I reached out to Dr. Ashton — a board certified OB-GYN, author of Your Body Beautiful and TV medical correspondent — to hear her thoughts on the matter, and get her top three tips to help women feel beautiful during this trying time.
Many of you have likely jumped on the healthy beauty bandwagon already, but if you haven't yet, doing so could benefit you greatly. "Women should use non-toxic skin/beauty products only — and don’t assume that natural means safe!" Dr. Ashton says.
So why are natural beauty products particularly important for breast cancer patients? According to Dr. Ashton, there's always the potential that environmental factors may have contributed in some way to a woman's diagnosis. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense to limit your exposure to potentially dangerous and toxic chemicals.
"While we certainly cannot live in 'plastic bubbles,' using pure, natural or organic beauty and personal hygiene products is one way to do this. But don't assume that 'natural' equals safe," Dr. Ashton says. "Checking ingredients in products with the FDA's list of known or suspected human carcinogens is one way to investigate these compounds. Making sensible and easy changes in things that we are consistently exposed to (like creams or shampoos) is an option for all women."
When you're diagnosed with breast cancer, the disease itself isn't the only scary thing you have to deal with. Yes, thoughts of treatment and sickness can feel overwhelming, but as women, we sometimes turn to matters of vanity when we let our minds wander. If you're currently dealing with breast cancer or know a women who is, turning to simple beauty pleasures can help boost your mood.
"For women undergoing chemotherapy, experiment with different makeup/fashion items to accentuate different features. A wig isn’t always the only option. Sometimes a wig covers and smothers the scalp which clogs pores. It’s always important to allow the scalp to breathe."
The most important thing to remember? You're beautiful no matter what treatment throws your way. Dr. Ashton says, "Embrace the beauty you came into the world with! And don’t automatically think you must go with a wig."
While your teeth might be the last thing on your mind while battling breast cancer, they are pretty important. "Remember the importance of good dental health. A great smile carries a lot of weight, whether it’s whitening, straightening or a great lipstick. Don’t forget about your smile!" Dr. Ashton says.
So even if you're not feeling smiley and happy, fake it, girl. Grab a whitening toothpaste — we like Colgate Optic White Toothpaste in Sparkling Mint — and make it a goal to freshen up your pearly whites. While it might sound vain, this simple act can help take your attention off of breast cancer for a few minutes and help you feel better about your appearance. We think that's a win-win!
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