BEAUTY KNOWHOW: A more gentle touch for cancer-affected skin

Meet the brands born to soothe some of the uncomfortable skin symptoms that cancer treatments can bring.

There are two independent skincare brands that I’d like to draw your awareness to. Both are excellent for people living with cancer and also work really well for anyone with sensitive skin.

By Sarah body oilThe first is By Sarah London which was founded in 2017 by sisters Sarah and Lauren Murrell. When Lauren was diagnosed with leukaemia, Sarah was her stem cell donor. After the transplant and when chemotherapy left Lauren’s skin feeling dry, irritated and sensitive, Sarah, who has lots of experience in the beauty industry, began to develop plant-based skincare products (without any essential oils or fragrances) that her sister could use. Word spread, and now their Hero Facial Oil (£33,, which uses certified organic and cold-pressed plant oils including apricot and evening primrose, has become a cult product. Use it daily to help skin to look and feel its healthy best. I’m also a fan of the Body Oil (£36), which nourishes limbs and absorbs quickly.

By Sarah facial oilKate McIver is another name to know about and support. Sadly, founder Kate died from secondary breast cancer at the age of 31, but her brand continues and this month is raising awareness of the disease with limited-edition T-shirts to help spread the message. Product-wise, its Secret Weapon Serum (from £29.99, really is the bee’s knees for any sensitive or distressed skin (it has been much used lately on NHS frontlines) but is also loved for its glow-giving abilities and is a key part of many a professional make-up artist’s kit. It comes with an incredible blend of natural oils including argan, coconut, camellia and jojoba, so is super hydrating and nourishing to all skin types. Also money from each bottle of serum sold (50p for 15ml, £1 for 30ml) will go to the CoppaFeel! breast cancer charity. Both of these brands are vegan.

Kate McIver serumShow your support

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness month, here is our pick of do-good buys.

Philip Kingsley shampooPhilip Kingsley conditionerNo Scent No Colour Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner, £20.50 each, Fragrance-, paraben- and sulfate-free. For every bottle sold, 50p goes to the charity Look Good, Feel Better.

Jane Iredale lip glossLimited Edition HydroPure Hyaluronic Lip Gloss in Pink Glacé, £21, All profits from this hydrating pale pink gloss will be donated to Against Breast Cancer to help research and earlier diagnosis.

Aveda hand reliefLimited Edition Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme, £18, Super nourishing and with the brand’s Shampure scent. $10 (£7.30) from each sale goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.