24 LIFE

Next to hair, skincare and makeup are two prime concerns with regard to appearance among breast cancer patients.  For skincare, chemo patients need to take special precautions. Chrissy Thomas, RN, owner of About Face Skin Care(www.aboutfaceskin.com), specializes in skin rejuvenation, and says she uses healing and calming therapies ”versus abrasive and exfoliating ones” for chemo patients. Thomas™ facials infuse the skin with moisture since, during chemo, the oil glands stop producing as much oil. She also applies antioxidant treatments ”with natural ingredients” since she says antioxidants
repair the damage from free radicals in the cells. Thomas advises chemo patients to see a skincare professional even if they choose an at-home skincare program because chemo can make the skin sensitive to standard product ingredients, causing skin reactions.

Also, don't forget about taking care of your lips, she says. They need protection with a good quality lip balm. And, most important, use a broad spectrum UVA, UVB sunscreen and reapply twice as often during your chemo program. Finally, many of my customers who undergo chemo experience dryness and rashes from regular soap, so I advise them to use a gentle, moisturizing product.

Although women are most likely to turn to a cosmetic specialist for application techniques to offset the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, others are discovering permanent makeup artists, also known as cosmetic tattoo artists. Cheryl Rosenblum, owner of Permanent Makeup of Atlanta(www.permanentmakeupofatlanta.com), who was the first licensed cosmetic tattoo artist in
Georgia, draws a distinct line between her specialty and a regular tattoo artist, whose training and dyes are different.

Many of my customers choose permanent makeup for medical reasons, she says. Cancer patients lose their eyebrows and eyelashes, or their hair doesn't come all the way back in, so I fill in the bald spots. I also address surgery scars, and
even create 3-D artificial nipples for women who've had mastectomies and don't want to go through another surgery.
An obvious benefit of permanent makeup is it doesn't come off when you sweat, bathe or swim, like regular cosmetics do. Another plus is that a professional can create a perfect shape for eyebrows, eyeliner and even lips, which is more difficult for the average woman to draw on each day.

I advise customers to fill in their eyebrows before they fall out, so they're already in place, she says. Rosenblum warns women who are interested in cosmetic tattooing to carefully select who they hire.  A certified cosmetic tattooed artist, like me,
uses organic inks versus conventional tattoo inks and applies custom color combinations so dyes won't discolor when exposed to sunlight.  Her work is also hand-drawn to give a softer, more natural look compared to regular tattoo artists, who use
machines.

Some people have a weird concept about permanent makeup, she says. They envision it looks like magic marker, but it actually looks natural. Anyone who wants to learn more about permanent makeup should go for a consultation.  Ask your health care provider for more information and a referral to a cosmetic tattoo artist if you feel it is right for you.


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