Toxic Talk and Labels

Top 10 Picks: Safe Holiday Gifts for Those Living with Cancer

+ CV Skinlabs Team

Are you looking for the perfect gift this year for someone you care about who’s living with cancer? Are you concerned about toxins or chemical sensitivities? Or maybe you’re just finding it hard to choose something that feels “right?”

You’re in luck! I’ve got some great ideas for you. Check out this list of 10 and see if any of them fit what you’re looking for. Then be sure to write in and tell me about how the gift was received!


1. Spa treatments. Ask anyone living with cancer-or who has survived cancer, for that matter-what really feels good, and they’re likely to say something like a massage, reflexology, or a relaxing facial. Why not get them a gift certificate to the spa? Just make sure you choose one that has people trained in oncology esthetics. Here’s a great list of licensed oncology estheticians near you.

2. Sable’s food bars. These were developed with feedback from actual cancer patients. You can take them with you, and they come in several great flavors. Easily digestible and full of nutrients, Sable’s bars are something your loved one may be able to eat when not much else sounds appetizing.

3. Guided meditations. I don’t know if your friend has tried meditation, but even if he or she hasn’t, the CDs from Belleruth Naparstek’s “Health Journeys” can be extremely relaxing and stress-relieving. My father used them all the time during his cancer battle and I love the general wellness one.

4. Comfy pajamas, robes, and slippers. If you know someone who’s going through chemotherapy or radiation, they will absolutely love these. Look for PJ’s that have elastic waists, and slippers with rubber soles to help prevent falls. For those suffering night sweats, Dry Babe absorbent PJ’s are really helpful.

5. Soft cotton gloves. Those living with cancer are more at risk from exposure to the sun, to toxic chemicals, and to sharp objects. They are also likely to have dry hands. Cotton gloves can be worn at night to seal in moisturizer, and during the day to protect the hands from injury. Gardening gloves shield against the elements, and household gloves protect against excess water-though be cautious with rubber gloves as they can seal in heat, making hand and foot syndrome worse.

6. Argan oil. Cancer patients and survivors suffer from extremely dry skin. Kahina Giving Beauty 100% Organic Argan Oil is the perfect moisturizer. Free of synthetics, it nurtures and repairs without harsh chemicals, yet it has only one ingredient!

7. Alcohol-free mouthwashes and sulfate-free toothpastes. Alcohol is harsh and irritating, especially to mouths that are plagued with sores. Toothpastes with sodium laureth sulfate are known to increase the risk of mouth ulcers. Look for safer brands like Vitacare.

8. Scent-free products. Synthetic fragrances can contain hundreds of chemicals not listed on the label. Some of these may be harsh or irritating to sensitive skin. Those living with cancer may also find some fragrances nauseating. Look for quality fragrance-free personal care products. A basket full of fragrance-free items makes a great gift! Just make sure you read the labels for other potentially harmful chemicals and stay away from my Ingredients to Avoid.

9. Eyebrow stencils. People living with cancer may lose their hair not only on their heads, but over their eyes as well. If you’ve never drawn on eyebrows before, you may find the task really difficult. Anastasia has the perfect eyebrow kit, and Jane Irdale includes shadows, wax and brushes.

Do you have some great safe gift ideas for the holidays? Let us know!

Photo courtesy Pedal Power CT via