Thursday, 14 January 2016

Top 10 Skincare Tips for Eczema & Sensitive Skin

Hi everyone, there's no photo today as I was struggling to actually find something that related to this post without displaying a photo of my skin when its particularly bad...not that I'm ashamed, I just don't want to plaster it all over the internet. This is a different kind of post for my blog, but I really wanted to write it because recently I've discovered a lot more ways of coping with having sensitive skin. As I have mentioned many times, I have had eczema since I can remember - "a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding." This is a really common condition, that most people have suffered with at some point in there life. There's many different types of eczema, I personally just suffer with the inflamed side of things rather than blistering. It really isn't the end of the world (and this definitely is not a sympathy post, because its just a normal aspect of my life), however there are things that can be done to significantly improve your skin if you are affected by eczema, or simply just have sensitive skin.

I have ten 'tips' which I have found improve my skin dramatically when I actually put them to use (sometimes I'm just too busy...or lazy)...

1. If your skin is usually dry, inflamed or damaged, and it isn't just a short-term break out, I would really recommend going to your GP and seeing if they can take a look at it and if there are any treatments they can offer you. I've been prescribed creams since I was little, but my skin would be nowhere without them today because its just a necessity my body needs. This isn't about cheating the system for 'beauty' or 'cosmetic' purposes, if your skin is suffering you might need medical treatment and its always really helpful seeing someone about it. 

2. DIET. I don't mean dieting, I mean your diet in general. I've said it hundreds of times about how my diet is not the best, and this is one of the reasons my skin gets so bad. It might sound obvious but avoiding certain foods and drinks can really benefit your skin. No one wants to completely cut out sweets and fizzy drinks, because lets face it we all love them. But, I know my skin reacts really badly to both so I try not to have too many at once. Of course, its inevitable that drinking water is going to improve anyones skin so upping your water intake is hugely beneficial (and it costs less if you're out for dinner). 

3. I'm not fitness expert, at all, but if your skin is bad shower straight after exercising. The longer you leave washing after sweating, the more likely your skin is to get inflamed - and then it will be itchy and will be made even worse. Sweating is one of the things that really inflames my skin and the more this can be prevented, the better off your skin will a mile, trust me.

4. Again, this showering business is even more important after a night out. I'm not supposed to wear perfume, even though it doesn't harm me too much on my wrists, but when I've been out at a party or in a night club surrounded by people wearing perfume and aftershave, then combine that with the fact its hot, busy and sweaty (gross but true), I'm going to be at high risk of allergic reaction. Plus, I'll have fake tan on so that isn't going to help. Its something no one wants to do, but my advice is to get in the shower, wash your hair, wash yourself, take your makeup off and then moisturise, ALOT. 

5. I actually don't think many people understand this, but don't use the central heating. Everyone is different but if you find that your skin reacts badly to different temperature extremes then make sure you don't have the heating on. This especially applies to when you're sleeping, I know when I sleep if the heating comes on then I wake up with a skin rash. Sorry for anyone who stays at mine (if you're reading), but you're going to have to bring extra blankets. 

6. Avoid Lush, I don't care that they're organic products, organic does not mean it wont affect your skin. I don't just mean Lush, another offender is Soap and Glory (honestly, stay away, it will kill your skin), any products which are perfume based are probably going to be bad for your skin. Its sad because Lush bath bombs are so pretty, but I'd rather save my skin than have a pretty bath. My legs don't suffer at all with any of the problems the rest of my body does, so its fine for me to use body butters etc on my legs but definitely no where else - incase you wonder why I do own products from the likes of The Body Shop. 

7.  I would generally ignore claims that products state, such as about being for sensitive skin/eczema. I used to use Simple soap, but I was actually told by a GP that even though this is a product designed for sensitive skin, it can still alter the pH of skin and therefore isn't doing my skin any favours. I would always check ingredients of products even if they are for sensitive skin just incase there is anything in there that you're going to have an allergic reaction to. Saying this, there are products out there which are designed for sensitive skin and have worked really well for my skin, I would recommend MooGoo products as they really replenish inflamed patches of the skin - you can read my review here.

8. Make sure you know which materials affect your skin, I can't wear anything with wool in or i'll have an allergic reaction. I double check clothing labels just to make sure there isn't any wool in them or my skin is going to be in trouble. This sounds silly and way too much effort but I'd rather not take the risk. 

9. The most obvious piece of advice of all, try not to scratch. I always do this and it just makes it 10x worse, this goes for exfoliating as well. It actually has the opposite affect as its supposed to on inflamed skin to even if it feels like you should exfoliate, just avoid it all together as its only going to make it worse. I don't exfoliate anywhere other than my legs because it would just cause a bigger reaction, its not actually as good for your skin as its made out to be. 

10. This is probably one of the most important tips, to make sure that people understand and are aware of your eczema. This goes for friends and family - making sure that they don't spray perfumed products around to avoid irritating your skin, and that you don't cuddle up to anyone wearing perfumed products - I've learnt this the hard way. 

Although some of these tips may seem obvious, it actually took me a long time to realise that even though these are only little changes they really do help. Even if my skin is doing well for a week, it doesn't mean I can jump into a pink bath - everything builds up. I'd be really interested to read any blogs which focus on the topic of skin problems/disorders, even if its just the odd post I would love to have a read.

Hopefully some of these tips can help your skin out, even if it just needs a reboost after the festive season! As always my social media links are in the sidebar and please leave any comments or questions along with your blog link and Twitter handle below!