Wednesday, December 10

SAVIOURS FOR DERMATITIS AND SENSITIVE SKIN SUFFERERS



The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover / Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser / The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Balm / Aveeno Moisturing Cream

Hello everyone! This post is something a bit different for me but something I really wanted to share.

For the past few years I have had an absolute nightmare with topical dermatitis, particularly on my eyelids, and after a long time using prescription medicines and antibiotics and pretty much every treatment under the sun I have finally managed to nail down a few products to keep my skin issues at bay.



I understand that not every one will have these problems, but having tried and tested these products on my super sensitive skin I imagine they may still be of some use to people who suffer with dryness, irritability and redness.

Cleansers
Firstly, the thing I quickly realised was that cleanliness is absolutely key. My doctor kept prescribing me super heavy creams and ointments to combat the dryness but it wasn't solving the irritation underneath. For a while I used Cetaphil completely on it's own to remove makeup and then again to wash my face, and initially this did help (in part due to the fact it was killing off my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, which was often the culprit for irritation flare ups) but over time I realised that it wasn't quite hitting the mark completely. It was gentle enough to clean my skin but not strong enough to adequately remove my makeup, particularly on my eyelids which left them susceptible to irritation from the residual dirt.

For this reason I then looked to a stronger (but still gentle) cleanser to take off my makeup before using the Cetaphil to cleanse my skin. For this, I went back to The Body Shop's Chamomile Cleansing Balm. I had used this before a few years ago in another attempt to rid myself of my condition (the sales advisor had told me she suffered from the same condition). The problem I had had the first time was that although it cleaned my skin well, it did tend to leave a very slight film. On the rest of my face, this was fine and could be scrubbed off with a hot flannel, but on my eyelids where the skin was delicate (being thin even on non-affected eyes), the process was just too abrasive and exacerbated the condition. For this reason, I looked to use this as a cleanser purely on the rest of my face. I realise that for some people this might mean the area that for them is affected by dermatitis, but I do think it would probably be fine for most people as the skin on the rest of the face is less delicate.

Eye Make Up Remover
So, after deciding to use this to remove my face makeup and the Cetaphil to cleanse my skin I was still at a loss about what to do about my eye makeup. I had a long google to try and find an eye makeup remover that was quick and effective but also gentle and allergen-friendly. One that kept coming up was the Clarins eye makeup remover, and despite having good reviews my terrible run with makeup removers in the past meant that I didn't want to shell out just for it to wind up being too abrasive for me to use and it ultimately going to waste. In the end, I noticed several bloggers saying that they found The Body Shop's Chamomile Eye Make Up Remover to be a pretty good dupe, and being half the price I decided to give it a go. Having already used their cleansing balm from the same range, I knew it would be gentle enough and being a liquid I anticipated that I might not leave the same residue that wound up vetoing the balm. To my luck, I had no immediate or long term reactions from using it, and in the end in has made the world of a difference.

Moisturiser
Finally, the moisturiser I now use was one of the few prescribed things I tried that wound up doing a good job. This Aveeno moisturiser is not something specifically directed at Dermatitis sufferers or even really dry skin sufferers in particular, but instead aims to reduce redness and irritation. After years of slathering on heavy moisturisers which only left my skin greasy-- but still red-- I figured a moisturiser aimed at highly allergic skin might be the kind of thing I'm after. I have to admit, for the rest of my skin (which is not affected by dermatitis) it is still a teeny bit rich and can clog the pores around my nose. However, it is masterful in reducing redness and dryness and is probably the most irreplaceable item in my routine right now.

When I look at my current skincare routine, I do sometimes begrudge the number of products I use. I know of some beauty bloggers who use tons and I do occasionally wish that I could have the right skin to be able to just play around with face masks and serums and oils and all that stuff. However, I also count myself very lucky that I finally have my skin problems on a leash, and despite suffering for years I don't have any real scarring or lifelong reminders (aside from the fact all the pulling and pushing at my eyes and lack of allergen friendly eye creams means I will probably develop exceedingly early crows feet). I still have to be wary of piling on eyeshadow too thickly (it is a leech for any kind of moisture), but overall it seems like I've finally conquered that mountain. There was a time when my eyes were so swollen and bad that I could even't open them, and the other week I posted a smokey eye look to this blog. Years ago that would have been unthinkable, and it's because I know how hard it can be to tackle that I wanted to make this post. It's not life threatening, it won't stop you functioning, but you know what, anyone with skin problems will say the same thing: it can wreck your confidence. My sister (shoutout!) has psoriasis on her scalp, but unless she had told you, you'd never know. When it's on your face, you can't hide it, and the longer it goes on the more you just think it's forever.

In reality, it's a very treatable condition when you just find what's right for you. By all means, go to your GP-- I recommend it, they introduced me to Aveeno and Cetaphil (on separate occasions), but ultimately this kind of trial and error is something that can take years. If anybody out there has had the same problem and is reading google into the 200th search results page like I did, year after year, I hope that this post might be of some use to them.

Personally, I know that if I had found a post like this four years ago I would have really appreciated it, if not for the products-- which in reality, unfortunately, may not suit everyone-- just for knowing that I wasn't alone.

Until next time,

hoping you're well,

Steph

xxx

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