Can I Wear Makeup During Chemotherapy?

Whether it’s an upcoming special occasion or a part of your regular routine, many women wonder whether they can still wear make-up while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

There’s good news: yes! It is still possible to look your best when you aren’t feeling so great. You may need to replace your staple or favorite products in favor of those that are friendlier to your skin. (Makeup has an expiration date anyway – your stash is probably in need of an update!)

The most important part of your new makeup routine should be a good, hydrating moisturizer. You may have been able to skip it before but chemotherapy is very drying to skin, especially the delicate skin of your face. Choose a product that is hypo-allergenic and contains an SPF of at least 15.

Steroids used in chemo can cause red, blotchy patches on the skin that you might want to cover up with a concealer. Use a light hand here, because too much makeup can cause irritation. You might want to try a tinted moisturizer instead, or apply a green primer under the concealer to combat the redness.

An illuminating moisturizer, highlighter, or touch of bronzer can help add a healthy glow to your skin.

You can still use mascara and liquid liner (it’s more gentle and easier to apply than pencil), but you should replace them every 2 – 3 months.

At the end of the day, be sure to cleanse your skin to remove all traces of makeup and also stimulate circulation. Use a cotton ball or pad moistened with a non-oily eye makeup remover (specifically for sensitive skin). Hold the pad to your lid for a few seconds to dissolve makeup, and then gently wipe downward. Repeat until all traces have been removed. You can do the same with lip color, wiping in a circular motion. Finish off with a layer of rich moisturizing night cream.