Updated: Nov 10
Living with eczema you have to consider what you eat and what you put on your skin each day, it becomes a like a full time job. Today I had lunch at my parents home and had to decide whether I could eat everything on the menu. I love my Moms cooking and decided it was worth the the skin irritation to eat her delicious apple crumble and custard my favourite.
I grew up in the Midlands, with its pollution, traffic, concrete jungles and the water with its low mineral and not much scale.
The good old council pop as it was often referred to at school. About 8 or so years ago, my parents moved to Shropshire it was a nice welcomed change of pace for them, at the time Tyrese was very young and I worked full time so he spent a few days a week at my parents home. He was sent with his little bag of creams, special soaps and Itch relief products, we had not long discovered Tyrese had eczema so were very vigilant on what he used on his skin.
Tyrese in these pictures was a few weeks old and a few months, before we managed to control the eczema he would have a nasty red and rash and sores all over his body. At first it was diagnosed as Milk rash but to me he was too blotchy and sore and watching his little hands gripping and scratching his skin convinced me otherwise.
After a weekend at Nannies Ty used to come home with rashes on his body and be itching, so I checked with my parents if they had used anything else on his skin and if they were only using the products sent, they assured me that everything I'd packed was used on him and the water was harder there so it would affect his skin. It was only when I was pregnant with Tia and started staying over more often at their home I noticed what they meant.
I would wake in the night feeling so itchy and having to moisturise my skin to stop the itching. I misplaced my facial cleanser and borrowed my Moms facial wipe which boasted being natural and great for sensitive skin. Having had a shower in their local water to wash my face and body, then I used the facial wipes to clean off the last of my makeup and was immediately met with an fast burning reaction to the tea tree oil in the product, at the time I was unaware of the effects it had on my skin as they usually very mild tingling. The time spent there I felt like the characters Home Alone the burglars screaming and shouting with everything they touched, I felt like everything I touched or used caused a reaction. Mainly my skin screaming in protest.
My parents recently installed a water filter as the water was starting to affect their health. This had me thinking, can the water we use everyday cause some types of skin Dermatitis,
The water we use contains minerals including calcium, when the levels are high in minerals it creates a build-up on your skin like the bottom of your kettle, The mineral build up will clog pores, stop your skin from being moisturised and cause or worsen your skin dermatitis. The effect can be dull itchy skin and dull dry hair. So unless you have a filter what can we do?
So if we you’re counting grass, perfume, food, skincare products and water are all causes for skin dermatitis, Unfortunately there is no one product that can cure all typea of dermatitis so unless you decide to live under a rock strategic skincare routines for different reactions need to be considered.
As the weather changes and we move towards colder climates the use of central heating can also effect our skin. So moisturising cleansers and moisturising is detrimental, during this time.
We have taken to not only using our normal baby washes}. We now have a collection of different ones to almost keep out skin guessing, so it never gets used to the type of cleansers. The temperature of the water is also very important as steam can also remove the moisture from your skin and dry it out. So a cooler shower or bath is also very good to ensure your skin is able to retain moisture. Although I do like to sneak in the odd hot bath now and then, I find using products with humectants which will attract moisture into your skin are great too. Aloe Vera and Honey are great ingredients for that. I currently use Aloe Vera gel under my body butter on my face. Its great for moisturizing and also help combat scars and pimples its very economical as a little goes a long way.
We have recently been experimenting with our skins likes and dislikes I found that my skin hates certain scented products. I cannot use perfume on my skin so it always is applied to my clothes, liquid hand soaps dry out our my skin too much so we tend to use soap bars and recently whilst enjoyed a self care session I found that even my beloved bubble bath caused burns,
I cannot tell you how frustrating it has been to want to purchase all the gorgeous smellies and pampering scents to help relax only to find that it will only cause skin irritation, I have been studying alterative ways to scent products without the use of chemicals but unfortunately some chemicals are needed to help preserve and emulsify them.
We have recently started using homemade soap washes, but as we left out the emulsifying chemicals that blend the oils and water together we end up having to shake the bottle before using it.
Grapefruit seed extract is a useful ingredient when created natural products, It is a anti microbial and antioxidant antibacterial ingredient and will help preserve products and stop any bacteria growing in your products. I recently used GSE in my Seaweed and Peppermint soap as the seaweed decomposes like food an natural antimicrobial ingredient is needed to stop the growth of any organic microbes and will be using my papaya soap bar too. I have seen the effects of this first hand when a made a Oatmeal honey soap bar and it was drying the location was too warm and it literally started to go pink, I have made it many time before suddenly discoloured and looked gross.
I haven't tried any of these yet as more research is needed but common natural chemicals for liquid soaps are
Polysorbate 2:o Used to combine essential oils and creams, shampoos and shower gel.
Lamesoft PO 65 Naturally derived from coconut oil and sunflower oil to help thicken and foam when combined with Plantapon LGC.
Plantapon LGC A natural surfactant derived from coconut oil and sugar.
Sucragel CF Naturally derived material used to obtain crystal clear gels can also be used to make lotions.
Researched from Handmade beauty Juliet Goggin and Abi Righton 2016.
If you do make your own washes or products please ensure you use preservatives like Vitamin E or GSE, keep your batches small and discard if it smells weird. I love using dried fruits in my products but prefer to make just enough for me to sell and use. My newest favourite is the Seaweed and Peppermint as it increases collaged production in the skin, helps fight acne and smell amazing.
By no means is our skin perfect but I we have now adapted to the hard water of Shropshire and rarely notice any skin irritations.
Well time to take the kiddos for a walk before it rains. As always ...
Take Care and Love yourself.