehyde Resin/TSFR & Camphor.
Why is this important? Well if your immune system is comprised or you are sensitive then it might be good to look into nail polish that doesn't contain these chemicals. I will say that it was the first time I've been in a nail salon & did not experience the heavy chemical smell that hangs in the air. pH7 was light, roomy with lots of circulation. I definitely noticed the difference.
pH7 had a wonderful zen like quality. I'm used to the bustling neighborhood Harlem nail salons, but I was looking for something different and had a price range that pretty much mirrored what I'm used to. Not only did I get a really good manicure, with a Big 3 free polish (you make the choice from a huge assortment) but I also received a small back massage and a cup of herbal tea, all for about the same price as my regular spot! I left pleased, relaxed and educated.
Here's hoping you all have a cool & relaxing summer.