Cancer. It’s perhaps the most dreaded diagnosis—and one that conjures many fears, including conflicting emotions of what affects radiation and chemotherapy will have on appearance.Yet survivors like Olympic figure skating gold medalist Peggy Fleming say that embracing and nurturing the physical self proved to be a powerful tool during treatment.“I had to do press interviews after I was diagnosed and that pushed me to get dressed, do my makeup and hair like usual,” Fleming tells YouBeauty. “Looking in the mirror and seeing me—the ‘normal’ me—helped my sense of morale tremendously. It made me feel stronger.”Here, brave survivors share their outer beauty tips that made the most profound impact on the journey to recovery.COLUMN: Preventing Cancer: The Facts and the MythsMoisturize and Mind Your SkincareDry skin will likely be the first thing you experience, notes Blaire Kessler, who founded the all-natural Pristine Beauty line while battling breast cancer at the age of 31 after she found her skin wasn’t able to tolerate most skincare products.To keep skin well-hydrated, opt for gentle humectants like glycerin and calming essential oils, and keep a stick of shea butter handy for lips and stubbornly dry areas. Fleming experienced “itchy, almost sunburned skin” during radiation, which her husband—a retired dermatologist—encouraged her to treat with hydrocortisone cream, as well as Mederma lotion on surgery scars. And don’t forget your scalp. Coconut and argan oils are not only holistic, nourishing ingredients that have been relied on for centuries, but they also provide therapeutic aromatherapy benefits.Beware of irritation from popular chemicals found in skincare products, even if you’ve never had sensitivity issues before. Your best strategy? Avoid filler ingredients like parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes and fragrances. Luckily, today’s ‘green beauty’ wave makes that easier to do than ever, with brands like Pristine Beauty, Dr. Hauschka, Weleda and The Body Shop offering a variety of natural options.MORE: Boost Your Inner Beauty Battling CancerHave A Hair StrategyIf you’re undergoing chemotherapy, ask your physician if cold cap therapy from Dignicap or Penguin Cold Caps is an option for you. Used in Europe for over 15 years, the technology is finally making its way stateside. By wearing cooled caps during chemo, the chill prevents toxins from penetrating hair follicles, thereby preserving most of the patient’s hair, according to Nancy Marshall, a cancer survivor who co-founded The Rapunzel Project, a non-profit resource partly funded by hair brand Kenra Professional for patients to learn about and try the hair-saving therapy.MORE: A Cap that Prevents Chemo Hair LossHow you handle your hair while undergoing cancer treatment can also have a dramatic effect on how many locks you keep. Always treat strands, especially roots, as gently as possible. Use cool to lukewarm water to wash. Hold hair when combing so that you don’t pull on roots and use a spray-on conditioning detangler like Kenra Classic Daily Provision to combat tugging. Keep away from styles that pull like tight ponies and braids and take a hiatus from heat styling. Sleeping on a satin pillowcase will also prevent pulling during the night, advises Marshall.Work It OutIt may seem counterintuitive to exercise during a time when your body feels so fatigued, but many cancer survivors extol the virtues of keeping fit as the number one mood and spirit booster. “You may not feel like exercising, but I promise that if you push yourself to do it five to six days a week for an hour, you will feel better, more positive and potentially extend your life,” says Kessler. “That’s what we’re fighting for, isn’t it?”Of course, check with your physician before jumping into an exercise routine. Survivors repeatedly recommended yoga, light weight strength training, walking and workouts like The Bar Method—all of which tone muscles and get your heart rate up without exerting stress on joints. “Regular stretching is important because if you don’t stretch those muscles, they’re going to contract and you’ll feel less mobile,” says Fleming.RESEARCH: Exercise Associated with Lower Cancer RiskDress to InspireFashion may seem the last thing a cancer patient should be concerned about, but survivor and makeup artist Leslie Moore says that what she wore was essential to lifting her spirits. “I loved wearing an item of jewelry that was given to me by someone special,” she says. “Some days it was my cross, my warrior cuff or my white jade pendant that is said to promote healing. It reminded me of how loved I am and somehow restored special energy in me.”Moore shopped for stylish scarves that she kept handy so she could feel confident while jetting out (her ‘go-to’ was a leopard print scarf), as well as an array of hats. Stilettos and cowboy boots even accompanied her to chemo treatments. “Cowboy boots give you a certain attitude,” says Moore. ”I felt tougher when I wore my Gringos, like I was about to give cancer a real kick in the teeth.”QUIZ: How Healthy Do You Feel?Restore with MakeupCancer treatments can sap the color out of skin, making the face look tired and drawn. A light-reflecting concealer can illuminate dark eyelids and the under eye area, as well as the inner corner of eyes that can turn hallow under stress. Opt for a pink cream blush blended on the apples of cheeks to give them a healthy, dewy look. A soft brow pencil or powder one shade lighter than your natural hair color is also essential to restore definition to the face. And it’s best to trade in lipstick for tinted lip balm or lanolin and shea butter-rich lip glosses, which do a more effective job of keeping lips plump with lasting hydration and color, advises Moore.MORE: Celebrities Who Have Battled Breast Cancer