Eczema is a lifelong struggle. To all of you out there with all variations of atopic dermatitis or chronic acne (to name but a few chronic skin issues), I feel you. It's frustrating when your skin simply won't cooperate when you're giving it so much attention and care.
I can never rid myself of eczema; there's no real cure for it. However, I've learned to manage my flare-ups, from the small ones to the big, persistent ones. Smaller episodes clear up pretty easily with the right care, but there are times that the flare-up is particularly raging and simply won't go away.
This past fall, I had what I call "angry skin." I had been testing all kinds of products, and some of the formulas were a bit drying. On top of that, I wasn't sleeping much. I know better than to scratch my skin relentlessly (once I do, the scarring lasts way longer), so I kept my nails short and tried to think about anything other than the intense itchiness. However, this was the kind of flare-up where it didn’t matter if I never touched a finger to my skin — the swelling was there, the bumps were there, and the rash was there with all its angry redness.
To get this flare-up under control, the first thing I did was take a diluted bleach bath. This is something that you can read about on the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Eczema Association as well! Basically, the bleach can help kill the bacteria that causes the itchiness, and it’s safe because the bleach is so diluted. I used about 1/3 cup of household bleach that has 5-8% sodium hypochlorite in a full tub of lukewarm water — to put that in context, a standard US tub fills up with about 40 gallons of water. That’s 1/3 cup of bleach in 40 gallons of water. I then soaked in this very diluted lukewarm bleach bath (neck down only, never submerging my face) for about 10 minutes. After draining, I rinsed off with clean lukewarm water, then towel-dried, not so my skin was completely dry but just on this side of damp.
I used a baby lotion, Mustela, slathering it liberally everywhere. On the super dry and itchy spots, I applied an extra layer of the KBeauty Rescue Balm, which is this incredibly hydrating do-it-all balm that really helps provide this feeling of relief as it just seems to coax skin into calming down and cooperating. It really is my rescue-product for all sorts of issues — chapped lips, hang nails and rough cuticles, cracked heels, you name it.
For my face, I made a DIY face pack using rolled oats and water and nothing else. I made a thick paste and smeared it onto cleansed skin, leaving it on for 10-15 minutes for the oats to work their soothing, comforting magic.
After I washed off that face pack and patted the excess water off my face, leaving my skin damp, I first applied the Wild Dew Treatment Essence because, when my skin is dehydrated, it can get even more finicky, and the Wild Dew Treatment Essence sinks so quickly into skin and really helps to quench deep skin thirst immediately. I followed that with a generous 4-5 pumps of the Glass Skin Refining Serum, which really helps calm and soothe my skin — the Glass Skin Refining Serum contains healing and nourishing ingredients like madecassoside and the peach extract. Of course, the hyaluronic acid and niacinamide in the serum also help hydrate and brighten skin (and I love that too!), but, when my skin is acting up, it’s those soothing benefits that provide an almost instant relief for me. Finally, I squeezed a dime-sized amount of the KBeauty Rescue Balm onto my hands and pat-pat-patted it into my skin.
My skin felt so much better; my rashes looked so much calmer; and I repeated this ritual a few more times, leaving a couple days in-between. And voila, my eczema flare-up calmed all the way down.
I have a lot of little rituals and go-to methods when it comes to eczema, so I'll be sure to share more! I'm not a dermatologist or a doctor, but I am an esthetician and, more importantly, someone who's dealt with eczema her whole life, so while you shouldn't take this as medical advice, I do hope my experience is helpful to some of you!
What are some of your favorite skincare hacks? Let me know below; I love hearing from you!
As always, cheers to radiance!