This is a guide for Eczema and sensitive skin sufferers. In this blog I talk about Eczema skin and help you understand the skin condition better and give you advice regarding good skincare routines to help calm and soothe your skin. Plus looking at lifestyle changes to improve the health of your skin. In many cases, I have decreased the symptoms and strengthened my client's skin barrier to help calm and reduce future flare-ups.
If you feel you may be suffering from Eczema, please speak to your GP or Dermatologist.
What Is Eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease that is not only confined to the face. It also presents red, sore, flaky patches over the body. There are many types of Eczema and skin Conditions under the category of Eczema. Conditions like Atopic dermatitis, which can start in childhood, and Contact dermatitis, which is usually related to a reaction or sensitivity to skincare, and makeup and normally an irritation to one of the commonly known irritants, for example, Lanolin.
When Eczema is present, this causes the breakdown of the skin's natural barrier, which is there as skin protection. Eczema can be related to food, pollen, climate changes, diet, alcohol or medication allergies. Eczema is also known to affect the eyelids, which also can be a sign of allergies or toxins in the body due to the eyes representing your Kidneys in Chinese facial diagnoses. Stress is also a factor that can bring on this condition or worsen it.
Causes And Factors Of Eczema
Here are some lifestyle factors to consider if you are suffering from Eczema. Are you suffering from an allergy to ingredients in products applied topically or food/drink which you are consuming? Is your Eczema seasonal? Does heating, cold weather or pollen affect your flare-ups?
Keeping a skin diary can help you to understand if your skin is reacting or worsening after eating, drinking, using a specific product or taking a particular medication.
I have had many clients find out that their Eczema is worsened and reactive to dairy and some to yeast. But everyone's skin is different, so you must find your trigger. Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, and alcohol, as these can aggravate Eczema and cause heat and blood stimulation to the area making symptoms worse.
Tips On Adjusting Your Lifestyle To Be Kinder To Eczema
Reduce friction on your skin by using soft and gentle sponges while washing. Use soft towels and pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it on your skin. A great way of reducing friction on your face and helping with the symptoms of Eczema is to sleep on a 100% silk pillowcase. Silk is a natural material that is skin-friendly, antibacterial, less friction, and breathable, providing ultimate comfort, and keeping your skin hydrated and cooler.
Avoid hot water on your skin, and use cool/tepid water to avoid stimulating too much blood and warmth in the area. Avoid shampoo and shower gel washing over your Eczema. These products will irritate and usually include Lanolin and drying foaming ingredients. Move on to more natural hair and body products. I highly recommend NEOM shampoo, conditioner, and body washes as these are natural organic products.
Supplements and vitamins
Kollo is also an excellent source of essential amino acids and contains 100% RDA of Vitamin C, B5 and B12, 86% of B6 and over 60% of B1 and L-lysine, all of which are crucial to normal collagen formation for cell renewal in skin, bones and cartilage.
This collagen is an easy-to-drink liquid and delivers the highest level of collagen in the most effective way, so your body can quickly begin to enjoy the benefits of collagen.
After 12 weeks I really noticed a differance in my skin. I suffer from contact dermatitis on my hands and wrists caused by my job unfortunately. My hands are in water and in contact with many different products during preforming my treatments on clients. I have noticed a big differance from taking Kollo collagen and noticed a change in the amount of flare ups I am experiencing. These are now few and far between. Plus I have noticed my hair is shinier and my skin is smoother, more plump and glowing. I now take Kollo everyday without fail for healthier body, hair and skin and highly recommend.
Stress and Eczema
I can not talk about Eczema and sensitive skin without talking about stress. It's essential to also look at your lifestyle and stress level.
Stress comes in many different formats. Including working very long hours, and lack of sleep or rest. Emotional stress from breakups, loss, grief and depression. Hormones play a large part in how we feel and sleep.
Emotional stress is personal to each individual, so what may seem insignificant to one person can feel mighty large and all life-consuming to another.
Tips To Reduce Your Stress And Improve Your Eczema.
Be kind to yourself, sit down with a notepad and a cup of relaxing chamomile tea, light a NEOM destress candle, and think about how you feel. Note down the good, the bad and the ugly. Make a list of the stresses and strains, and write a list of the things I'm grateful for and enjoy doing.
Then once you have established the three main things that make you feel stressed, you can put together a plan of action to try and decrease your stress by addressing these factors. This may mean talking to your boss or a friend. It may involve changing your job or moving house.
You will establish what makes you happy and what you enjoy, and then you can plan to bring more of the good stuff into your life. This may be seeing more friends or sitting down for dinner more regularly as a family. It may also be something like gardening or listening to podcasts. Do more of what you love to keep you calmer and happier.
Sleep and Eczema
Sleep and rest are essential to your stress level, and your skin needs rest to regulate, renew and strengthen. Most people don't realise that the hours we spend asleep are actually among our most constructive, certain areas of our brains work their hardest during sleep, and skin is the best time to repair and regenerate itself at night.
In short, quality sleep is crucial to both skin health and your overall health.
The Sleep Science
Circadian rhythms are periods of biological activity that occur when you're awake and asleep, controlled by how the body's biological clock responds to light and dark.
During the day, skin cells are in defence mode, working to protect themselves from UV exposure and free radical damage.
When the Sun goes down, your mind and body switch into an active regeneration mode, repairing daytime damage and boosting the production of substances that protect and renew. The body makes more collagen during the night, which minimises fine lines. More growth hormone is also released during sleep, increasing muscle mass and strengthening the skin. So a good night's sleep is essential.
Tips To Improve Your Sleep.
Firstly, turn off screens, including mobile phones, laptops, computers and even light bulbs, a few hours before bed, and the reset button within the body starts. Screens have a large amount of blue light, and this blue light stimulates the wrong type of cell energy and can keep you up at night.
Set the mood in the areas of your house where you spend your evenings, and light candles for a softer and more relaxing atmosphere. Even better, use sleep and relaxing essential oil blended candles. I highly recommend NEOM scent to sleep range.
Play soft relaxing music while relaxing or sleeping, and try sleep meditation to relax your mind into sleep. Plan the following days activities early in the evening by writing a 'TO DO' list, as this may help prevent you from laying in bed planning your next day at work when you are trying to drift off to sleep.
I love using apps like Relaxing Melodies and Calm. I use this on my iPad, and the screen brightness is low. I have also made sure that there is no social media, emails, etc., available on my iPad not to distract me. I put my phone on charge away from the bedroom and in the home office and use an alarm clock to wake me up. This is to stop me from grabbing my phone each time I wake, leaving me to self-soothe and go back to sleep.
Getting yourself into a nice bedtime routine and at a reasonable time to achieve a good amount of rest is essential.
My Personal Three step Bedtime NEOM Routine To Help Me Sleep Is The Following:
Wellbeing Pod and Essential Oil - I use ten drops of perfect night's sleep essential oil into my wellbeing pod and turn it on in my bedroom. This fills the room with sleepy English lavender, precious jasmine & sweet basil while getting myself ready for bed.
Pillow Spray - I spritz my pillow with three sprays of my perfect night's sleep pillow spray.
Magnesium Body Butter - I massage the equivalent of a tablespoon of the perfect night's sleep magnesium body butter all over your body & breathe in the relaxing aroma.
NEOM body butter contains 88mg of magnesium per 5ml of product. Magnesium helps to balance the 'sleep-wake cycle' circadian rhythm and supports the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin too.
Skincare To Help Relieve And Improve Facial Eczema
Many Eczema sufferers avoid products altogether because they have used inappropriate products high in a fragrance that stings and worsens their skin condition.
Alternatively, they only use products lacking in anything but at least do not sting.
I want to help you use products that will not only not sting or worsen your Eczema but also help ease, soothe, and reduce your flare-ups, leaving you with healthy and comfortable skin.
So when working with reactive and sometimes open, sore skin, we need to take things slow and introduce calming products into your routine.
I like to start my clients who suffer with Eczema on a 3-step skincare routine first. This includes:
Firstly this is to introduce Dermalogica and to allow the skin's natural ph balance and barrier to start to repair and strengthen with the help of the soothing ingredients in these Dermalogica products.
Step 1 - Cleanse
Your personalised cleanser removes environmental pollutants from your skin's surface and into the pores. This is important to all skin types, but more so if your Eczema reacts to products, pollen or anything else that invisibly lays on your skin.
Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser for Eczema
Ultracalming Cleanser will soothe, calm, strengthen your natural barrier and reduce redness while cleansing without drying your skin.
This is a gentle cleansing gel/cream for reactive skin types. This pH-balanced, non-foaming cleanser helps calm and relax reactive, sensitised or overprocessed skin. Delicately fortifies skin's protective barrier without leaving an irritating residue and easily rinses away or wipes off, making it ideal for Eczema sufferers.
Main ingredients that will help with Eczema skin
- Provitamin B5 - aids repair and hydrates your skin
- Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract - contains cooling agents that help soothe and calm irritated skin.
- Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Fruit Extract - has antiseptic and disinfectant qualities and can also be used to de-sensitise skin.
- Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit - is a soothing extract that helps calm sensitive skin and aggravation.
How to use DERMALOGICA ULTRACALMING CLEANSER
- 1 - Apply half a tablespoon amount into your hands and massage over damp skin.
- 2 - Use damp sponges to remove, rinse and pat dry your skin with a towel.
- 3 - Follow with your prescribed toner.
Step 2 - Tone
Hydrate and condition your skin with a refreshing, hydrating and soothing toner. Toners prep your skin by leaving it slightly damp, ready for your serums and moisturisers to be absorbed more efficiently. It helps products spread further, meaning your favourite moisturiser goes in better and lasts longer.
Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist for Eczema
A soothing, hydrating mist that quickly relieves inflammation, discomfort and sensitivity while helping to calm redness, stinging and aggravated skin. Ultracalming mist also helps with Dryness, Dehydration and Redness.
Main ingredients that will help with Eczema skin
- Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel - acts as an anti-inflammatory while moisturising, soothing and calming.
- Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract - soothes and protects the skin.
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice - is a skin-soothing agent.
- Glycerol - delivers powerful prebiotic benefits, supporting the skin's natural defences and providing food to help the skin's good bacteria flourish.
How to use DERMALOGICA ULTRACALMING MIST
- After cleansing, spritz over dry skin. Then for added benefits, press into the skin.
- Follow with your prescribed moisturiser.
Step 3 Moisturise
Moisturise, calm, nourish and protect your skin with one of Dermalogica's brilliant moisturisers.
Morning moisturisers must (usually) contain an SPF sun protection. Still, I understand that Eczema sufferers find it very hard to find a product that doesn't sting their skin because of the active ingredients in these products.
So if a client has exceptionally reactive skin, I like to start them off on a non-SPF product called Calm Water Gel to use in the morning and evening. Then once my client's skin starts to repair, calm and rebuild its natural barrier, we can introduce an SPF morning moisturiser.
Calm water gel for Eczema skins
A weightless water-gel moisturiser that hydrates dry, sensitive skin. The refreshing gel formula transforms into a skin-quenching fluid upon application, forming a weightless barrier against environmental assault. Calm water gel increases and locks in moisture.
Main ingredients that will help with Eczema skin
- Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract and Glycerin - moisturising complex helps enhance skin hydration
- Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Cactus Pear) Stem Extract - helps soothe sensitivity and imparts water-binding properties to help support healthy moisture balance.
- Sodium Hyaluronate and Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate - form a Dual Hyaluronic Acid technology that works in different skin surface layers to increase and lock in moisture.
How to use DERMALOGICA CALM WATER GEL
- Gently massage half a tablespoon amount of calm water gel moisturiser into your face, neck and across your chest.
Skincare progression after 4-6 months
To continue to calm and strengthen your skin, I suggest After 4-6 months of doing the above 3-step skincare routine, you can then start to think about adding in the following;
Exfoliants - to improve the texture, look and function of the skin. The Dermalogica Daily Milkfoliant is a calming vegan face exfoliating powder that polishes the skin while supporting the skin's moisture barrier. Vegan milky powder exfoliant with Oats and Coconut activates upon contact with water, releasing botanical extracts to help polish away dead skin cells.
Serums - Concentrated Serum for that extra bit of tender loving care. The Dermalogica Ultracalming serum is the solution for skin sensitivity. This super-concentrated Serum helps calm, restore and defend sensitised skin. Our exclusive UltraCalming™ Complex contains Oats and botanicals to ease sensitisation, as peptides plus Oil of Evening Primrose, Sunflower Seed, and Avocado extracts help defend against future assaults.
Moisturiser with SPF - A moisturiser containing SPF for the morning to protect your skin from the damaging sun rays. Then you would continue using the clam water gel as your evening moisturiser.
The Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defence SPF30 is an invisible, weightless defence blending effortlessly on skin, featuring only non-nano Zinc Oxide. Say goodbye to a thick, white residue with this physical SPF formula that provides added blue light protection and helps soothe the effects of environmental aggressors. Bio-active Mushroom Complex helps soothe skin and reduce UV-induced redness and dryness. Antioxidant Green Tea helps defend the skin against free radical damage.
When discussing sensitive skin and SPF, I must discuss the chemical and physical ingredients in SPF sun protection products. These products are more advanced and active in light of what they do.
- Chemical - these ingredients inhabit the Sun's UV rays from the skin. Avobenzone Octinoxate and Oxybenzone are all chemical sunscreens.
- Physical - sunscreens are more likely to suit more sensitive skin types as these reflex the rays from the skin. Titanium Dioxide and zinc oxide are physical sunscreens.
What Results Can You Get From Using Dermalogica To Help Soothe Eczema?
Below are some photo's of one of my clients showing her results over a 4 month period after switching to Dermalogica. Before she had contacted me she had really been suffering with one continually flare up and couldn't even tolerate water on her skin. She had tried many different products brands and noting worked and almost everything worsened her skin. Now her skin is settled and healthy and she has her confidence back. Her flare ups are very rare and very short lived.
Ask A Question
I hope you have found this blog useful and now have a better understanding of Eczema and which products and lifestyle changes you can try to soothe, ease and improve troubled skin.
Leave me a comment below if you have any questions about your skincare routine.