A 25-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Shares the Skincare Products She'll Never Use

When I was diagnosed with lymphoma at age 21, I took it upon myself to do as much research into my lifestyle as possible and inform myself on all the ways I can control my best health outcome. Amid all of this furious googling, I discovered that what we put on our bodies is just as significant as what we put in them. Our skin is actually our largest and most absorbent organ. That’s why I’ve made the conscious decision to do away with many of the products I once used and opt for only nontoxic skincare. I'm happy to say I've been cancer-free now for three years, and I'd like to think my nontoxic routine has helped me stay that way. Here, I’d love to share some of the potentially harmful skincare products I've chucked, as well as the clean alternatives I've come to love.

Products I'll Never Use Again

When it comes to the products I explicitly don't use, there are specific ingredients I make sure to avoid. I make little to no exceptions for parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, lead, synthetic fragrance, and aluminum. These ingredients are found in many mainstream skincare and body products, including non-natural deodorant and several of the cleansers and perfumes I was using before my diagnosis. The risks of these ingredients can be as mild as acne or as serious as disruption of estrogen levels, which can lead to cancer. It’s so important to constantly read the labels on your products and make sure that you are treating the largest organ in your body with care and consciousness.

Products I Use Instead

I’ve been using this one for quite a while and love the entire Renew line in general. True Botanicals is an amazing company that really considers its clients when choosing the ingredients it puts into its products. Its cleanser is designed with all the nutrients that our skin needs without the harsh chemicals used in most products.

Simple, affordable, and efficient! My favorite toner for my skin is good old witch hazel. I love the brand Thayers, as it comes infused with many different essential oils, like lavender. There are so many benefits to the natural use of witch hazel, such as fighting acne and reducing inflammation. It’s my favorite way to tone my face and even take off my makeup!

I use this serum every single day without fail! Made with botanical extract oils, this serum retains moisture. This specific serum is exceptionally wonderful at doubling as an under-eye serum and does its part in eliminating crow’s-feet and under-eye bags.

Rosacea runs in my family, and in the past years, especially after my chemo treatment, I’ve noticed that my face is showing early symptoms of redness. After receiving a facial from Sonya Dakar, I immediately fell in love with this moisturizer. It nourishes and renews my skin like no other! For people with sensitive skin like mine, I think that this is the perfect 100% natural and nontoxic option!

Exfoliators are super important to remove dead cells and make your skin feel super soft. Glossier’s solution does just that! This cruelty-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic exfoliator is guaranteed to clear, brighten, and smooth your skin!

Being a cancer survivor and also being married to a light-skinned redhead, I truly know the importance of daily sunscreen. I have been dabbling in sunscreen for quite a while, trying to find the perfect natural and nontoxic option for my husband and me. Having come across the brand Beautycounter through my step-sister, I absolutely fell in love! I personally love the stick. It’s made with a cocoa butter base, so it naturally moisturizes and protects your face all day long!

Burt’s Bees is my OG love. I’ve been using these products for years now, and I think that they are the most affordable and accessible products. You can scoop them up at your local drugstore. Due to the blend of aloe and rice extract, my skin is nourished all day and night long with guilt-free, natural, and nontoxic ingredients.

Another Sonya Dakar product to the rescue! Sonya really considers her clients' sensitive skin when creating her products. The ingredients she uses are natural, nontoxic, and extremely effective. This mask naturally draws out impurities and visibly closes out your pores. Effectiveness and nourishment aside, who doesn’t want their face covered in rose gold?

When I am tired (which is pretty much always), you can see it immediately through the bags under my eyes. I have been on a deep search for ways to minimize and brighten the bags under my eyes so that even though I feel tired, I won’t look it. That’s where the Mad Hippie Eye Cream comes in! This product truly packs a punch! Filled with amazing antioxidants and peptides, it’s an absolutely guilt-free product that creates lasting results.

Do you have any favorite nontoxic skincare products I didn't mention here? Feel free to DM me your recommendations at @radiantracheli!