MySkin.ie offers a complete range of natural skincare products and also specialises in bespoke products. We asked owner Denise O’Connell to tell us a little bit more about herself and her products that are most suited to the skincare needs of people going through cancer.
I have been working with essential oils and aromatherapy since 1997. In 2003, I lost a young friend to leukaemia and this had a profound influence on my career. I took advanced training courses in bodywork for cancer care and became an outreach worker for the Solas Centre (Cancer Centre in Waterford). After several years, I helped set up a local cancer support centre in Kilkenny. Through my experience in this area came my understanding of the major side effects of cancer treatments on the skin – symptoms such as itch, pain, scars, non-healing wounds and ulcers.
People often look holistically at what they are putting on their skin during and after cancer treatment and this is how MySkin.ie came about. Clients would ask if I could make up something to alleviate their symptoms. I went back to the books again and took advanced training in aromatherapy, aroma care and botanical skincare to support clients on a cancer journey.
In 2013, a new EU Cosmetic Directive came into force. This has restricted claims that can be made about cosmetic products – we cannot claim to heal conditions, hence the need to be cautious about product descriptors. I can only tell you about the products I make, and some of my clients who used them with positive effect during and after their cancer treatment:
These are distilled waters that are left after plants are distilled to make essential oils. They are gentle, but also powerful in their own right. They can be sprayed on skin, used as toners, in baths or mixed into skin care products. I buy these in direct from trusted distillers in the UK and France and they are alcohol free.
- Helichrysum – a powerful anti-inflammatory, good for healing scar tissue or soothing allergic skin reactions.
- Lavender – very earthy, doesn’t smell like the essential oil, reduces inflammation, good for insomnia.
- Rose – heavenly scent, can be used instead of perfume, lovely as a toner, enhances femininity.
- Witch Hazel – powerful antioxidant, calms skin, good for piles and stings and bites.
- Niaouli (special order only) – widely used in Europe on skin after radiotherapy, very soothing for inflamed skin, often will prevent skin from breaking during treatment (should not be applied to skin pre-radiotherapy as it can deflect the beam).
All hydrosols are €7 for 50ml
This serum was designed for scars but I can’t claim that with the EU Directive. It is soothing and calming to damaged skin (always wait for your surgeon’s clearance before applying anything to skin post-surgery). It’s also good for acne scars. It contains a special blend of oils including hazelnut and rosehip and essential oils including lavender, helichrysum and neroli.
- Ultra Nourish Facial Balm – ideal for undernourished skin, rich in cocoa butter, shea butter and sweet almond oil, includes floral essential oils but can be ordered without essential oils too €15
- Lip Balm – glossy lip balm with castor oil and organic cocoa butter, soothing for chapped, dry lips €5
- Refreshing Foot Balm – for dry skin, made with organic rapeseed oil, cocoa butter and spearmint €15
Cancer Comfort Gift Set
These can be customised depending on the stage of treatment – items available include calendula soap, organic shampoo and conditioner, hydrosol of choice, SOS Serum, lip balm and/or hand cream – From €20
This is the bulk of my work. I make aloe-based cleansers, personal inhalers (great for nausea and anxiety), face and body creams and butters for all types of skin issues. People send in their query and price range and we go from there – from €7. I post free in Ireland. Turnaround time is a couple of days once I have the raw ingredients in stock.
Denise has been creating her own natural skincare products since 2013. From her outreach work with The South Eastern Cancer Foundation, she was inspired to create skincare products to help soothe and support clients during their cancer journey.
The skincare products in the MySkin.ie range are based on Denise’s many years of working in massage, aromatherapy and reflexology. All products have been fully tested and fine-tuned to help with many types of skin issues. Raw ingredients are ethically sourced, and organic wherever possible. All products in the myskin.ie range are safety assessed in line with the EU Cosmetic Directive of 2013.
To find out more or to buy Denise’s products, please visit her website, MySkin.ie. If you live in Kilkenny, you can also visit Denise for massage therapy and reflexology. More details are available through her website.