Beauty Advisor offering advice

Boots Cancer Beauty Advisors

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

Boots Cancer Beauty Advisors are trained to offer make-up tips to help manage the visible side effects of treatment, so you can start to feel more like you again. Use our store locator to find your nearest Beauty Advisor.

If you already know your closest participating store you can book an appointment now.


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 are not used to foundation
  • Disguising colour changes with a medium-coverage foundation with SPF protection
  • Using these products sparingly and patting them onto the skin

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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

Itchy skin

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

Oily skin

Avoid using exfoliators and try a muslin cloth instead


Speak to your cancer nurse specialist or oncology team straight away

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If treatment affects your hair, don't worry, it usually grows back afterwards.

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

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Your nails should go back to normal after treatment. In the meantime, here are some ways to care for them:

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

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

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Need more support?

Whether you're affected by cancer or you know someone who is, the Irish Cancer Society can provide reliable cancer information and support services to assist you.

Visit Irish Cancer Society