Here to help you feel more like you again after cancer treatment

Cancer treatment can affect your appearance, which can understandably affect the way you feel. 

Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors are trained to offer make-up tips to help manage the visible side effects of cancer treatment, so you can start to feel more like you again.


Cancer treatment may cause light skin to redden and dark skin to darken, but make-up can help disguise these changes.

Our beauty advisors suggest:

  • Using a green-tinted primer to help tone down redness
  • Trying a tinted moisturiser if you’re not used to foundation
  • Disguising colour changes with a medium-coverage foundation that has SPF protection
  • Use these products sparingly and pat them onto the skin

Watch our video for more tips to enhance your appearance


Skin reacts to cancer treatment in different ways, by becoming sensitive or dry for instance.

To care for your skin, try the following:

Dry skin

Use a gentle cleanser and avoid products with alcohol or perfume.

Sensitive and sore skin

Shower using warm water, and pat your skin dry afterwards.

Oily skin

Avoid using exfoliators and try a muslin cloth instead.

Itchy skin

Use moisturisers with ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid or cocoa butter. Or try an emollient cream with oatmeal.


Speak to your cancer nurse specialist or oncology team straight away.

Watch our video for more tips on caring for your skin


If treatment affects your hair, our Beauty Advisors can talk to you about managing this side effect.

Here are a few tips to help you manage your hair loss:

  • Wearing a wig before treatment may help you get used to wearing one
  • Scarves, turbans and hats are stylish options to cover your head
  • Disguise missing eyebrows and eyelashes using make-up

If your hair becomes thinner:

  • Use a soft brush when brushing hair
  • Avoid combing your hair if it is brittle
  • Avoid brushing if your scalp is dry
  • Avoid using heat styling tools
  • Use an electric shaver instead of wet shaving, to minimise the risk of cuts

Watch our video for tips to recreate the appearance of eyebrows and eyelashes


Chemotherapy or targeted therapy may make your nails grow more slowly or become brittle or flaky. Your nails should go back to normal after treatment. In the meantime, here are some ways to care for them:

Colour changes

  • If your nails haven't spilt, disguise colour changes with nail varnish but do not use false nails

Sore nails

  • This may mean you have an infection. Speak to your cancer nurse specialist or oncology team about it. To help prevent infections, wear gloves during housework

Dryness and splitting

  • Use cuticle cream but do not cut the cuticles
  • Use an emery board rather than a nail cutter
  • Keep nails short to avoid snagging
  • Use hand and foot cream regularly
  • Use nail-strengthening cream