People who don’t have eczema won’t get this, but we eczema sufferers take skincare to a whole new level! Oh, how we can only dream of hopping out of bed, taking a nice hot shower, put on some nicely smelling moisturizer, maybe some makeup and be flawless for the rest of the day. I wish it were that easy…
How skincare is different for someone with eczema?
- Hot showers/baths are a no-go. The water can’t be too warm as this will dry my skin even more, same with long showers/baths. Plus, normal soaps and shampoos irritate like crazy.
- Putting on moisturizer is a full-body thing, and I have to wait a while until it has soaked into my skin since it’s greasy. If I don’t repeat this process every few hours I’m a reptile in no time.
- Nice smell? Nah. I have to use products that don’t contain perfume because of my ultra sensitive skin.
- Finding the right skin products or makeup – especially foundation – is the hardest thing ever! Firstly, it has to be hypoallergenic, free of perfume and harsh chemicals. Secondly, it must be hydrating so that it doesn’t emphasize any dry spots (not as easy as it sounds as almost nothing seems to be hydrating enough). Thirdly, it should look natural but still have a decent coverage (for red eczema spots).
What products do I use to take care of my skin and hair? *updated*
Since I started with showers, I’ll elaborate on that aspect of skincare first. I had times during TSW that I tried not to shower too often (this probably sounds gross, but I’d like to say that I do wash myself daily, but only areas like my face, armpits and intimate parts), and times (when my skin was oozing) I had to shower daily. I usually only use the shower to wash my hair, for the rest of my body I prefer taking baths. So, the shampoo I use at the moment is Urtekram Tea Tree Shampoo for irritated scalp. All the ingredients are from a natural origin, it’s free of parabens and synthetic preservatives and it also doesn’t contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), which is a harsh chemical that irritates and dries the skin. I also use the Zarqa Balancing Treatment Conditioner for my scalp and hair. It contains dead sea salt and if you leave it in long enough, it can be used as a hair mask as well. Talking about hair masks: I sometimes like to put coconut oil on my scalp a few hours before I wash my hair because it seems to help me with dandruff. It is also great as a makeup-remover! I simply put some on my face and then succesfully wipe the makeup off with a soaked cotton pad. To cleanse my skin, I use a cleansing oil instead of regular soap. The ones I use are Uriage Xémose Soothing Cleansing Oil or Avène XeraCalm Cleansing Oil. I use these oils in bath as well, combined with a chloramine tablet to prevent infection. I also recently discovered Epsom salt, which I’ve found just as effective in my bath as chloramine for preventing infection and improving my skin.
The moisturizer I like most at the moment, is the Avène XeraCalm Balsam. Doctors used to prescribe cold creams with ureum but these left my skin greasy for a long time, and when it soaked in, my skin felt extremely dry again. The Avène balsam is less greasy, soaks in more quickly and feels like it actually hydrates the skin (at least for a little while). To treat facial and eyelid eczema, I use Protopic. I honestly dislike this product a bit because it causes my skin to burn, itch and become even more red at first. Plus, my skin gets worse when exposed to the sun or heat. So it’s not very convenient when you don’t have a lot of time to “fix” your skin and are required to be outside soon. It’s hard to know when your skin will clear up on Protopic. It varies: my face could look much better in half an hour, but it can also take a whole day or more to look somewhat normal again. So why do I use it? It’s the only product without corticosteriods (for now) that clears up my eczema so fast. I’m looking for alternatives though!
All these products help my skin step by step, but can’t work wonders of course. Are there any skin care products suited for eczema that you love to use? Tell me all about them in the comments 🙂 ! As for makeup, I’ll make a new blogpost soon. I’ve bought some promising stuff from the brand Kiko. Once I’ve tried them out a few times, I’ll post a review!