How I managed acne during chemotherapy

How I managed acne during chemotherapy

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Chemotherapy which is a cancer treatment has a myriad of side effects which includes acne. Cancer cells grow rapidly than the normal cells and chemotherapy is targeted at impeding the growth of cancerous cells but unfortunately, they affect the normal cells too. Chemotherapy affected my skin cells, leaving my skin with a dull, scaly, sensitive and irritated look. I have detailed how I managed acne during chemotherapy treatment.

Acne is caused by so many factors like stress, illness, and medications amongst other causes. mine was as a result of medication.

I was hit with acne after my second circle of chemotherapy and I can’t begin to say enough how this affected me. My self-esteem hit a new low and I was devastated. I would hardly go out of the house for fear of what I looked liked comparatively to how I used to look before I began chemotherapy.


First signs of acne during chemotherapy


This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a commission if you make a purchase using one of my links at no extra cost to you. I love these products and hope you do too! Before applying any of the subsequent tips for acne management during chemotherapy, it is imperative to talk to your oncologist.

I have listed how I won the battle with acne when my face was overtaken by it. The first and most important step to talk is talking to your oncologist. You will get a better understanding of how to handle your a

Talk to your oncologist:  

It is of utmost importance to discuss all side effects of chemotherapy with your oncologist. I made an appointment with my oncologist immediately I noticed skin changes. He prescribed a medical strength topical cream to apply daily. With that out of the way, I knew my face needed special attention and I went ahead to care for it naturally.

Quick and Warm Showers:

Although hot showers seem therapeutic, it actually strips your skin of its natural oil… or what is left of your skin’s oil after chemotherapy dried it out. I love hot steaming showers but had to cut it out of my daily routine for the period. I would shower with lukewarm/cold water and had really quick showers. Cold water helps you open your pores in preparation of your acne treatment. It is important not to vigorously scrub yourself but to be gentle on your already sensitive skin.

Facial Cleanser:

Your acne treatment must start in the shower. It is of extreme importance to maintain a clean skin during chemotherapy treatment or if you are acne prone. Using a cleanser creates a clean surface, which allows other acne treatments to permeate the skin and perform more effectively. I cleaned my face with BODY SHOP TEA TREE FACE WASH, which is specifically tailored to soothe and restore the skin to its natural beauty. This product was specially made for sensitive skin so it hydrates and detoxifies the skin. It is sulfate free so it does not rob you of your natural skin oils. I felt completely clean and fresh after using this product and I know you will too!


Avoid harsh chemicals:

 I was using an acne treatment facial cleanser at that time that was not alcohol-free. It would sting my face badly and it seriously dried out my face and left my skin dehydrated. I had to stop using it as I could not handle the burn.

Avoid picking at your face:

Picking your acne only makes matters worse by agitating the acne and could lead to more acne. Scars are an inevitable consequence of acne and picking on your acne only increases your chances of more prominent scars. Bacteria may linger on your hands even after washing them. Picking on your acne with dirty hands, will not do your acne any good.

Wash your pillowcase

Your pillowcase could simply be adding or making your acne worse. It probably stores grease from hair products and attracts dust and dirt which definitely will transfer to your face. It is advisable to wash your pillowcases every two to three days to aid your acne treatment process.

Minimal makeup:

Typically masking acne by wearing heavy makeup would be our first thought but most makeup that will give a full coverage and probably conceal your acne has some pore clogging properties which are totally bad when you have acne. It is important to keep your skin clean through your acne breakout and treatment. You want your pores to breath and accept the form of treatment you are applying, without being clogged with makeup. Look for non-comedogenic( which means its specially formulated not to clog pores) on the pack of any makeup you purchase. Shop makeup here:



After achieving a clean and fresh face using a natural facial cleanser, the last thing you want to do is weigh down the clean skin with a heavy moisturizer. I use BODY SHOP TEA TREE mattifying lotion. This moisturizer is lightweight and is a powerful moisturizer for dry and flaky skin like I experienced at this time of my chemotherapy treatment. It is amazingly hydrating without leaving you with a greasy finish.



Facial oil:

I used Body shop tea tree oil and I can’t begin to say how impressed I was at the visible positive difference I noticed. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is an excellent acne treatment. It contains a component that aids in killing the bacteria that causes acne. It helps in restoring the skins natural oil balance and it removes dead skin cells, therefore, minimizing scars.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil:

  • Fights acne
  • Boost hair growth
  • Used in DIY facial scrubs
  • Use as a spot treatment

How to use tea tree oil for acne:

Because of the versatility of tea tree oil, I will highlight how I use it for the treatment of acne. It includes but not limited to the under listed:

  • Tea tree oil and water: add half a teaspoon of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of water. mix it properly and apply to acne. Leave for a couple of hours. wash your face with BODY SHOP TEA TREE Cleanser and moisturize with BODY SHOP TEA TREE LOTION. Repeat daily until you get the desired results.


  • Tea tree oil and honey: add one teaspoon of organic honey and a few drops of tea tree oil. Mix into a paste and apply to affected areas. Leave on for an hour and wash out with lukewarm water. Honey helps in moisturizing the skin. Repeat daily till you get the desired results.


  • Tea tree oil and Lemon: Mix one teaspoon of coconut oil (you need to melt it as it is solidified) two drops of tea tree oil two teaspoons of lemon juice. mix thoroughly and apply to affected areas. Avoid broken skin when applying. wash out after twenty minutes. Repeat daily until you get the desired results.


Amazingly I noticed a certain smoothness to my face after using this oil. My once dehydrated acne filled face, felt very soft and smooth to my touch. The difference to my face became visible in about two weeks.

From acne-stricken to fresh-faced beauty😉

I won the battle with acne and I’m glad to share this success with my friends. Have you suffered from acne? How did you manage it? Are you still struggling with acne? you should absolutely try this all natural approach……it worked for me. Kindly share your suggestions or recommendations in the comment section and stay connected for DIY face scrubs and masks!



How I managed acne during chemo

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