Best Creams for Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy - Care+Wear

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6 Best Lotions for Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy

Starting chemotherapy treatment can be one of the most difficult times for patients with cancer and other conditions. Not only can chemotherapy be hard on your body, but it can also be harsh on your skin.

Beyond many patients’ anecdotal experience, a recent study published by the San Gallicano Dermatological Institute and the ASL Roma in Rome evaluated the side-effects of chemotherapy on the skin and found that after chemotherapy, one can expect the skin to become drier, dehydrated, and more delicate than ever. If your course of chemotherapy involves radiation, this can lead to another set of skin reactions which include possible redness, tenderness, itching, swelling, peeling, and burning.

So how do you keep your skin healthy? Experts recommend carefully medicating the skin with a mild skincare regime that gently treats your skin. We reached out to our community members who have undergone chemotherapy on Instagram and Facebook to ask what creams they've used to treat skin concerns throughout their time in treatment. Below are 6 of the most beneficial chemotherapy creams available on the market, all under $30:

RECOVERY Skin Relief ($14.95)

Developed by a breast cancer survivor, RECOVERY skin cream has proven to be a godsend for many chemotherapy patients. A non-greasy, penetrating emulsion, RECOVERY infuses rich moisturizers deep into the skin along with ingredients that soothe itchy, swollen, and painful areas.

This formula is designed specifically for radiation and helps to provide instant hydration for dry, itchy, and painful cracked sensitive skin. According to the website, it is steroid-free, paraben-free, and free from dye, colorants, and fragrances, which is perfect for sensitive skin from chemotherapy.

Lindi Body Lotion ($27.50)

The founder of Lindi Skin, also a cancer survivor, created her products in consultation with dermatologists, oncologists, nurses, patients, and skincare formulators to create products that can treat even the most sensitive of skin. Lindi Body Lotion is designed to soothe and hydrate the skin by delivering antioxidants that nourish the skin while reinforcing its natural barrier to prevent moisture loss.

The lotion can be used to help manage “dry, flaky skin and itch that can result from radiation, chemotherapy, or any type of sensitive skin.” It is also dermatologist and allergen tested, paraben-free, and non-irritating.

Atopalm Intensive Moisturizing Cream ($25.20)

Designed to promote the healing process, Atopalm cream has been a top brand in Korea for the past 10years. This rich yet gentle cream mimics natural skin lipids and is able to replenish lost lipids while simultaneously preventing over-evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture. It can be used as both a facial and body cream, formulated to leave your skin feeling soft, supple, and protected from “environmental stresses.”

The cream’s secret ingredient, developed by founder, Dr. Raymond Park, is its “Multi-Lamella Emulsion” or MLE, which reproduces the cellular structure of skin, repairing and strengthening, and healing skin from deep within. The product was also tested in a 2019 UCSF clinical study that was based around the beneficial ratio of three types of lipids (cholesterol, free fatty acids, and ceramides) that are vital for skin health.

Bag Balm ($10.49)

Developed in 1899, Big Balm is widely known for its effectiveness on dry skin, painful cracked heels, and chapped hands. Thicker than Vaseline, Bag Balm is made with four key ingredients that contribute to its effectiveness: petrolatum, lanolin, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate, and paraffin wax.

Although this product is not designed specifically for chemotherapy, it is universally known to help address a number of skin issues, such as dry skin, callouses, chafed and chapped skin, cracked hands, and split heels. It is also widely available at a number of drugstores and pharmacies, including Walmart, Target, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.

Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Repair Cream ($11.99)

Another inexpensive, yet widely available skin cream is the Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Repair Cream. Made with a soothing triple oat complex containing oat flour, oat oil, and extract, protective ceramide & rich emollients, the cream is designed to deeply hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss.

The extra-dry skin cream claims to provide 24 hours of long-lasting, all-day hydration. It is also fragrance-free, steroid-free, and non-comedogenic, which is what any chemo patient should look for in a good cream.

Botanical Burn Balm ($19.99)

Developed in collaboration with an 8-year cancer survivor and Etsy seller, Polish Your Parts, which sells organic, plant-based skincare, this calendula infused balm was developed specifically with radiation patients in mind. It is made with a high concentration of calendula oil. Properties in the calendula root are known to alleviate the sting in burns.

The balm is easy to apply, melting into the skin and helping to soothe sensitive skin. It is available via Balm Box, which sells other chemotherapy essentials and gift baskets for cancer patients.

Giving your skin the gift of skincare products during chemotherapy can be an important part of the healing process. Not only will your skin thank you, but by taking this preventative measure, you will also be one step closer to feeling like yourself again.

If you want to learn about other products that are helpful during chemotherapy, check out our PICC Line Covers and Chest Port Access Clothing. If you sign up for our newsletter, you can receive 20% off your first purchase!


If you are looking for more resources and support surrounding cancer, check out our other blogs:

13 Ways To Help A Loved One With Cancer

Gift Ideas For A Patient Undergoing Chemotherapy

5 Things No One Told Me About Chemotherapy

Online Support Groups For Cancer Patients And Caregivers

What are some other creams that can help relieve dry, sensitive skin resulting from chemotherapy? Let us know in the comments or email us at We love hearing from our community members!

6 Responses



July 08, 2021

I am going through chemo and use Lindi Skin products. I LOVE all of their products and use the face wash, serum and moisturizer every day. I also faithfully use the body lotion and lip balm. I get the chemo ‘sunburn’ after every treatment and the face serum works wonders. Their products work and when I am done with chemo, I will continue to use the Lindi Skin line! You

Noluvuyo Mthwesi

Noluvuyo Mthwesi

June 02, 2021

Hi, am a cancer patient currently on chemotherapy my skin is painful itching more especially after bath. What can I use? Please help this pain IIS unbearable 😭😭

Soledad Ang

Soledad Ang

December 04, 2020

My husband is undergoing chemotherapy and his skin is now very dry can I ask what lotion is recommended for him and if there are some
Lotion that are water base . Thank you

B Elliott

B Elliott

July 31, 2020

All the skincare for chemo seems to just be body lotions. I’m in desp need of quality FACE skincare products – I’m suffering a terrible lupus-like rash on face, esp the “butterfly”. It itches, burns, hot to the touch, skin gets feverish, sometimes blisters, and is relentless. Plus my skin, face and body, is dry and dehydrated. Any advice on product, brand etc that someone can attest to?

Thank you!

Zinhle Ngcobo

Zinhle Ngcobo

June 11, 2020

I did used a chemotherapy 3times now my skin is dacker, what can I do plz I need help

Joan Meeks

Joan Meeks

March 17, 2020

I have dark palms from chemo and dark nails. What can I use for this.

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