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Daniela - The Happy Skin Project

 

 

The Happy Skin Project - Good JuJu Herbal - Soap that Supports Skin

 

For the launch of our expanded Happy Skin Project we worked with both cancer survivors and cancer patients to give an in depth look into why this project and its simple goal: get quality soap (the cornerstone of any routine) in patients’ hands at no cost to them, is a vital part of better treatment and patient outcomes moving forward. We are so grateful they have allowed us to share their experience and stories below. 

Tell Us Your Cancer / Chemotherapy / Radiation / or any story that involves your time with compromised skin.
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2008, at age 16. In the 18 months prior to my diagnosis I experienced multiple symptoms that were misdiagnosed as alopecia, gallbladder disease, adult acne, and juvenile arthritis. When I started getting breakouts on my skin, I was told by the dermatologist that it was just acne and was prescribed an antibiotic. And that medication made everything worse. My skin broke out in burning welts across my face and I developed painful blotches on my fingers. But once I was diagnosed with Lupus and given Prednisone, a steroid medication, everything calmed down a bit. Until I had to do chemotherapy for Lupus Nephritis. During the 6 months of chemotherapy, my skin became really thin, flaky, itchy, and I often had rashes in various areas of my body. And being in high school, all of it felt really embarrassing at the time. For years I lived with really thin skin that took a long time to heal from any kind of cuts or scrapes, infection was always right around the corner. And I bruised and scarred very easily. I felt like I always needed to cover up my skin. It wasn’t until 2017 that I came off of Prednisone that my skin has very slowly improved overtime.
How did chemotherapy affect your skin? How did you feel about your skin?
At the time it seemed difficult to me to distinguish whether it was Lupus or the chemotherapy that made my skin breakout in rashy blotches, and feel dry, itchy, and thin. I am sure it was a combination of both. Sometimes it felt like I had paper thin skin. And if I ever got any kind of cut or bumped against something, it would take my skin a long time to heal – infection and excessive bruising was always a concern. I was in high school so of course I didn’t like my skin because I just wanted to have clear skin. I felt embarrassed about the rashes on my face and fingers – it looked gross. And even after I was done with chemotherapy, my skin was really thin for years. I always felt that any little cut or scrape was a big deal.

Was there anything that helped your skin during that time?
At the time, my family and I didn’t really search for options to better care for my skin. We just assumed it was all a part of Lupus and chemotherapy. That’s just how it was. But thinking back to those months in chemotherapy, my mom did make me fresh pressed carrot and apple juice every morning before school. I think it was her way of ensuring I started the day with good nutrients. And while it was not an intentional skincare method, I choose to believe that the juice did more for my skin than I could have known at the time.

 

Did you feel that you had good options for your skin? Do you wish that there were more options for skincare during chemotherapy?
It was 2008 so I don’t think there were many options that were both good for you and easily affordable. And if there were, we just didn’t have the knowledge to look for them. No one spoke to us about skincare options for Lupus or chemotherapy patients. I do wish that someone had told us more about the impact of Lupus and chemotherapy on the skin. I simply applied lotion as usual and hoped that it was enough. But I know if I had had better options or at least been more educated, I think I could have saved myself a lot of ‘embarrassment’ in high school and college. I would have been gentler with my skin or at least more understanding and kind to myself. But I am doing that now.

Our hope is that this project will bring tangible solutions and awareness around the broad lack of affordable (or suitable) options for people undergoing treatment for Cancer. Our long term goal is for The Happy Skin Project to be truly impactful nationwide by providing data around better patient outcomes and lobbying for high quality body care products to be covered by insurance as a preventative measure.  


How can you help expand our efforts?

-Share this project with friends and family!

-Purchase a Sunshine Bar for yourself! This bar of soap automatically donates TWO Happy Skin Project Bars to cancer organizations we partner with.

-Purchase a $2 Happy Skin Project Bar through our online listing to give to someone in your life going through treatment. You can also purchase a bar to be donated by us on your behalf at this listing.

 

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