Happy New Year! I promised myself in 2015 I would take better care of me. I say that because last year around this time I had the WORST outbreak of eczema I have ever had in my entire life. It was seriously the WORST. It started with a really dry winter, where I would be getting nosebleeds every time I stepped outside. Then it was sneezing and coughing. Then my lips started to chap, my eyes became super itchy and BAM! I woke up one morning with red, sticky, blotchy, flaky and extremely painful, dry skin on my face!
I went to the doctor and got a cortisone cream which wasn't healing my condition, just temporarily making it go away. I realized cortisone cream was just a quick fix and I'd have to keep using it and I didn't want to keep using it after all the reading I had done about it. I got blood tests, went to the dermatologist (who prescribed me another cortisone cream), saw my chiropractor and was just about to see a naturopath when I decided to take things into my own hands and just learn about my eczema.
I realized I'll always have eczema, I've had it since I was a kid. But there are ways to manage it and to minimize flare ups.
1) Stress. Yoga, getting enough sleep, going for walks, weekend getaways, managing my time better, going to the gym and being with friends and family.
2) Eat right! This to me didn't mean cut out JUNK food. I love candy and chips! It just meant eat a better balanced meal, include vitamins like Omega 3 and Vitamin D. After talking to my mom, she told me I never drank milk or ate yogurt when I was a kid because I hated it and it made me feel sick. So why was I all of a sudden overloading it with cream, yogurt and CHEESE? (Which still makes me feel sick).
3) Drink more water. I bought a pH filter from my Chiropractor but you can also get it at Whole Foods or health stores. It balances out the acidity and pH level of your body which is better for your metabolism and health in general. Here's a quick "FYI" link about Alkaline Water and pH levels. I also bought water bottles that were so pretty you HAD to drink out of them! (Anything to keep me excited about drinking water... I have a simple mind...)
And lastly 4) Take better care of my SKIN. I've always been very good at washing my face at before going to bed. Even if I was out partying, I rarely fell asleep with make up on. But what I was doing was over doing it! Your skin produces natural oils that it actually needs to protect it from the weather and pollution. I was overdrying my skin with scrubs and tough cleansers when all I really needed to clean my face was olive oil!
Over 3 months of trying to heal my eczema and trying countless products to get my normal skin back here are the products that work for me!
I really love using Coconut Oil to take off waterproof makeup. Coconut Oil usually comes in a jar like this one from Trader Joes, I just scoop a thumbnail size dollop out with my finger and rub it in the palm of my hands then massage it over my eyes and face. I then use a gentle baby wash cloth to wipe my make up off. That's it! No soapy cleanser required.
If you have eczema or sensitive skin, it's really important to use soft materials and nothing scratchy that can irritate your skin (baby wash cloths are the best!).
If I went easy on the make up that day, I love VIVA Health's Pro Biotic Bio Foaming Cleanser. It smells like apples and is very gentle. The ingredients are all on the bottle and are food based. VIVA Health can be purchased at Whole Foods and other health stores. It's also manufactured and based out of Richmond, BC! #shoplocal :)
I use Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. My mom has been using Rose Water toner since for over 30 years and she has no wrinkles. None that I can see that is! This toner cleanses, cools, moisturizes and also balances the pH of your skin. Learn more about Toner here.
Twice a week, I'll rub a couple drops of VIVA Health's Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum in my palms and pat it all over my face. It sounds intimidating but Hyaluronic Acid is actually a 100% natural ingredient, and comes from a vegetable similar to a wild yam. HA acts like a sponge and stores moisture all while producing collagen and makes your skin glow!
I do a quick massage of my face with a layer of VIVA Health's Anti Aging Amaze Cream. I'm 27 years old and I'm using an Anti Aging Cream... yea I am! When you're using natural, food based products on your skin EVERYTHING is anti aging. Company's just put Anti Aging on their products to attract the majority of the market (am I right?). So don't be ashamed!
If my face is still feeling dry and tight in some places, I'll smother on The Body Shop's Vitamin E Cream.
Lastly, once a week after a shower, I'll smother a face mask on. I like CAROL'S Clay Mask from Whole Foods.
So far this combination has really worked for me. I haven't had a single flare up and I'm happy to report that I can put make up on again and feel good about going out eczema free!
Top photo courtesy of Pink Plum Photography.
I was honoured to be apart of an interview Beauty and Wellness TV did with Viva Health.
If you want to check out the interview here it is: