Hi everyone!! I hope you are all doing well today. In a lot of my posts, I talk about my skincare products that I make myself. It is something that I am really passionate about, because once I started making my own skin care products and stopped buying commercial products my skin improved so so much.
I have eczema and sensitive skin, unfortunately I get flare ups often. The worst part about all of this is that my flare ups are on my face. Ugh. That is so embarrassing. I know lots of other people who get flare ups often, but may be on other parts of their bodies like their legs, around the ankles, behind the knees and even in front of the knees. Really a flare up can happen anywhere. It is still equally embarrassing. They will sometimes hide their legs or arms with clothing. Honestly people stare like it’s some sort of contagious disease. (Which it is not)
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps me keep my blog up and running.
So What Is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition / disorder that affects 10.1% of all U.S. Citizens or 1 out of 10 people. That is actually a lot if you think about it. Eczema isn’t just ONE type of condition though. In fact there are seven different types of eczema. I won’t go into all of them right now, but each and every one of them all look different. Some forms of eczema are red, itchy and flaky patches of skin, others appear to be bumps on the skin with liquid inside and then crust over when the bumps are broken open. It might also be dry leathery skin, or inflamed skin.
It is also common for eczema to “switch gears” where in your childhood you might have it in one area, and then as you get older it will move to another area and even take a different form. When I was a kid I had extremely bad eczema on my hands with the bumps full of liquid. It was really bad. It looked like I had witch hands, and they would get so swollen it hurt to bend my fingers. My friends were afraid to touch me during hand clapping games, or other games like red rover. It was so awful. That eventually went away, and now that I’m older my eczema is on my face with red, itchy, flaky skin between my eyebrows and around my nose and chin. Occasionally I will get it on my elbows or behind my knees as well, again in the form of what looks like a minor rash.
What Causes Eczema?
If you can answer this question, I give you props because in all of my research nobody can. The actual causes are unknown. Although there are no answers about what causes eczema, there are lots of (vague) answers on what can cause a flare up. It also varies from person to person. A lot of flare ups come from the very things around you. Most of them actually include the items you are most likely using and or eating (we’ll get there in a later post) every day. Chemicals are honestly everywhere, in practically everything we use. Chemicals are a HUGE trigger for eczema flare ups, and especially if you are sensitive to them in the first place. Things like laundry detergent, fabric softener, dish soap, and household cleaners, and anything containing synthetic fragrances are all put into this category. Other things cause flare ups as well, like certain metals. For example I am allergic to gold / nickel. The best way to figure out what is causing your flare ups is the process of elimination. It is a daunting, long and tedious process, but it is worth it. Stress is also another main cause of flare ups, but that reason is also unknown. Since I struggle with anxiety as well, sometimes it is just one big vicious circle. Stress leads to my anxiety, which leads to a flare up, which leads me to stress more about a flare up. Ugh.
Why All Natural Skin Care Products?
I am going to share a little bit more of my experiences and facts with you here. When I had witch hands, my grandpa who was a doctor gave me some steroid cream to help with my terrible flare up. It kind of worked, but I think mostly it just went away with time. At the time I wasn’t worried about what I was putting on my skin. It just mattered to me that it was helping.
Fast forward to my adult years, when I started getting flare ups on my face. I tried so many different eczema creams, mostly commercial products that you can find at most grocery or drug stores. The thing a lot of them had in common was that they listed colloidal oatmeal as an active / main ingredient. Once I started looking at the labels a bit closer, I also noticed that the main ingredient or active ingredient was only one or two percent of the full list of ingredients! None of them provided any real relief. Honestly, if chemicals are a huge trigger, why am I putting more onto my skin?
None of them seemed any different than any other lotion or cream, and I definitely did not want to go to a doctor to pay an outrageous price for a small tube of steroid cream. Not to mention the thought of putting steroid cream on my body just seemed terrible to me. So, I started digging in and doing a bunch of research on what natural products, excuse me – INGREDIENTS might do. Hello Pinterest!
What Actually Works
Now I know that anyone on the internet can post a bunch of crap, and call it good. So all of my research was actually fact checked by reputable sources. Guess what? I learned so darn much!! There really are a ton of natural ingredients out there, that are readily available that actually help with skin conditions such as eczema.
A short list of some of the all natural ingredients that actually work (and I have personally benefited from) are:
- Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- Organic Unrefined Shea Butter
- 100% Pure Honey – Usually purchased locally when I can.
- Organic Jojoba Oil
- Vitamin E Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Essential Oils
- Witch Hazel
These ingredients are all things I use in my eczema cream, body butters, and more! (Not all in one recipe, though!) There are lots and lots of other all natural ingredients out there that I haven’t even tried yet! I will get there, but just haven’t had the time yet. The options really are limitless, and so much better than putting chemicals and other toxins on your skin. Another important thing when purchasing is to make sure you’re getting what is advertised. Double check ingredient lists on the label to make sure there are no additives that aren’t listed in the product descriptions. In some upcoming posts I will break down some of these ingredients, as well as give some info on some of my own creations. Before I did that, I wanted to give you guys some brief info on skin conditions as well as my experiences. After all, it is the whole reason I started creating my own skin care!
Do you have sensitive skin, or other skin conditions? How have you managed it, and what has or hasn’t worked for you? If you don’t have sensitive skin, what are some of your favorite skincare products? I would love to hear all about it, so please let me know in the comments!