CLL Alternatives

CLL Personal Care Products

Posted by: Denise on: February 14, 2020

Personal care products for CLL
Some of my personal care items.

Today I’d like to talk about personal care products and how using the right things can absolutely help your immune system keep  your CLL symptoms and progression at bay. Here, in simple terms, is the theory behind it, in case you or a loved person is new to fighting leukemia or cancer. Our immune systems have a big 24/7 job. The first purpose of the immune system is to fight off pathogens, things like bacteria, virus, fungus and the like. When your immune system is instead clearing toxic matter out of your body, it overloads the system and makes it harder for you to fight off colds…and leukemia. So give your body a break!

In modern times, our immune systems are also tasked with fighting off toxics and other nasty things in the environment. So if you’re spraying your home with pesticide because you’re not fond of spiders or flies (or some other pest), you are putting a burden on your immune system, which has to make an effort to clear the toxins out of your body. Some of the toxins, like pesticides, are obvious. 

Other toxins are more subtle and hidden in your self-care products, like your toothpaste and shampoos. Always look at the ingredients on the label. If there are things you cannot pronounce, chances are it’s not a good choice. Too many chemicals!

I would recommend going organic, but that is really not enough. Unless you are familiar with a particular manufacturer and know that their products are ‘clean,’ that is free from toxic ingredients, I suggest you check it out with (the Environmental Working Group). This organization tests products and rates them on their website. This is an invaluable tool for preserving your health! 

So what do I use? What are my habits. I will share.

Face and body cream.

I use good old-fashioned coconut oil. Yes! I buy the organic tubs at Costco and transfer a small amount into a glass container which I keep in the bathroom. It’s called ‘oil,’ but if you live in Michigan or other northern climes, it’s really more of a chalky oily paste until we’re experiencing deep summer. The trick of using it is to take about a half finger-tip of from the container and warm it between your palms, where it will melt into oil. Then spread onto the backs of your hands and then onto your face and body. Make sure your hands are clean when you start this process. 

The ingredients here are one. Coconut oil, and organic coconut oil at that. No need to look this one up on If this doesn’t appeal to you, go to your local health food store or order online your choice of organic oils, such as avocado, jojoba, almond, etc., etc. I used to do that, too, but I’ve learned to love coconut!

Hand Cream.

Yes, in Michigan winters this can be a separate category. When coconut oil isn’t enough, I use O’Keefe’s Working Hands. Yes, it passes the smell test and it works! When my hands start getting rough I apply at bed time, when there are a few hours before my hands will be in water. If I wait too long and my fingers start to crack (ouch!), I apply the Sierra Bees lip balm on the finger cracks. Instant relief and it helps it heal. Once again, night time is best for me, as I am a compulsive hand washer.


There are people who make their own, and I encourage you, if you are so inclined to look up recipes for home-made. That said, while I spend a LOT of time on my personal care and health, making toothpaste is not my choice. Instead I’ve been using Jasen’s Powersmile. It works well, tastes great, and I’m getting good dental check-ups. Several times a week I wet my tootbrush with plain old peroxide before adding the toothpaste. Over time, it has whitened my teeth, with no toxic effect!


I use Dove brand scent-free soap for ‘sensitive skin.’ I tried the organic type made locally by a dedicated organic soap maker, but…over time my plumbing got clogged with the cement created by rinsing my hands in the sink. (Have I mentioned that I wash my hands a lot, maybe too much?) I was told since then that if you use both the organic soap AND conventional soap, the chemical reaction in your plumbing creates the problem we had. So I reverted to my Dove soap. It doesn’t seem to hurt my numbers at all. 

Dishwash Liquid.

This one I scout around and buy the brands that have no chemically ingredients. My current favorite is Trader Joe’s Lavendar and Tea Tree scented soap. While it doesn’t totally pass the smell test of ingredients, at least the ingredients are listed! On a Palmolive dish soap my husband bought one time, the only reference to ingredients was “no unnecessary ingredients.” I would have preferred a listing, and haven’t bought it since. Keep in mind…dishwash soap is not applied directly to your skin like hand cream. Still, it’s best to limit your contact with these potentially toxic chemicals. 


I’ve always been allergic to perfume so, so much for that. But, that said, watch out for fragrances in other personal care products. If you check things out in, you might notice that the fragrances added to personal care products, soap included, are toxic! If a natural/organic product has lavender, tea tree oil, or other true scent added (as opposed to a chemical substitute), leave this product on the shelf and make another choice. This goes for liquid hand soaps and bathroom spray! (The best bathroom spray is an open window!! Just saying.) 


Well, I don’t wear much, even though sometimes I think I should (but not for health reasons J). I use Ecco Bella and Suzanne Sommers products, and for lip gloss I use Sierra Bees (which I find on Once again, whatever your choice, run it through the app either on your desktop or on your phone. Check before you buy!

Shampoo and Conditioner.

Okay, I have difficult-to-deal-with, unruly, prone-to-frizz curly hair. Nothing but the Deva Curl products (not organic) make my hair look okay enough to make me happy. Happiness matters. However, I do get my bloodwork done regularly and if it were a choice between acceptable hair and my life, LIFE would win every time. This product/manufacturer touts that they do not include sulfates, parabens or silicone. This is nice, but they also include many ingredients I cannot pronounce and I’m afraid to look up. This is a conscious choice. I’m pretty much an annoyingly goody-goody Girl Scout when it comes to my health habits. This is my one questionable habit that is always up for change. But thankfully, so far, so good.

Before I sign off, I would like to apologize for waiting so long between posts about CLL! I’m alive and well, in case any who returns to this site from time to time was concerned. The reason for my absence is many. But one main concern of mine is that I felt this site was being sidelined in the search engines, particularly by the big one who (starts with a G and) will not be named.  More than one of you wrote to tell me that this is not true. That my words do in fact reach people who can be encouraged and helped by what I share. So I’m back!

In addition to grandchild number six (who knew! I only have two sons!) I’ve been busy working at my regular job and also on what is probably a less important site that is near and dear to my heart. Perhaps one day I will link to it on this site, which is in great need of updating. All in good time.

If you have any personal care product recipes or product suggestions, please share. I’d love to hear from you! 

Wishing you the best of health and a nice, long life! – Denise

6 Responses to "CLL Personal Care Products"

As a newly diagnosed CLL patient on watch and wait, I really appreciate the comprehensiveness of your writing, Denise.

You are very welcome! Every little bit we do helps in our quest for good health.
All best, Denise

Thanks Denise!

You are very welcome!I hope some of the suggestions are helpful. – Denise

I’ve recently switched to using baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo and conditioner. It leaves my hair clean and soft. I’ve had to get used to it but don’t think I’ll lever go back

Thanks for commenting, Laura. That sounds like a perfectly natural and healthy way to treat your hair. I didn’t learn how to do my hair easily until I turned 60. Before then I used to blow dry and use a straightener. Now I wash (gently) and apply the product and let my hair curl naturally. Wish I’d done this forever. It feels healthier, except for those ingredients, lol. All best, Denise

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