First thing is first. I don’t have eczema. But I thought this topic needs to be covered here so I enlisted a friend who has eczema on her face, neck, arms, legs and hands. She tells me: “My skin flares up as often as the subways are delayed.” I’m glad she has a sense of humour about it. But the struggle is real. So I gave her a bunch of winter skin products that landed on my desk and asked her to try them and let me know what she thinks:
- Face Time
You say tomato, I say… that’s actually my face! I’m very self-conscious of my red, irritated, dry skin. When my face is falling off, I reach for products that soothe. At the top of the list: Avène Tolérance Extrême Cream, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra serum and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Epidermal Recovery Accelerator gel. First off, Avène Tolérance Extrême Cream is my BAE. This cream contains only seven ingredients(!) and has never stung. La Roche-Posay has a solid lineup, and the Toleriane serum is a standout for calming my skin down. I also use it during allergy season. And the gel texture of Cicaplast is perfect for my dry patches.
- Office Space
The air at work is so dry that I can actually feel my face tightening. I keep a tube of Skinfix Eczema Sheer Face Ointment on my desk to use on my cheeks, temple and chin. I love that it’s a clear ointment with no steroids, antibiotics, fragrance, parabens, phthalates or preservatives. A little goes a long way. This ointment helps with flaking skin. 👍🏻 Another product I keep at my desk is Dermakalm Hand and Contact Eczema Cream. In an attempt to avoid the germs from the “office cold,” I wash my hands a lot. This is not so great for the eczema on my hands. Just a dab of the Dermakalm helps any cracking and the generous-sized tube will last a long time. Bonus: It doesn’t have a fragrance or corticosteroids.
- Hair Apparent
Remember that scene in The Breakfast Club where Ally Sheedy’s character Allison, makes it snow on a drawing with her dandruff? (Side note: Did you know they used parmesan cheese to make it “snow”? Really sorry if you’re eating lunch while reading this.) A flaking scalp is a very real fear of mine. Since I take such care to moisturize my skin, it’s only right that my scalp should get the same TLC. Enter Cliniderm Soothing Scalp Shampoo. It has the Seal of Acceptance from the Eczema Society of Canada. I pair this with the Gentle Conditioner, and so far these two are my dream team.
- I got 99 problems but an itch ain’t one
I’ve started using body balms (some labels call it “baume”) as an alternative to body lotions. What I like about balms is that they’re meant to soothe itchy, intolerant skin. A balm can be used to target affected areas, but I am using it all over. I need #allthemoisture. In the morning I prefer something that melts into my skin, like La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+, which has been my go-to for years. When I need an extra boost I’ve been reaching for Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume. Like body lotions, balms are available in different textures, from a light fluid to a dreamy thick cream.
- Clean slate
I LOVE OILS! (Sorry for screaming!) Double cleansing my face with an oil is already standard in my routine, so I was pretty excited (maybe too excited) to see cleansing oils for the body. Most cleansing oils can be used for face and body, and my skin doesn’t feel tight afterwards. Keep in mind that oils do not lather up like body washes so avoid dispensing a lot of the product expecting it to lather up. If oils aren’t your jam, CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser Bar is a great alternative. Non-irritating, it moisturizes with ceramics, hyaluronic acid and 5% CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (⬅️ also great stuff!). It’s free of “soap” and (bonus) it doesn’t dissolve in my soap dish.
- Take a breather
Aside from skincare products, I find running an ultrasonic humidifier nearby has majorly helped. Extra bonus: I also experience less static in my clothes and hair!
I hope this helps!