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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Winter skin: Eczema

Hi hi! 

Winter skin is a struggle for many of us, especially those battling eczema. I clearly remember my first encounters with this persistent and annoying skin condition. 11 year old me went to the middle school nurse because of some mysterious, itchy, blistery looking bumps that appeared between my fingers. During my short visit in the clinic, the nurse thought it necessary to call my mom to tell her what was going on. While listening to the phone conversation, I swore on my life I heard the nurse say "she has eggs in her skin." Clearly I heard wrong, but nevertheless I waged war on my skin at an early age. 

But, what IS eczema? The medical community gives this condition the name Atopic eczema, which is a type of dermatitis that is an inflammatory condition of the skin generally caused by genetics or may be related to an allergic response from various respiratory irritants. The most common treatment protocol is through steroid creams, but your doctor may also recommend taking an antihistamine until conditions clear up. Additionally, it is very important to maintain the proper moisture barrier on the skin, so proper application of moisturizers (generally unscented and for sensitive skin) is key. 

Personally, I've tried just about every single prescription out there ranging from steroid creams, Hylatopic, to various herbal concoctions. Recently I had a bad flair up after applying a strong serum which dried my skin completely out and the next morning I woke up with red rashy looking patches of eczema. The esthetician in me loves experimenting with new products- but I really should have known better with that one. 

Because of this flair up, I had mentioned to a friend how bad of a reaction I recently had. She mentioned a new line of natural products she'd been trying which had almost miraculously cleared up an area of dry skin around her eyes that she'd been dealing with for a few weeks. I ran out that day to my local Whole Foods store to give the Trilogy brand a try. Trilogy is a New Zealand based natural skincare line whose values revolve around ethical, environmental, and social responsibility (I can get behind that!). Most products have a healthy dose of rosehip oil or CoQ10 to deliver nourishing and effective results. 

Knowing the soothing effects rosehip has on the skin, I picked up the Everything Balm which utilizes a blend of rosehip, echinacea, and paw paw. It's packaged in a cute tin so it's very easy to travel with or toss in your purse and the texture is smooth though firm to the tough. I used my fingers to apply as the warmth from them melts the oils into a spreadable application. 
this tin is so cuuute!

Now, I have had oily skin for all my life but this winter has done some damage to me and dried me out completely in effect leaving me with eczema that pops up consistently when anything other than water touches my skin (ok it miiight be because of our pup- I'm allergic- so I'm still having some respiratory problems from him that seem to be manifesting into skin issues). I never in a million years would have wanted to apply a balm to my skin but, my dried out dessert cracked skin was in need of serious nourishment. 

So the below picture is of my skin when the flair up started and just one week into using the Trilogy Everything Balm. Prior to applying the balm I was using a steroid cream and Cetaphil lotion recommended by my derm that was not doing anything. The top left picture is when the flair up started, the bottom left is a week after using. While there is still some minor redness it is MUCH better- less irritated and itchy. 

My poor skiiiin! 

I'm not saying this balm will work on everyone, but it is one worth trying especially if you have been dealing with flair ups and would prefer a more natural route.

I'd give this product a 7/10. (7 because I don't like the texture on my skin but it was very effective in clearing up my eczema- and mind you, this product is not advertised to do that).


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