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October is national breast cancer awareness month

Breast cancer is such a treacherous illness, it’s many treacherous illnesses. No two cancers are the same because they originate in the cells of the host, and we are unique, and then mutate in so many different ways. What they have in common is that they lost their capacity to regulate cell division so there they go, invading us, their host, and killing us.

Medicine can help, especially if they can catch it early. But your doctor needs you to take responsibility.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime,  and that is probably an undercount.

Work with your doctor, be vigilant and “do your job”. Do the tests, take the meds, etc. etc.

How can Skin Actives help you if you are one of those “1 in 8”?

SAS Every Lipid Serum can soothe the skin and there will be a need for it practically all the time. It can help with uncomfortable scars, itchy skin, and painful skin. Radiation will feel like a bad sunburn and if you also have to take medicines that affect cell division your skin will take forever to heal. Your skin will feel dry and itchy, apply ELS as soon as you need it.

If you can take baths, maybe add some rosehip or pomegranate oil, and be careful not to slip.

Take care of eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair. Chemotherapy may accelerate their loss, but Skin Actives serums containing KGF will help slow down loss and accelerate regrowth.

Skin Actives offers some products that may relieve the discomfort caused by radiation therapy and accelerate healing. Post radiation cream is a very emollient and soothing cream that contains melatonin, sea kelp bioferment, ceramides, Boswellia serrata extract, rosehip oil, tamanu (foraha) oil, bisabolol, pomegranate oil, plus a broad spectrum of water and oil-soluble antioxidants.  This very nice cream will help the skin to retain water, ease itching, reduce scaling and soften cracks. The application of this cream will facilitate the penetration of actives in other creams and serums.


Water, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Sea Kelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Foraha) Nut Oil, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui Nut) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Seed Oil, Ceramide-3, Sodium Hyaluronate, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Cyanocobalamin, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Melatonin, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Astaxanthin, Lycopene, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, Xanthophyll, Beta-Carotene, Fucoidan, Bisabolol, C14-22 Alcohols, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.


Sea Kelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment,

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, healing.

Açai (Euterpe oleracea) fruit extract

Contains anthocyanins (cyanidin 3-O-glucoside and cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside)  and phenolics. The fruit pulp is rich in polyphenols with high antioxidant activity, scavenges peroxyl radicals and reduces proliferation of cancer cells. Anthocyanins are responsible for the deep purple color.


Our own skin produces melatonin, but we can also add it to a cream. It works as a buffer for both environmental and endogenous stressors, helping maintain skin integrity. Melatonin affects skin functions and structures through actions mediated by cell-surface and nuclear receptors expressed in skin cells; it also protects against oxidative stress and can attenuate ultraviolet radiation-induced damage.  Used in conjunction with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), melatonin improves skin elasticity.  It may also help with mouth sores (stomatitis), decrease the effect of radiotherapy on the skin, improve skin texture, and decreases the accumulation of melanin.


Anti-inflammatory, a vitamin essential for skin health.

Boswellia serrata extract

Skin Actives extract of Indian frankincense is standardized for the active triterpenoids, called boswellic acids. Use Boswellia serrata extract for its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory activities, it will help preserve the structure of collagen and elastin and promote collagen synthesis.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) seed oil contains more than 70% cis9, trans11,cis13-18:3. Pomegranate seed oil is a chemopreventive for skin cancer and it has shown significant inhibition of proliferation of metastatic breast cancer cells.

Rosehip oil is obtained cold pressing the seeds of the wild rose (Rosa affinis rubiginosa) that grows in Chile.  Rosehip oil is a concentrated solution in linoleic (41%) and linolenic acid (39 %), two essential fatty acids that are found in the structural lipids of the cell but humans cannot make them. Rosehip oil also contains tocopherols and carotenoids (responsible for the lovely pink/orange color of the oil). In clinical studies with humans, rosehip oil promoted tissue regeneration in surgical wounds and improved the appearance of keloids.

Rhodiola rosea extract (Roseroot, Golden Root, or Arctic Root) is an extract that has been used for centuries to help with stress, but it also benefits the skin through several chemicals including rosavin,  salidroside, gallic acid, sitosterol and many more.
You will find lots of different claims, but I chose it for its antioxidant properties.

Tamanu oil (also called foraha or doomba oil) is pressed from nuts of the Calophyllum tacamahaca (or ati) or Calophyllum inophyllum tree. The nuts yield 70–75% of the greenish-yellow inedible oil. The oil originates in Polynesia where it continues to play an important cultural role. Typical fatty acid composition of tamanu oil: linoleic acid (38%), oleic acid (34%), Stearic acid (13%), palmitic acid (12%). Composition varies with environmental conditions but, in general, there is a majority of unsaturated fatty acids. Also present are phytosterols, mainly stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol.

Kukui nut oil is extracted from the nut of Aleurites moluccana, the candlenut, cultivated in South Asia and Hawaii. Its composition varies with the place of cultivation and mode of extraction but it is approximately  5% palmitic acid, 5% stearic acid, 15 oleic, 40% linoleic acid, and less than 30% linolenic acid. It is used mostly to protecting, moisturizing, and lubricating the skin.

Other antioxidants: natural alpha D-tocopherol, tocotrienols, astaxanthin, lycopene, R-alpha lipoic acid, xanthophyll, beta-carotene, fucoidan

Other anti-inflammatories: bisabolol, fucoidan

Another product worth trying: Every Lipid Serum. At some stages of the healing process, the oily nature of ELS may help with the complex nature of the damage: extreme dryness and contraction of the suture. In any case, ELS is always helpful when the skin hurts and itches, so it is something worth having at home.



Calcabrini, C., De Bellis, R., Umberto, L., Potenza, L. De Sanctis, R., Patrone, V., Scesa, C., Dacha, M. (2010) Rhodiola rosea ability to enrich cellular antioxidant defenses of cultured human keratinocytes. Archives of Dermatological Research. 302; 191-200. doi: 10.1007/s00403-009-0985-z
Gupta, A., Kumar, R. Upadhyay, N.K., Pal, K., Kumar, R., Sawhney, R.C. (2007) Effects of Rhodiola imbricata on dermal wound healing. Planta Medica, 73: 774-777. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-981546

De Angelis, C., Salvo, N., Barnes, E., Van Draanen, J., Stacey, E., Mitera, G., … Pang, J. (2010). Prophylaxis and management of acute radiation-induced skin reactions: a systematic review of the literature. Current Oncology, 17: 94-112. doi: 10.3747/co.v17i4.493

Toklu, H. Z., Tunalı-Akbay, T., Erkanlı, G., Yüksel, M., Ercan, F., & Şener, G. (2007). Silymarin, the antioxidant component of Silybum marianum, protects against burn-induced oxidative skin injury. Burns, 33(7), 908–916. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2006.10.407

Stucker, M., Pieck, C., Stoerb, C., Niedner, R., Hartung, J., & Altmeyer, P. (2004). Topical vitamin B12-a new therapeutic approach in atopic dermatitis-evaluation of efficacy and tolerability in a randomized placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. British Journal of Dermatology, 150(5), 977–983. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2004.05866.x

Rusanova, I , Martínez-Ruiz, L, , Florido, J.  Rodríguez-Santana, C. , Guerra-Librero, A. , Acuña-Castroviejo, D., Escames, G.  (2019) Protective Effects of Melatonin on the Skin: Future Perspectives, Int J Mol Sci, 8:4948., doi: 10.3390/ijms20194948.


DISCLAIMER: These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.

Other relevant posts:

The “other” menopause and what it means for your skin and hair.

So now you know that the fountain of youth and HGH were mirages. Next snake oil, please.

Skin support during illness: Post Radiation Cream and ELS by Skin Actives