Depending on the type of treatment you’re undergoing, it is extremely important that you understand, and accept, that your skin is going to change. With the changing of your skin, you too must evolve to ensure your skin regime is revised and adapted to suit the needs of your new skin.

As a practising Corneotherapist with experience in providing bespoke and professional post-cancer treatment skin care management in Raby Bay, I know how treatment effects one’s skin, and what must be done to restore one’s skin.

Firstly, let’s get the facts and best practices straight. During treatment, it is recommended that you do not use soap or detergents. I also encourage everyone to do the same, healthy or challenged skin. The reason being that these chemicals will break down your barrier function, according to research conducted from the US[i].

I can hear you saying, “my what?” – how about we take a step back so I can explain it from the beginning. It’s waterproof, stretchy, malleable, washable, routinely able to repair cuts, burns and tears and adjusts to internal and external temperature changes – pretty amazing huh? Welcome to YOUR skin!

Your barrier function, also known as your Hydrolipidic Film and Acid Mantle, is an invisible viscous fluid. In simple terms, it maintains and protect the overall health of your skin and hair. Your barrier function is comprised of[ii] :

  • Sebum: An oily like substance secreted by our sebaceous glands. It’s your skins own natural moisturiser!
  • A salty watery mixture is secreted by our sweat glands
  • Skins’ microbiome secretions (skin microbiome refers to the micro-organisms that reside on the skin. Many of them are bacteria, of which there are around 1,000 species).

Together, these three substances from your skins barrier function and it has a pH level ranging from 4.5-6.2 pH[iii], slightly acidic and acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that may penetrate the skin.

Our skins pH, barrier function and microbiome are magnificently and powerfully connected. So, it makes sense that illness, medical treatments, pollutants, pathogens, detergents, soaps, cleansers (I could go on and on here) can affect the critical work our barrier does in and on our skin. It also makes sense as to why we need to preserve or do our absolute and very best to preserve our barrier function from diagnosis, through treatment and recovery. It is ALL about your barrier.

Read more at Anticancer Drug Agents & your skin, Radiation Damaged Skin and Oncologic Surgery.

For more information on my post-cancer treatment skin care treatment in Raby Bay, please call me today on 0438 735 990 or simply book an appointment using my easy-to-use online booking system.

[i] “Effects of soap and detergents on skin surface pH, stratum corneum hydration and fat content” by the Department of Pediatrics, University of Vienna, School of Medicine, Austria. Available at (accessed October 12 2017).



paula cliffin

Paula Cliffin

Dermal Facialist/Practising Corneotherapist
Certified in Oncology Aesthetics (COA)
Phone: 0438 735 990 (Appointment Only)


The advice on my oncology pages is just advice. It is in no way medical advice. The advice I offer comes from many years of experience with health challenged clients and endless, ongoing education to ensure I offer my clients the best advice and products on the market. If you do have any concerns, I strongly advise you to consult your medical team.