Skincare routine for managing eczema

Filed Under (cleanser, mask, moisturiser, scrub, serum, skincare, toner, treatment) by rinnah on 23-09-2013

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Ah eczema. It’s the bane of my life and has been around for 17 odd years now – more than half my lifespan! It only became a huge issue for me over the past three or so years when various stresses in my life combined to push me over the edge and eczema started to affect my face. Naturally, I panicked and started running all over like a headless chicken, throwing money at any product that even remotely claimed to be for sensitive and eczema affected skin.

So I tried stuff from Dior, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, Kiehl’s, Dermalogica, drugstore brands and even to the extent of buying many expensive natural/organic products from overseas to try and manage my skin. Sometimes it worked for a while and then it would stop working. Other times it just greatly aggravated my skin to the point where I started thinking I would never look ‘human’ again.

Dry skin
Waiting out a flare-up in December 2012

Anyway, the point of this blogpost is not to moan about how horrible eczema can be and how it affects me but to note down the following skincare routine – I’ve been following various permutations of this routine for the past 5 months and I think I’ve found the right combo that helps me in managing my eczema.

Back to Basics
Eczema flare-ups can last anywhere between a week to a month for me, depending on the severity of the flare-up and whether or not I’m on doctor’s prescribed medication. Symptoms of an ongoing flare-up include itching, swelling, redness, inflammation, weeping, crusting and even bleeding when the skin splits.

Whenever I have a flare-up, I stop ALL skincare to keep from aggravating my skin. I only wash my face with water in the mornings. Occasionally at night, I will use Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser. I can get away with this very basic cleansing routine because I don’t use any makeup at all during a flare-up.

pai skincare camellia & rose cleanser
Image credit to Pai Skincare

After cleansing, I will apply calendulis cream from The Eczema Company on the patches of eczema. Calendulis cream is made from the calendula flower and is almost as effective as a cortisone / steroid cream and better in the long run as it is natural. This is so gentle I can even use it around and all over my eyelids, because the eczema tends to breakout there.

Healing and Treating
Once my skin has passed the swelling/weeping stage and starts drying out, it will start to peel. I will vaguely resemble either a bad sunburn victim or a reptilian creature, depending on how you want to look at it. There will still be itching, redness, inflammation, crusting, flaking/peeling and also bleeding when the new skin tears or splits.

No change to the cleansing and moisturizing routine from the basics above. I add on one extra step to aid with the healing process by using Leaders Insolution aloe vera sheet mask nightly, after cleansing with the Pai cleanser and before the Eczema Company calendulis cream. Once a week I will switch from using the Pai cleanser to Mario Badescu enzyme cleansing gel for some gentle exfoliation to aid in removing the flakes and dead skin cells.

Maintenance
After all of the skin flakes have dropped/peeled off, my skin will still have red/discoloured patches where the eczema outbreaks were. Sometimes the dryness and flaking will continue on these patches for a period of time even after the rest of my face is back to normal.

Sulwhasoo first care activating serum
Image credit to Sulwhasoo

As my skin gradually regains normality, oil production returns. Hello shiny nose! When this occurs, I will cleanse my skin with Sulwhasoo gentle cleansing foam in the night and use the Pai cleanser in the mornings if needed. I continue to use the Mario Badescu gel once a week for exfoliation and mild brightening effects. After cleansing I will use Sulwhasoo first care activating serum all over my face, followed by the Eczema Company calendulis cream on dry patches. At night I continue to use either the Leaders Insolution AC-dressing sheet mask or the Hyaluronic sheet mask after cleansing and before the Sulwhasoo first care serum. Which mask I use depends on whether I want to address redness (AC-dressing) or hydration (Hyaluronic) issues, but most of the time I will use the AC-dressing one as I find it is more effective for me.

Leaders Insolution AC-Dressing Skin Clinic Mask

Adding the step of a nightly sheet mask was when I really started to see major improvement in my skin in terms of healing time and also in spacing out the downtime between flare-ups. I must note though that my skin only seems to work with Leaders Insolution sheet masks as I attempted to use My Beauty Diary once and had a mild flare-up on the following day.

Adding the Extras
Once I’ve gotten my skin to the stage where I’m pleased with it, I usually start to add on what I term as ‘extras’ to my skincare routine. So far I’ve found that my skin seems to adore the Sulwhasoo TimeTreasure perfecting water and the TimeTreasure perfecting emulsion in addition to the first care serum at night. In the day time I use Sulwhasoo Renodigm Ex dual care cream for mild UV protection.

Sulwhasoo renodigm ex dual care cream
Image credit to Sulwhasoo

So that’s it – what I’m currently using to manage my skin. While each individual has unique peculiarities and what works for me might not work for someone else, I hope that this post may be of use at the very least to give hope to anyone suffering from eczema.

September 2013
Present-day in September 2013

What I bought from Macau

Filed Under (cleanser, cosmetics, lip balm, moisturiser, serum, skincare, toner) by rinnah on 16-11-2012

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Happy Friday all! :D

It’s been a rather packed November for me so far and there’s still more to come as November ain’t finished yet!

I started the month off with a company trip to Macau and took some time off the following week to return to Malaysia over the Diwali public holiday. All that travelling meant that I didn’t spend more than 5 days in any one country over the past 2 weeks and yes, my skin did act up a bit. :( Hopefully with a little bit of downtime in the next week or so I’ll be refreshed and ready for my next travelling stint!

While I was in Macau for a whirlwind 3 days at the beginning of the month, I managed to squeeze in a fair bit of shopping even though I visited only 2 shopping spots – the Sasa in the Venetian Macau and a small Bonjour at Senado Square (I saw a second, larger Bonjour also at Senado Square but ran out of time!).

Dior Macau haul

First up is my Dior haul – I’m very into the Capture Totale range right now after incorporating the One Essential super serum into my night routine. What better time to stock up on mini sample/travel sizes of the Capture Totale range than when you’re at a Bonjour store? Heheheh.

Ever since I returned from Macau, I switched over to using the Capture Totale range exclusively together with L’Oreal’s Youth Code range and so far, my skin’s loving it! (My purse may not love it so much though…) Now if only I could score a sample of the One Essential mask somewhere… :P

Sasa Macau haul

This is the rest of the stuff I managed to get my hands on – the Shu Uemura eyelash curler also came from Bonjour, the L’Oreal Youth Code Luminize from Nuance-Watson (because it’s not available in Singapore or Malaysia), Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin (I blame this impulse purchase on Paris B’s review – on hindsight I should have just gotten it from Lush Singapore), Revlon Just Bitten lip balm stains (this one I blame on Kahani’s review – I picked up four more for Toughcookee by proxy! #evurl shopping FTW! and cleared the racks at Sasa) and a Clarins gommage that intrigued me.

I should be all shopped out for November but… my company is sending me to Hong Kong for a seminar at the end of the month, which means MORE SHOPPING! :P

I promise I’ll be good for the rest of the year after this month (only one more month left in the year anyway). Heh.

What’s inside my Bellabox June 2012

Filed Under (bodycare, fragrances, lotions, serum, skincare, toner) by rinnah on 21-06-2012

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june bellabox

I think of all the Bellaboxes I’ve received thus far, I’m liking the June Bellabox most of all. :D

Themed the Summer Upgrade box, I was extremely psyched to find out that June’s box included sample/travel sizes of the following products:

  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
  • Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
  • Ralph Lauren Romance
  • Biotherm White D-Tox BB Cream
  • Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Moisturizer
  • Lancome Blanc Expert Derm-Crystal
  • Lancome Genifique Youth Activator
  • Shu Uemura Whitefficient Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil

Whew! That’s quite a bumper box of goodies! :D

So far I’ve already dug into Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and you can betcha I’ll be purchasing this once I’ve finished up my sample. I’ve already been using Ralph Lauren’s Romance perfume, so having a travel vial allows me to keep it in the office.

Do you have a Bellabox subscription already? Or does this box tempt you to sign up?

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion

Filed Under (moisturiser, skincare, toner) by rinnah on 13-12-2010

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Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Lotion

Tagline : Perfect X Simple Skincare

Description : Contains advanced skin hydrating ingredient – Super Hyaluronic Acid, with twice the moisture retention capacity of Hyaluronic Acid (1 gm of Hyaluronic Acid is able to hold up to 6 liters of water). Replenishes essential moisture to visibly improve skin texture and prevent dryness so skin stays soft, hydrated and supple.

Directions : Use twice a day after cleansing face. Apply on palms and gently pat onto skin until thoroughly absorbed.

Packaging : 170ml

Recommended retail price : MYR 40.90 (do look out for regular sales – around 10% off – on the Hada Labo range at your local pharmacy)

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My review :

So I gave in and finally hopped onto the super hyaluronic acid bandwagon a few months back. How could I not, with various beauty bloggers touting the “toing toing” effects it had on their skin and the combined lure of 10% off at Guardian? That was how I ended up with a bottle of Hada Labo’s Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion (from now on referred to as Hada Labo SHA).

Call me naive if you must, but with the word ‘acid’ in the name of the product, I was initially very wary of how this product might react on my sensitive skin. But if it worked for Connie of SkinDeco who has sensitive skin, surely it would work for me too, right?

Anyway, Hada Labo SHA is a lotion, which in Asian skincare terminology means the Western equivalent of a toner and is meant to be applied after you cleanse your face and before your regular moisturizer.

The packaging of this product is so Japanese because it is practical and useful. It’s not fancy to look at, but it gets the job done, especially the outlet hole at the top of the bottle – it only lets out a drop of the product at one time, so unless you get carried away you’re not likely to end up pouring too much out at a go.

Once you get by the simplistic ‘Zen’ packaging, there’s nothing to look at when you pour out the product onto your palm. Hada Labo SHA looks exactly like water because it’s clear and the consistency of water. There’s also no fragrance, which adds even more to the illusion of water. These are plus points in my book because my skin has been known to react against excessive color or fragrance in products.

I like to apply my Hada Labo SHA on a damp face – i.e. don’t completely dry off your face after washing and before applying Hada Labo SHA. I find it helps to lessen the sticky feeling and seems to help the product be absorbed into my skin faster, without me having to ‘slap’ my face for ages. Here’s the video showing you how to ‘slap’ your Hada Labo SHA the right way:

I find that for me, the benefits of using Hada Labo SHA is not seen immediately but in the following hours after I use it as hours later, my skin still looks nice and plump and fresh as only well moisturized skin can be. Having experimented with using Hada Labo SHA both with and without a moisturizer, I can say for certain that it does work way better with any of my moisturizers layered on top as I would then get that soft and lovely feeling coupled together with that ‘toing toing’ bouncy feel. But in a pinch (although I wouldn’t dream of doing this all the time), I can use Hada Labo SHA on its own and still feel that my skin is adequately moisturized.

Would I repurchase this? Well, it’s going to take me a really long time to get through my bottle of Hada Labo SHA but I would definitely come back for more ‘toing toing’ goodness when I’m done!

Yes factors : Does a great job moisturizing skin, non-fragranced, works on sensitive skin, relatively cheap selling price
No factors : Can be time consuming to apply

Read other blogger reviews here :
Beetrice
Connie
Eli
Giddy Tigress
Jenn
Paris B
Plue

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