Updated 04 April 2017

Don't give up on looking good

Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite and strength but it doesn’t have to take away her self-confidence.


Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite and strength but it doesn’t have to take away her self-confidence. To help cancer survivors cope with some of the strenuous and often depressing physical side-effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, Look Good...Feel Better offers free beauty workshops at clinics and hospitals nationwide.

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Beauty tips for women undergoing cancer treatment:

Chemotherapy and radiation can result in very dry, sensitive skin. For women undergoing cancer treatment, it is essential to take extra special care of your skin.

  • Apply moisturiser while your skin is damp, giving attention to the areas around your eyes and lips.
  • Always wear sunscreen (approved by your doctor), a broad-brimmed hat and long-sleeved cotton shirts and pants.
  • Don’t spray perfume directly onto your skin – rather spray it into the air and walk into it.

Hair-loss, including eye-brows and eye-lashes, is a common result of cancer treatment and can be a massive blow to one’s sense of femininity.

  • Draw on eyebrows with a light brown or dark brown pencil (depending on your complexion) and soften gently with an ear-bud.
  • Use a clean, washed mascara wand to comb moisturiser through your eye-lashes and eye-brows. This helps hydrate the skin, combat unruliness and promote growth.
  • Avoid toners with alcohol.
  • Have your hair cut short – there are styles to suit everyone and short hair does wonders for eyes and jaw lines.
  • Should you lose your hair completely, hold your head up high in brightly coloured scarves, fearlessly funky wigs or go beautifully head-bare.

(Margaret Hewson, July 2010)


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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit

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