Skin Care Routines for Eczema-Prone Skin
Whether your symptoms tend to be inflammation, itching or dryness, eczema has a way of getting under your skin, literally.
While no cure has yet been discovered for eradicating this skin condition, we know that eczema is more likely to flare up in certain conditions:
- Dry, cold, winter weather. As the nights get longer, the temperature gets colder, and the air gets dryer, moisture evaporates from your skin. Your exposed skin becomes vulnerable, red, inflamed, and itchy.
- Exposure to certain fabrics. Wool, acrylic, polyester, rough linen, spandex, and lycra fabrics may be irritating. Choose soft natural fabrics like cotton, or try high quality wool blends like cashmere or merino wool if the skin inflammation is not too serous.
- Dietary imbalances or allergies. For some, dairy, soy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, heavily processed foods, sweeteners can play a role in creating flare-ups. Visiting a nutritionist, along with a dermatologist, can allow you to discover how dietary and lifestyle changes might improve your skin.
- Irritating chemicals or fragrances in your skincare. Skin prone to eczema needs natural ingredients without additives, fragrances, or masking agents (chemicals which mask the odour of other ingredients). Products which are formulated for normal skin, are not helpful for eczema-prone bodies.
- Lack of moisturizer or over moisturizing. Did you know that moisturizing too often can also lead to eczema flare-ups? When lotion is applied too often, the pores are clogged and the skin is unable to breathe and dispel sweat normally. If lotion is not applied frequently enough, the skin barrier is not effective enough to keep moisture within the skin cells.
- Bathing in water that is too hot. It may feel soothing, but bathing in hot water actually increases evaporation of moisture from the skin. If you feel squeaky clean after a bath, you have washed off too much of the natural oil, which forms your skin barrier, from your body. Short, lukewarm showers or baths can reduce irritating symptoms.
What Causes Eczema?
Eczema is a non-contagious skin condition characterized by patches of rough, scaly, crusty, red, irritated, and itchy skin. Most commonly on the inside of elbows, backs of knees, between fingers, it can also appear in large patches, such as on the back, face, or entire body. Its most common form is also known as atopic dermatitis. Skin darkening can occur as a side effect of inflammation or scratching.
We will not provide a full medical explanation today, but eczema is a skin condition resulting from an overactive immune response to environmental factors, coupled with a weak skin barrier. The skin barrier is a combination of oil known as sebum, sweat, and water which prevents skin in the cells beneath from evaporating.
Skin Care Routines for Eczema
We know that using moisturizer will help seal the skin barrier and prevent this kind of evaporation. We also know that moisturizing too much can also lead to flare-ups. The solution, then, is to moisturize just the right amount.
- Moisturize after bathing. After a bath or a shower, within three minutes, apply a layer of moisturizer. This will seal in the moisture from your bath, and ensure that your skin does not immediately dry out. Give your skin time to absorb the moisture, then put on clothing which will not irritate your skin.
- Apply cream regularly, but do not create a thick layer. When your skin is starting to feel just a little bit like it could use some more lotion or cream, apply a thin layer. Let it absorb, and if more is needed, apply a second layer. Do not apply regularly throughout the day without letting the skin breathe. Creating a thick layer will block the pores, and can cause a flare-up.
- Use creams formulated for eczema-prone skin, or sensitive skin. While regular products and fragrances may be cheaper or more accessible, avoid anything that is not formulated specifically for eczema-prone bodies or sensitive skin. Aim for clean, simple body care made with truly nutritious ingredients.
Our Best Products for Eczema are:
Bond Body Salve | A soothing botanical salve which relieves, restores, repairs, and protects. Includes Calendula Oil, Oat Oil, and Camellia Oil. Promotes healing and cell growth.
Sensitive Skin Body Care Set | All the products in this set were formulated to be gentle, yet nurturing. This set includes a cleanser, cream, a balm, and a soft, non-irritating sea wool sponge. Includes Luft Fragrance-Free Body Wash, Cloud Body Cream, Moi Beauty Balm and G Sponge.