My May favourites…

As if a whole month has gone by already and we’re nearly in June! Whaaaatttt! This month for me has mostly been about finding a balance between day to day life and keeping my skin in check. As I have said before my skin needs heavy/greasy moisturisers to hyradte it. This is no problem at night but in the day when I want to wear makeup and do my hair it’s been a bit of a challenge. I’m all for the shine but when a greasy product gets in your hair just after you’ve washed it you just want to scream bloody murder! Whhhyyyyyyyy?!

Anyway, here are my May favourites that have combatted this…

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  • Invisi Bobbles.

I first got these bobbles a few years ago in a Glossy Box monthly subscription and I just sort of used them every now and again when I wanted to just shove my hair on top of my head. Since my big eczema flare back in November 2016 I have had a lot of hair loss so putting my hair in a tight pony tail has been a big no no. I have to wear my hair up for work so when I found my invisi bobbles at the bottom of a draw at the end of last month I was like yyyaaassssssssss! These are a dream if you have to wear your hair up all day as they keep the pony tail in place but are not too tight. I no longer get headaches from having my hair being pulled and I have noticed a lot less hair falling out! They also don’t leave a big kink in your hair when you take it down at the end of the day so they’re perfect if you need to style your hair after work! I need one in every colour! You can buy Invisi Bobbles from Amazon UK in loads of different colours and for a pack of 3 they’re around £4.

  • Cetraben Cream.

Seriously why have I only just tried this? I love it! I needed a new face cream to wear during the day that would keep me moisturised but not greasy and this is perfect! I have used the same daily moisturiser for years but recently it’s just not been working for me. This cetraben cream is amazing! At first it’s a bit greasy, which I anticipated, but it sinks in quickly and my makeup sits really nice on top of it. I also feel moisturised all day. I get a few red patches on my forehead and chin and they have gone since I started using this cream. I’m definitely going to try the rest of the Cetraben range! I got my Cetraben from Superdrug for £3.99 in their sale.

  • Oilatum Scalp – Anti-dandruff shampoo.

I get really bad seborrheic dermatitis around my hair line. It’s a nightmare and so embarrassing! When I first started treating my scalp I would use Nizoral 2% shampoo, which worked amazing but it dries the end of hair hair out so much. Now my seborrheic dermatitis has calmed down a lot and I have it under control I decided to google different treatments and came across this Oilatum shampoo. A lot of the reviews said that it is very gentle on the scalp and kept the hair soft at the same time. This stuff is great! It lathers up really nice and just feels like a normal shampoo. I use it twice a week and my hair is always silky soft and swishy after! It has also kept the itch and flakes at bay, perfect! This shampoo is sold at most pharmacies and supermarkets but I got mine from Superdrug for £9.99.

  • Konjac facial sponge.

I have been using konjac sponges for a while but I bought this one at the beginning of the month and it’s so much better than others I have used. It’s really firm but gentle on the skin when washing the face. These are perfect for anyone with a sensitive face and neck, like me, because they cleanse and exfoliate without ripping your skin off. Wooo! It also comes with a little handle so it can be hung up without getting all stinky. Konjac is make from a potatoe like pant in Asia (mmmm chips) and is it 100% biodegradable! Even more perfect! I picked it up in Superdrug for £1.99, bargain!!

  • Laura Mercier foundation primer – radiance.

I received this primer in this months Birch Box and I love it. I love it so much that I’ve used it every day since I got it! It glides on the skin and is really light. My tinted moisturiser sits on top of it really well and it makes my skin look really plump and dewy.  There’s not much more to really say about it other than it’s a dreaaammmm and a little goes a long way! You can purchase a 50ml tube of his primer from feelunique.com for £30, I know this is quite expensive but it’ll probably last you 500 years!

  • Cien dry shampoo.

Lidl you’ve done it again! This dry shampoo is 79p and it’s the best one I’ve ever used! It cleans my hair without weighing it down and doesn’t make it feel sticky. It’s so light I don’t even feel like I have any product in my hair and it lasts all day. I have a very sensitive scalp and this dry shampoo doesn’t irritate it at all, best discovery ever! For 79p I acceptable to go and buy the whole shelf, right? YASSS!

What products have you been loving this month?

 

As always if you do decide to try a new product that you’ve never used before, then it is always a good idea to do a skin test in case of allergies.

 

 

How to have a good eczema day…

As everyone with a skin condition knows, having a good skin day can quickly turn into a bad skin day within a few minutes and it is the worst feeling ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Especially when you accidently brush a patch of eczema and it instantly starts the itching/ redness off. Worst. Feeling. Ever. From this helllllllllll I have come up with 5 ways to have a good eczema day!

1. First of all let’s start with the night before. Have a bath or shower in the evening.
Washing before bed has benefited my skin in so many ways and I can really tell a difference the next day. Letting my skin soak in all the moisturisers and settle down through the night makes it super soft and calm by the morning. I know not showering in the morning isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but honestly give it a go!

2. Get a good nights sleep.
I try to get at least 8 hours a night, if not more! I know it can be quite difficult when a TV show has sucked you into a dark hole and you just think one more episode. One more episode. Oh no, I’ve got to be up for work in 4 hours…We’ve all been there (please stop making The Walking Dead so good) but it can wait! Sleep can do wonders for healing the skin so turn the TV off and put the phone down!

3. Moisturise your whole body in the morning.
This has really sorted my skin out! After I have washed my face in the morning I will moisturise everywhere. Even though my skin doesn’t really feel like it needs it because I would have heavily moisturised the night before, I still do it to protect it throughout the day.

4. Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated throughout the day not only has benefits for inside the body but outside too as it helps to keep the skin clear. Drinking water is something that is so simple but it’s so easy to forget about! Why not get a bottle that holds a litre of water and try and refill it at least once throughout the day? I have a bottle that I take to work with me that I keep on my desk as a constant reminder to keep drinking.

5. Don’t stress.
I think I say this is every post but stress can really cause the skin to flare and progressively get worse and worse. Trust me, I know it’s hard to stop stressing when you’re already stressed out but just take a moment to breath and relax. Seriously, whatever it is isn’t worth the harm you could cause your body and if it makes you feel better go and binge watch some RuPaul’s Drag Race (yeessssssss, its just TOO good).

Sadly, there is no cure for eczema (boo, you whore) but hopefully these simple steps could help you get through the day with as little flakes as possible. What tricks do you use?

Eczema on the brain…

I have had eczema since I was born. It has always bothered me, especially when I was little, but it has always been such a big part of my life that I’m just used to it now. It has never really stopped me from doing anything and I have always seemed to have coped and got on with it but the end of last year was different. It really started to have a huge effect on me mentally.

I’ve always been really open about having a skin condition, at the end of the day sometimes you just can’t hide it. I will openly talk to my friends and family about how my skin is and any updates from my dermatologist but talking about how it feels inside is really tough.

When the eczema consumed my whole body and it even hurt to wear underwear was when I was at my lowest. As I have said in a previous post I couldn’t even shower, I was red raw, my skin was burning, sweaty, cold, itchy, weepy, flaky, it was hell. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, not that I have enemies but you know what I mean. I felt like a monster. How could my boyfriend sleep next to me?! I was gross! I was in the bath for up to 2 hours at a time, I was obsessed with my appearance, every morning I would wake up and the first thing I did was look in the mirror…any improvements?! No. When anyone asked me how I was feeling I would just reply with “Yeah, good thanks” I wasn’t good, I was on the verge of tears every second of the day. Tears stung my sore skin. Everything stung my skin. I was angry, down and worked up all day, every day. I hated myself. How did I get like this?

Obviously, looking back now I wasn’t helping myself. Getting stressed out is the worst thing I could have done. Why didn’t I just go to the doctors sooner? I though I could heal myself. I thought the doctors would force strong steroid creams and pills on me that would just make me worse. I thought they wouldn’t listen to me. I was losing trust in people that could help me. Also at one point I didn’t think I was poorly enough, how wrong was I. When I did eventually get so ill I had to go to the emergency out of hours doctor. I couldn’t even drive myself there I was so sore. The doctor took one look at me, held my hand and asked me why I had not been to my GP. When I explained it was because I didn’t think I was ill enough, he told me that people go to see their doctor for a 5p sized patch of dry skin on their arm then it really hit home. Why had I been thinking so little of myself for so long? Why was I thinking I didn’t deserve to be looked at? Why did I think I was a monster? I wasn’t a monster, appearance doesn’t make you a monster and eczema doesn’t make you a monster. Do not be scared to ask for help. If something doesn’t feel right, if something doesn’t look right, if you are in pain then go and see your doctor.

I felt like I was so hard on myself for so long that one day I just thought, you know what I just don’t give a fuck anymore. If people stare at me because I have red patches on my face and neck then let that’s their problem, not mine. My boyfriend, family and friends all love me no matter what so why do I care so much? Why do I let it eat away at me?

When I started to accept who I was and feel a bit better about myself, I started reading a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. This book is amazing and unbelievably true. Why do we give a fuck about so much stuff that doesn’t matter? Why do we give a fuck about people who don’t give a fuck about us? Why do we waste so much time giving a fuck when we could be doing something else that could benefit our lives so much more?!! It is a very well written, hilarious book and I would defiantly recommend it to anyone who needs to lose a few fucks and to have a good laugh!

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My skin and my mind are not 100% where I want them to be but I am working on it. Last week I thought my skin was getting bad again. I had a few red spots on my tummy that I had been staring at in the mirror, I ran to my boyfriend to show him and he told me to relax, its nothing, its barley even visible. I relaxed and thought yeah if it does get worse I will treat it and look after myself. It went away after a couple of days. Its small things like going back to basics that are really helping me move forward. Relax. Take it one step at a time. Chill the fuck out.

How to survive an eczema flare…

Eczema is the biggest dickhead I know. One minute your skin is clear and you feel amazing, the next minute you wake up itching like mad with red blotches all over you. Why?! I don’t get it! I’m so nice to my eczema…why isn’t it nice to me?!

I’m not sure about you but I can feel when an eczema flare is coming on. I become really aware of my skin and it just doesn’t feel right. It feels like it’s on edge, crawling, goose pimply almost and ultra sensitive to every little thing. I swear when I realise I’m probably going to flare my eyes roll so far in the back of my head that for a split second I don’t think they’ll roll back around. I take action from these first stages, in hope that I can ease or even prevent what I know is about the happen. Sometimes though an eczema flare can take over in a couple of hours so here is how I deal with it.

First of all I take an antihistamine. I try to take one of these every morning but to be honest sometimes I forget and if I have run out of them it does take me a few days to remember to go to the shop. These little babies get me through life! I have read that your body can become immune to antihistamines if you take the same one regularly so I alternate between Cetirizine and Loratadine. I don’t alternate between them daily, I do it so if I finish a box of Cetirizine then next time I’ll buy a box of Loratadine.

Next I will take a salt bath. I use either Epsom salt, Himalayan salt or Dead Sea salt and as of last Sunday (7th May) they were £1.79 in B&M Bargains for a 1kg bag! Go go go! I dissolve around 2-3 handfuls in warm water and soak in it for 30 minutes. I even wash my hair in it as I have found the salt really helps my dry scalp. Whilst I’m in the bath I will also cover my skin in Hydromol and let it sink in. The salts help loads with taking the itch away, whilst softening and soothing the skin. I also find that they really chill me out, which is so important when you are having a flare.

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Before going HAM with the emollients and depending on the intensity of the eczema, I’ll put on any steroid/antifungal creams that I feel necessary and let them sink in for 5 minutes. I only use a thin layer of these creams and how my doctor has instructed me to do so. If your eczema is being treated with steroids and you are unsure about how and when to put them on then please have a long chat with your doctor about how to correctly use them. I will then cover myself in either Doublebase or Hydromol, again it depends on how bad the eczema is. It is important to cover any areas where the steroid/antifungal cream is with the emollient because it will act as a barrier and keep everything protected as well as moisturised.

After the creams have sank in a bit I’ll put on a long sleeved pajama top and bottoms and get into bed. I know what you’re thinking…won’t the creams get on the bed sheets if they’re greasy? Yeah they do a bit. Like I said before, eczema is a dickhead. A massive dickhead.

A good nights sleep can do wondered for skin complaints so get a long nights rest! If it’s the middle of the morning/afternoon after you’ve had your bath then do nothing for the rest of the day. Take some time for yourself, read a book, binge watch a show on Netflix, maybe even have a nap, just relax and don’t ever feel bad about it! Your mind and your skin need it!

The next day I won’t have a shower/bath, I’ll just wash my face with Hydromol and put my emollient on as normal. I know it sounds gross and at first it feels gross but not bathing every day when I’m having flare does wonders for my skin. It also does wonders for my scalp and I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week. This also sounds gross (I swear I don’t smell) but your hair quickly gets used to it and dry shampoo is your best friend!

I repeat these processes until my skin has calmed down. I only have a salt bath 1-2 times a week though because it’s very detoxifying for the skin and I always tapper my steroid usage off, almost like weaning my skin so the itch/scratch cycle doesn’t start again after a week or so.

What do you do for your skin during an eczema flare?

*I know some people may have strong views of steroid use with eczema but please remember we are all on our own journey. Always talk to your your doctor/dermatologist about the correct way to use steroids.

My daily skin care routine for facial eczema…

There is no better feeling than getting home after a long day at work, taking your bra off, getting your pyjamas on and washing your face. The reeellliiieeeffff!! Doing this for someone with regular skin is pretty fast but when you suffer from a skin complaint you need to go through at least 400 steps before you can crash on the sofa. Oh the joys…

I have always been quite good at the whole cleanse, tone, moisturise routine but I never really considered what ingredients were actually in all of them (I know, I’m sorry). This in turn didn’t suit my skin and the eczema on my face was progressively getting worse and worse.

Then about 2 years ago I discovered the Frankincense Deep Cleansing Balm in my first LoveLula subscription beauty box by a brand called Balm Balm and it completely changed the way I looked at skincare for my extremely dry, flaky skin. So much so that I bought the whole frankincense range!

The set contains the Deep Cleansing Balm, a Light Facial Oil, a Soothing Facial Tonic, a muslin cloth and it all comes in a little muslin carry bag.

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Firstly I take my makeup as normal then I apply a small amount of the cleansing balm to my face and neck, massage in for a minute or so and gently remove with the damp muslin cloth. After I have patted my face dry with a towel I’ll do a few sprays of the tonic. Next I add 2 or 3 drops of the light oil to my moisturiser and gently rub in to my face and neck.

Seriously this is this dreamiest skincare routine I have ever done! It’s light, its fresh and it smells lovely! It makes my skin baby soft and smoothes out all my dry patches of eczema. At first I didn’t get on with the oil that well because I was using too much so it was just sort of sitting on top of my skin. But then when I realised it would work better for me if I mixed a few drops in with my daily moisturiser then I really started to see the benefits. The balm really gives my skin a good base for the day and I feel like it protects my skin against the elements. The tonic is so refreshing and the oil is the perfect primer for my foundation/ concealer. I have made these products part of my daily routine for about 2 years now and continue to do so. Also they are all made with 100% organic ingredients! Perfect!

I buy my Balm Balm products here…

As always, if you are trying out a new product then please check the ingredients and do a patch test in case of allergies.

 

 

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