It can take a lot of trial and error to find skincare products that will not cause you eczema flare ups; after all eczema triggers are quite individual.
Learning how to read and understand cosmetic labels will save you a lot of hassle. When it comes down to it, you need a product that will bring down the inflammation, soothe the skin and restore the damaged moisture barrier.
The following tips will help you avoid common pitfalls in choosing face and body care when you have eczema.
- Choose fragrance free. Avoid formulations with dyes and fragrance. Whether it is synthetic (parfum) or natural (essential oils) fragrance is a common irritant in skin care. Watch out for words like Fragrance, Parfum/Parfume, Linalool, Citronellol, Cinnamal, Limonene, Geraniol, Eugenol, Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia), Rose flower extract (Rosa damascene), Bergamot oil (Citrus bergamia), Ylang-ylang oil (Canaga odorata), Lemon (Citrus limon), Lime (Citrus aurantifolia or Citrus medica), Orange (Citrus sinensis), Tangerine (Citrus tangerine), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Spearmint (Mentha spicata), Menthol, Cinnamon (Cinnamomum) etc
- Choose emollient moisturizers. Eczema is best managed by reducing the amount of moisture that is lost through an already impaired moisture barrier. Using cream products laden with emollient ingredients like shea butter, beeswax and glycerin will keep the skin soft and supple. Occlusive ingredients like mineral oil/paraffinum liquidum and plant oils like coconut and jojoba work extremely well with the emollients in a well formulated creamy moisturizer to reduce moisture loss and heal the skin.
- Choose gentle cleansers. Whether it’s a shower gel or a facial cleanser, make sure it’s free of harsh ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate interacts with the skin’s protein; making it difficult to completely rinse away. The film left behind will irritate the skin.
- Choose soothing ingredients. Ingredients like colloidal oatmeal/avena sativa extract/oat extract, calendula extract, green tea extract, and allantoin have anti inflammatory properties that will soothe the skin.
Many advocate for the use of preservative free products. I wouldn’t be too comfortable to jump on that train. I’m not a great supporter of preservative free skincare products, especially in cases where the product has water as an ingredient. Because: microbial contamination. I think it’s worse to use a potentially contaminated product on already damaged skin. This however, is just my opinion.
If you do prefer a preservative free product make sure to store it very well.