Someone emailed me recently and asked if I had any beauty tips for women going through cancer treatment. While I’ve never considered myself a beauty expert, I did study natural skincare and attained an Aesthetician and Massage Therapy Degree many moons ago.
This question took me back 3 decades to when I was first undergoing traditional cancer treatments for my stage 4 melanoma and not eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
How to have Glowing Skin During Cancer Treatments
I was a young woman in my 20s, and like most young women in their 20s, well, there is a certain vanity that comes at that age. You look fantastic sort of naturally.
Until you don’t.
Cancer has a way of making you look, tired and sick and not at all like yourself. And as if that isn’t bad enough, cancer treatments like chemo and radiation can also wreak havoc on how you look.
For instance, cancer and cancer treatment can cause frustrating changes in your skin. You may experience dryness and itchiness and even annoying rashes.
I know firsthand that the last thing a cancer patient needs is to feel not-so-confident because their skin is acting weird or looks different. The old adage, “When you look good, you feel good” is quite true. We don’t have to look unwell even when we are fighting a major illness.
With these things in mind, I do want to share something I learned a while back.
Start Drinking Green Tea
Green tea has fantastic skin benefits for folks dealing with cancer. I drink green tea daily now, because I learned long ago the amazing benefits it has for your overall health. Once you experience it for yourself, you may never let go!
It’s Loaded with Powerful Nutrients
If you want to know what’s in green tea that makes it so good for the skin and overall health, it’s chock full of antioxidants and other plant compounds that can have a profound effect on the skin and our health in general.
For instance, a 2018 study showed the major polyphenolic compound present in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), exhibits a wide range of therapeutic properties, including:
- anti-myocardial infarction
In a 2012 study, these same plant polyphenols were shown to also offer cancer-prevention effects when used to protect the skin and immune system support.
Acne and Oily Skin
According to a 2016 review, because green tea contains the compound EGCG and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, it may help to improve acne and oily skin conditions.
Green Tea and Skin Cancer
According to a 2003 study, the polyphenols in green tea can be used as pharmacological agents for the prevention of solar UVB light-induced skin disorders in animals and humans, including:
- melanoma skin cancer (now you see why I started drinking this stuff!)
- nonmelanoma skin cancers
And speaking of aging…
One of the great things about green tea for skin benefits is that you can get these benefits by drinking green tea or putting it directly on your face. And let me tell you, doing both can really help your skin not age so fast. I don’t know about you, but I found dealing with a life-threatening illness to be incredibly aging!
Here’s what science has found about green tea when used for anti-aging purposes:
A 2005 study of 80 women showed when they used topical and oral applications of green tea, their skin’s elasticity improved.
A long-term 2013 study of 24 people showed that skin damage caused by sun exposure was reduced with the topical application of cosmetics containing green tea extract.
There have just been too many studies on green tea, and they have conclusively shown whether you drink it or apply it directly to your skin, green tea offers profound benefits for the skin. Not only can it help with acne and oily skin and just look all around younger, but it also has the potential to prevent melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers.
Listen, I know exactly what it feels like to feel awful and then on top of it feel like you LOOK awful. It’s okay to be a bit vain right now. Again, looking good often helps us feel good, and for that reason alone I say do whatever you need to to look and feel great.
If you’ve never drank green tea before, I encourage you to start.
Not only can it help with skin health but your overall health as well.