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

Neutrogena Deep Clean Revitalising Ultra Foam Cleanser in Pink Grapefruit

Filed Under (cleanser, skincare) by rinnah on 04-10-2012

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(Goodness me! I’ve been a tardy blogger. No updates lately and even this is going to be a really brief/uninformative post.)

DC GRAPEFRUIT

I’d been eyeing this foam cleanser for some time now ever since it was launched (I think earlier this year?) because:

a) I like foam
b) I previously had good results with Neutrogena’s Deep Clean range in its original formulation
c) The bottle is pink (yeah, I’m a sucker for pink)

Unfortunately, I had forgotten that:

a) Foam is drying
b) My skin is no longer the same as it was back then
c) I’m supposed to be on a hydrating regime

So when I saw a bottle of this in Beetrice’s bathroom recently, I pounced on the opportunity to try it out.

Uh oh. Bad call.

It was nice to use and I quite liked the foam and scent but the moment I finished rinsing my face I had alarm bells ringing in my head. My skin felt very clean and very taut. I felt a bit like a dried up mummy with skin that was too tight. For a dry-skinned girl with sensitive skin to boot, that was not a good feeling to have.

I quickly topped up with my usual routine of L’Oreal Youth Code Pre-essence and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate followed with Dermalogica Barrier Repair on the spots where I knew my skin was prone to be drier.

No dice.

The next morning, my dry flaky skin was like, majorly emphasized. To add to my woe, the recent Singapore F1 Grand Prix weekend plus business related travel the following week meant that I had no time to really rectify the aggravated dry spots. Boo.

So to all you dry-skinned ladies out there, please steer clear of this foam cleanser. Oily-skinned ladies may like this foam cleanser though as it really does clean well!

My current skincare favorites

Filed Under (cleanser, moisturiser, serum, skincare) by rinnah on 12-04-2012

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Since I got back from my Hong Kong holidays two and a half weeks ago, I’ve been experiencing a period of relatively good skin condition. I’m not sure if it’s attributed to the slightly cooler, rainy weather we’ve been having (less inflammation) or the recent changes I’ve made to my skincare routine.

You see, I was worried that the colder weather in Hong Kong might dry out my already irritated and dehydrated skin even more, so I added a heavier moisturizer/serum combination and continued it even when I returned. So far (touch wood) my skin seems to be loving it.

My skincare routine (April 2012)

Here’s what I’ve been using in the morning and evening:

Morning
- Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser
- Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Barrier Fortifier serum
- Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Creme

and

Evening
- Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
- Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum or Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum

That’s it! I know, it’s an extremely simplified skincare routine, but so far my skin seems to be thriving on it.

What makes my skin happy, makes me happy. :D

For a bird’s eye view of what type of products others incorporate in their beauty routine, do check out the reader comments at Paris B’s post here.

High Tea with Bella Box

Filed Under (bodycare, branding, cosmetics, events, online shopping, skincare) by rinnah on 03-04-2012

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(I am rather late with this post cos my Hong Kong trip and work came up, but better late than never!) :P

Last month, I was lucky enough to be Beetrice’s plus one at Bella Box’s High Tea for bloggers. We had no idea what was in store for us but I can tell you now that it was fun!

bellabox 01

The event was held at Arteastiq Tea Lounge @ Mandarin Gallery. It was my first time there and it would be a place I’d like to revisit – it seems very popular with the hip SG crowd, judging by the stream of people that came while we were there.

arteastiq tea lounge

I have quite a number of pictures from the event after the jump so keep on reading! Read the rest of this entry »

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