Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Eczema and Beauty Products

Following on from my previous post I thought I'd talk about beauty luxuries that people without skin conditions take very much for granted. This was provoked by someone underlining some of the things they themselves have had to give up, and a lot of the things I, myself have never actually been able to use or very seldom use.

Make-up, perfumes, nice smelling beauty products including bath bombs, shower gel, bubble bath, shampoo/ conditioner etc. etc. are all things that people generally spend so much money on as a means to make themselves feel good. Most of the products listed are my body's idea of hell, especially if applied directly to the skin. In the past I have been able to get away with some brands of make-up and still use some of them now, providing it's just on the eyelashes/ eyebrow area but as I said in my previous post, my skin burns and weeps now if I try to apply some of the products I used to use. Perfume is another one I try to get away with as it just smells lovely. Instead of applying to the skin I will just spray it from a very close proximity onto my clothing.

The other things such as bubble baths, bath bombs, shower gels etc. are things I've pretty much never experienced because I know the effect they will have. Well, other than using "Matey" bubble bath as a small child but my mum realised it was pretty rotten to my skin so that ceased instantly. People used to find it weird when I said all I washed with was water but in truth that is all that was acceptable for my skin. Nowadays I will use Hydromol as an additive either slathered on in the shower or put into a bath as an aid to my drier than dry skin.

Shampoo and conditioner can also be a nightmare just to those with sensitive skin, so you can perhaps imagine just how bad they would be for an eczema sufferer, especially with added ingredients such as lanolin (also found in many other beauty products) which derives from sheep, a notorious allergen for sufferers. The only brands I've been able to use in my life are Vosene, L'Oreal and Pantene Pro V. The likes of Fructis and Head and Shoulders have had such an adverse affect that I would never contemplate using them again, even if the ingredients have probably changed within the last 15 years! Better to stick with the safe ones if you manage to find them!

It is frustrating also when someone who doesn't know you well buys you one of the above as a gift and for fear of being ungrateful you just have to accept it and give it to someone else. Nowadays if I have a Secret Santa or whatever I'll tell whoever is organising it to tell my Santa not to bother buying them. Better than having a wasted gift though isn't it?

I do sometimes see beautifully made-up people and wish I could have what they have. Nice skin, being the bottom line. So that I can wear make-up to enhance my features, smell nice and truly feel indulgent.  My idea of 'indulgence' is to lay in the bath tub with the shower on my feet and to just relax and smother myself in Hydromol, but this isn't really indulgence, rather than something I have to carry out every day just to cope and survive.

How do you indulge yourself?

Edit: I would only use different products if I was having a prolonged flare-free period, yet as it has been more than 6 months since my last 'clearer skin episode' I dare not use anything that could make my current situation worse. But thank you for your given suggestions, I may try them in the future! :)


  1. Have you tried organic shampoo/conditioner? It's a bit pricey but should be free of chemicals etc. It could be worth a try (checking the ingredients, obviously!). I can't use anything scented on my skin else I get a flare up but some organic moisturisers have been okay :)

    1. Thanks for your comment! I've not tried them, no. But I'm a bit wary of trying most things anyway seeing as there's obviously something I'm allergic to but can't figure out what... I might try it in the future but for now I'll stick with my Pantene as I know it doesn't pose problems :)

  2. I totally get where you are coming from as this is so similar to my family. I grew up with extremely sensitive skin, and eczema in various places, most of which has gone now. My mum however suffers really bad from it and went through months of not even being able to wash her hands properly for months after a bad reaction one day. She can't buy any of the 'nice' products on the market and it strikes it out as present options too! We have a lot of 'Simple' products in the house, and me and her both use a lot of aqueous cream, have you tried it?

    Karys x

  3. Hi, thanks for your comment. My eczema is so severe that even steroid creams don't treat it sometimes. I'm allergic to aqueous cream so instead use white soft paraffin. x

  4. I know exactly where you're coming from. Eye eczema in particular bothers me - right now my eyes are swollen and painful and flaking. It's just horrible to look at, and so embarrassing to walk around in public with.

    When I see people beautifully made up, I just wish I could have that - just a touch of mascara.