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What Is the Best Makeup for Cancer Patients Undergoing Treatment?

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Ira Sagad · Updated Dec 30, 2022

    What Is the Best Makeup for Cancer Patients Undergoing Treatment?

    Cancer treatment can bring a lot of changes to the body. Makeup allows some cancer patients to feel better despite undergoing treatment. But what is the best makeup for cancer patients?

    Some forms of chemotherapy may cause skin to:

    • Peel
    • Become itchy
    • Darken
    • Dry up

    These changes can impact how cancer patients feel about their body. For some cancer patients undergoing treatment, wearing makeup is one way to continue feeling good and confident.

    However, not all makeup products are suitable for cancer patients. Many cosmetic and skin care products contain chemicals that may be too harsh on the skin of cancer patients. What is the best makeup for cancer patients?

    The best makeup for cancer patients are free of parabens and preservatives. Products that are free of synthetic fragrance or artificial pigment are also appropriate for use among cancer patients.

    One of the most common complaints of cancer patients is skin dryness, which is a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As such, another useful tip to take note of is to look for products that have hydrating or moisturizing properties to help combat the dryness.

    Best makeup for cancer patients

    Here are a few additional things to remember when choosing and applying makeup products on cancer patients:


    Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause skin discolorations, pigmentations, and dryness. When using a foundation, make sure to choose a shade that is close to your normal complexion. This will help even out your skin tone and conceal blemishes. If your skin looks sallow, you can go a half-shade lighter to get a brighter look. Many foundations also contain sun protection. It is helpful to get a product that has sun protection of at least SPF 15.


    A concealer stick can be very effective in hiding blemishes on the face and neck area caused by treatment. Try your best to do away with concealer powder as this can collect along skin wrinkles which will make your face look more dry and flaky.


    Blushes can make a pale skin look vibrant and healthy. Choose subtle, earthy colors like rosy brown or sienna to help create a natural look.

    Eyebrow liner

    Chemotherapy can cause hair to fall out, including eyebrows. Hair loss may be one of the biggest insecurities a cancer patient may have. Eyebrow liners can address this problem. Here are some tips to remember when picking and applying an eyebrow liner:

  • Pick a shade that matches your natural hair or wig color.
  • Before applying, create a base using a foundation.
  • If you’re not sure how to shape your eyebrows, you can try watching video tutorials. You can also get eyebrow stencils or print your own using templates found online.
  • Don’t forget to set your eyebrow liner using translucent powder, so it can last longer.
  • If you’re thinking about getting an eyebrow tattoo, make sure to consult with your doctor first.
  • Eyeshadow

    Just like with blush, eyeshadow colors that are subtle and match your complexion work best to create a natural look. If you’re going to use two different shades, blend them using your finger or a bud to get a softer look.


    Like your hair and eyebrows, your eyelashes may begin to fall out because of chemotherapy. Among the best makeup for cancer patients in this case is mascara. Mascaras help create the appearance of full eyelashes without the struggle of putting on fake ones. When choosing mascaras, go for volume-enhancing ones to get an effect of thickness and fullness.


    Use an eyeliner to accentuate your eyelids and eyelashes, especially if your eyelashes have begun to fall out. You can opt to go for a neutral color, but you can never go wrong with black.


    Dry and flaky lips are one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. For cancer patients undergoing treatment, glossy, moisturizing lipsticks are preferable over matte ones. Matte lipsticks can exacerbate the dryness of the lips because it contains less oil compared to glossy lipsticks, which have a higher ratio of oil to wax.

    Key takeaway

    Makeup can be a powerful tool to boost the self-confidence of cancer patients undergoing treatment. The best makeup for cancer patients are the types that do not contain parabens or preservatives, and have moisturizing qualities. Using cosmetics is a safe and easy way to help cancer patients feel good about their body while undergoing treatment.

    Learn more about Skin Care and Cleansing here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Ira Sagad · Updated Dec 30, 2022

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