Recommendations for Safer Products

I was successfully treated for stage 1 breast cancer in 2016. The best possible gift from that experience is to be able to share what I learned from it with others—to offer advice and encouragement to those on a similar journey, to spread the word about cold cap therapy for protecting hair during chemo, and to share some recommendations for anyone looking for safer hair & beauty products. I hope you might find something useful, hopeful, or inspiring here. 



Getting cancer made me begin looking for natural, organic beauty products that contain fewer chemicals.  During this process, I learned (via the company BeautyCounter) that in Europe, over 1300 chemicals or substances are banned for use in beauty products, but in the United States, the number is, um, 11.  Yeah, 11.  And the last one banned was in 1938.  It horrifies me that it appears the FDA is doing little to police this, since most of us have no way of knowing what we’re putting on our bodies in our shampoos or deodorants, etc., or how these ingredients might be affecting us.  

I’ve also learned that many products will call themselves natural or organic without actually being so.  That’s disturbing, too, but I guess it’s part of what happens when no one is strongly regulating this industry.  So be warned:  just because a company uses those words, you still need to research the ingredients to see if it bears out. 

My personal attitude is:  If I can find a more natural product I really like or love that replaces one filled with chemicals, I use it.  If I can’t, I stick with the ones I’m already using, knowing that at least I’m getting SOME of the chemicals out of my system.  Because I had to look long and hard for most of these online or through other time-consuming personal research, I want to share with you the ones I’ve used and liked. 

 BeautyCounter Clean Everyday Shampoo

I tried this before cold caps (when I had more shampoo freedom) and I love it.  It’s a safer, more natural shampoo than most, but it’s super sudsy and has an amazing tropical scent that I adore.  I’ll go back to using it when my hair is a little less sensitive and doesn’t require a clear shampoo to stay in line with cold cap rules.


Other products

I also came across a few other products that had nothing to do with being natural or avoiding potentially harmful chemicals, but which really helped me out during this period.


Miaderm Radiation Cream

Now, this is typically something you’ll only want to use if you’re having radiation, and it’s a bit pricy, but my doctor recommended it and I like it.  It goes on easy, absorbs easy, isn’t greasy.  And I’m mentioning it here because my understanding is that some radiation doctors don’t necessarily suggest a skincare regimen during radiation.  If yours doesn’t, this is a great product to start with, a week before treatment begins, throughout and for a couple of weeks after.