“An educated consumer is a powerful consumer.” - Dr. Madhu Shetti
Co-founder and CEO Dr. Hillary Lin recently sat down with Dr. Madhu Shetti, founder of Balmere, a skincare company designed for people with cancer with the whole person in mind.
Watch the full conversation below to learn:
What to look out for, even when using oncologist-recommended “sensitive skin” products
How skincare products with harmful ingredients can actually delay or negatively influence chemotherapy treatment, leading to worse survival rates
Key things to keep in mind when vetting skincare products
How can Skincare Products Affect Survival Rates?
Skin recovery time can delay further treatment. Every week that we wait for the skin to heal between treatments is roughly a 3-5% drop in survival rates.
If someone has a skin reaction after chemotherapy, it’s imperative to know if this was due to the chemotherapy being too strong, thus needing to be reduced, or if there’s some other reaction happening to a detergent or skincare product the person is using.
Sensitive skin ≠ Skin of someone who has gone through cancer treatment
A sensitive skin product might include fragrance, which is the #1 allergen and can cause a skin reaction.
Parabens are often estrogen mimickers. If you have estrogen positive breast cancer, you don’t want products with parabens, yet they’re in many sensitive skin products,.
Someone who is immunocompromised (i.e. someone who has survived cancer) is 65x higher risk of developing secondary skin cancers.
If they do develop these secondary cancers, they’re 2.3x more deadly.
How to Properly Vet Skincare Products:
What are the ingredients?
How are they manufactured? It’s important to understand the manufacturing process. For example, if you make something “bad-for-you” in a blender, and then go and make a “good-for-you” smoothie without proper cleaning, you’ll get some of those “bad-for-you” ingredients in your “good-for-you” smoothie
What kind of packaging is it in? Are there chemicals in the packaging?
How are you receiving it? Has it been sitting in a warehouse among dust and other things that aren’t good for you?
How is Balmere Different than Other Sensitive Skin Brands?
Balmere products are made for people with a sensitive immune system, but anyone can use them.
They take a holistic approach to skincare - chemotherapy or other systemic treatments can cause imbalances in the microbiome, causing redness, swelling, and other skin reactions. Their probiotic product is designed to reduce those reactions from the inside out.
They look at the safety of ingredients on an individual level as well as an interactive level to ensure ingredients won’t become harmful when used together.
They don’t use the minimum % of an ingredient to make the marketing claim. They use the percentage required so you will actually see the clinical value from that ingredient.
All products are made so that anyone, regardless of skin tone can wear them and feel good wearing them.