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Val’s Journey: Recovering from Efudex

When people are introduced to Zivany, it’s usually because they have a skincare concern. They might be worried about fine lines, acne or pigmentation. But sometimes, people come to us to help them heal from skin damage.

This was Val’s story. Val was concerned with the sun damage on her face and went to see a dermatologist. She was diagnosed with precancerous discolourations and was told to start using Efudex.

Known as “chemo cream”, Efudex has the active ingredient Fluorouracil, which works to block the growth of abnormal skin cells. Efudex is commonly prescribed to people with actinic keratosis – rough and scaly patches of skin that have developed from sun exposure.

Val was worried. She had heard horror stories about Efudex. It’s an effective treatment but it wreaks havoc on your skin, with side effects ranging from extreme redness and flaking to scarring.

It’s not a walk in the park, that’s for sure. But, understandably, Val wanted to reduce her chances of skin cancer in the future so gave it a try.

Skin side effects include:

  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Burning
  • Itchiness
  • Irritation
  • Flaking
  • Scarring
  • Pigmentation
  • Acne

Val’s experience

Val did her research so she knew what she was in for. But she was still surprised at just how damaged her skin was post-treatment. Val was left with sore, dry skin and said she felt like a “dried up prune”. Just look at the photos!

Although there was an abundance of information on using Efudex, there was nothing about what you should do once you finished.

I wanted to ‘reset the clock’ as far as my skin was concerned and start to heal” says Val.

Natural skincare to heal chemical damage

New to skincare, Val was recommended to Zivany Botanicals by a friend because of its natural approach. She felt it would be the perfect range for irritated skin. Val’s friend was right.

Val used the following Botanicals products post-treatment:

  • Exfoliating Masque
  • Creme Cleanser
  • Herbal Toning Mist
  • Peptide Creme
  • HA Serum
  • Restore Serum
  • Intensive Eye Creme

Val decided to diarise the journey hoping the information would help others heal from Efudex. Every Wednesday she took a photo of her face (no makeup or filter) to document the healing.

My skin felt better after a few days and every week I could see more of a difference. It became obvious to me when I looked at the photos” says Val. “The evidence was clear. My skin was healing and looked better than ever.

How Zivany Botanicals helps skin heal

After experiencing such harsh chemicals in Efudex, you don’t want to put even more on your skin with strong skincare. You want to gently hydrate and restore damaged areas without irritating your skin even further.

The Botanicals range is made with only natural ingredients such as native plants, oils and extracts. These work together to heal the skin and restore lost moisture.

How does the Botanicals range work?


The Creme Cleanser comforts delicate skin. The hero ingredient, Milk Thistle, is an ancient herb that has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce redness and rosacea.

Through your Efudex journey, your skin may flake. To get rid of the dead skin, you want to gently exfoliate.

After you get out of the shower, spraying out Herbal Toning Mist will cool your skin and reduce irritation. It’s alcohol-free and is scented with Lemongrass, Lime and Bergamot, leaving you feel refreshed and hydrated.


Because Efudex works to get rid of unhealthy skin cells, it can damage the normal skin in the process. The Botanical range works to restore it.

The Peptide Creme contains Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, a peptide that improves cell propagation. The Native Snowflower Extract from the white flowers on the Tea Tree plant helps to reduce damage caused by the sun.


After Efudex, skin can be dry. The HA Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Radish Root make this serum deeply hydrating. The Intensive Eye Creme contains Cucumber Oil to soothe and reduce eye puffiness, and the cucumber cools down the skin after irritation. Zivany Botanicals range has the following ingredients:

Papaya, Pomegranate, White Willow Bark, Banksia Flower, Elderflower, Jacaranda, Milk Thistle, Quandong, Papaya, Kakadu Plum, Seabuckthorn, Cucumber, Resveratrol, Pineapple, Kaolin, Oats, Peptide, Hyaluronic Acid, Native Snowflower.

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