Walking down the hospital hallway felt like entering an airplane cockpit.

Computer screens, control buttons everywhere and several operators. Then I was shown into a room with a massive laser and table bed. Major Wolverine vibes! I had four sessions of radiation with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, after completing chemotherapy.

As I lay on the table bed, the technicians measured and assessed with perfect precision where the laser beam would penetrate its energy and zap any rogue cancerous cell trying to escape. I finally understood why they teach mathematics in school and became envious of those few that have been blessed with the gift to understand complex formulas.

An estimated 138,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, so chances are you will know someone undergoing chemo or you are because you are about to!

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Sending all my congratulations to anyone else undergoing radiation! You’re on the home straight! It doesn’t hurt a bit and is even quite fascinating.

However, it does take a toll on the skin tissue.

The damage to the skin tissue of my breast was like a severe sunburn. I was told to apply Sorbolene Cream and put a soft bandage over the area to prevent it from rubbing against my clothes. The skin can chafe, split and become red, raw and painful.

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Little did I know, my Sorbolene Cream may have been killing me.

The cream and lotions that we’ve been using since childhood are often full of nasties. It is vitally important that you avoid these chemicals, especially if your cancer is hormone sensitive. Ensure you check the ingredient list of your product to avoid the following:


Oh my goodness.  Please, please do not use anything with a paraben in it.  Parabens mimic estrogen. If your cancer is hormone sensitive, the last thing you need is to put more estrogen into your body.  While some may argue that it is only a minute amount and won’t hurt you, this argument no longer works for me. My cancer is hormone sensitive and feeds off estrogen.  The body is able to break down most things but not parabens. The body stores them and fails to break them down. Over time this build up can cause damage to our bodies.


PEG’s or glycols.

These guys are really deadly. They contain compounds which are carcinogenic and if used on the broken skin can cause irritation and systemic toxicity.

Sulfates or phthalates.

Sulfates are detergents and irritants to the skin and eye. Phthalates are used in plastics to increase their flexibility. Why you would add these to a cosmetic product, I sincerely do not know.

 DEA or TEA.

These are products of ammonia causing skin irritation and dryness and has been linked with cancer.

 Bismuth oxychloride.

Aaahhh! The chemical makeup closely resembles arsenic. Need I say more?

If your product contains any of these ingredients, avoid, avoid, AVOID!

So, now that you’ve thrown out all your skincare, what do you do now?

It is with so much happiness I can share with you my knowledge and what will offer you relief from the effects of radiation, saving the delicate breast tissue. I discovered the healing and anti-bacterial properties of oils.

They’re 100% organic and incredibly hydrating because they’re the closest in composition to the sebum in our skin.  Olive Oil is the moisturizer of choice in Italy and Macadamia oil in Hawaii.

You can use almond, macadamia, coconut, olive oil and rosehip to moisturize your face and body.  In fact, you can even cleanse your face and take off your makeup with them. As always check with your health practitioner before applying anything to your skin!

Almond, Macadamia, Coconut, Olive oils benefits:

– Both macadamia and almond oil are a wonderful marriage for the skin, both internally and externally and are so rich in essential fatty acids your skin will beg for more.

– Their chemical profile is very similar to that of human sebum, making them perfect for mature and dry skin.

– They have a non-greasy feel on the skin.

– The palmitoleic acid in these oils is a potent antioxidant known to support healthy cells, hydrate and support skin healing.

– The oleic acid in these oils is moisturizing and an anti-inflammatory.

– Phytosterols are protective, aiding in skin recovery, and they work like cortisone on the skin which helps to reduce itchiness and inflammation.

Phytosterols also act as a penetration enhancer, delivering the all-important benefits to the deeper layers of your skin.

– The linoleic fatty acid content means it’s excellent for skin that has difficulty retaining moisture.

– Linoleic acid restores the skin’s barrier function and keeps skin hydrated.

– They contain the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids that are not naturally created by the body. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, and Omega 6 work as a pro-inflammatory, which is why they are great oils for those who suffer from a sensitive skin condition.

– They’re also anti-bacterial and therefore prevent infection.

– They can be used on your face as well as all over your body.

– They’re 100% organic and natural.


If you’re unable to purchase these oils locally or unable to leave home, all can be purchased through our shopping guide-  we have created a portal for you to access these directly through the website after finding the frustration of trying to find everything online.

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Oils need water to help them absorb into our skin so please apply to damp skin.

Prior to radiation session – do not apply any oils or creams.

After radiation session – apply as much oil and cream as you like. Go for it with your doctor’s permission.


Want to hear more? Check out our gorgeous interview on the truly amazing Stories From The Red Couch