Merry Christmas Eve! I feel like I ought to make a new intro post now, having been away from blogging for so long.
Anyways, this post will be about my experiences with dry skin *cough* eczema *cough* in the winter, along with some remedies if any of you guys are unfortunate enough to suffer the same affliction.
Growing up, I was prescribed loads of different steroids and moisturisers, most of which didn't really do anything to soothe any flare ups. I tried Chinese herbal treatments, which tasted really nasty and seemed to work, but only for a short period of time since part of the problem was my lifestyle - I didn't take the problem seriously enough and kinda thought it would just go away on its own. Wrong.
It was only when I started to do my own research and to take an active role in sorting my own skin out that I've finally found some results.
One of the things I learned that hit me the hardest was that I had to say goodbye to most of the cosmetics and creams on the high street since most of them are scented and contain all sorts of irritating chemicals. Now, I check the ingredients of anything I buy and if it's a cream or a cleanser, I make sure it's fragrance free or is hypoallergenic. A few days ago, my mother and a family friend recommended Aveeno products, which are oatmeal based and have been very kind to my skin so far, so they get a huuuuge thumbs up from me!
In the case of prescriptions, I found that Diprobase and Epaderm have been the best ones so far. E45 actually made my skin worse, and Doublebase wasn't great either. I only recently learned that the reason why E45 didn't work is because it contains the chemical sodium laurel sulphate (SLS), which is a naughty irritant - explained here (not the most credible source of information out there I know but hey, a study is a study).
Knowing this now, I am more determined to go the natural route and to look into home remedies. So far, I have personal experience with:
Argan oil is good for your hair, your scalp, and also for your skin. It has a slightly nutty scent, and absorbs really quickly into your skin without leaving a greasy residue. I bought some in Morocco and can't recommend this enough, although it is very pricey in it's pure form. There has also been a considerable amount of research done on this oil, and a quick skim through reveals that there are loads of health benefits! (I didn't read any of the articles as they looked too intimidating! ^_^:;)
Coconut oil is another oil that I've quickly taken to, after scouring the net for folklore on skincare. Again, this is an oil that can be used on your hair and your skin, but it does leave a little bit of a greasy feel after application - although you will definitely smell most delicious! It also stores well, lasting up to two years due to it's stability. I bought my tub from Holland and Barrett, and I have to admit that it is pretty pricey, but you do get 16 ounces which lasts a very long time. I've been using it for a month now and my skin has never been as good as it is this winter.
There are plenty of websites that offer home remedies for you to try out. Here are a few of them~
myhomeremedies probably has the most number of remedies on any website
care2.com has a few yummy looking scrub recipes
howstuffworks offers a general introduction and humorous comments
Finally, a tip from my dermatologist:
If you have dry skin/eczema on your arms/hands, a top tip that has worked wonders is to buy cotton gloves or stretchy bandages, cover the afflicted area with your moisturiser of choice and then put the glove or bandage on before you go to sleep. When you wake up, your skin should be softer and nicer! :)
Good luck this winter~~