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.

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

Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Filed Under (cleanser, skincare) by rinnah on 18-07-2012

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I think I’m in love with this brand. :P

pai skincare logo

I was randomly browsing beauty blogs when I read fellow blogger Gaby’s post where she said that a combination of Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate oil and Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream worked well to help her keep her eczema under control. I am a veritable sucker for all things – whether it be products or services – that claim to help eczema sufferers and have little hesitancy to try out the next ‘miracle’ cure. So off I toddled to the Pai website and popped their sample kit for sensitive skin into my shopping cart together with a bottle of the Rosehip BioRegenerate oil.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’d have seen my tweets on how amazed I was at the quickness of Pai’s customer service in sending my products. I placed my order on a Friday afternoon and it was shipped out on the same day itself and in my hands by Tuesday morning all the way from UK! I was already impressed at the speedy delivery and I hadn’t even started using the products at that point in time.

pai skincare samples

When I opened up my package, I was absolutely delighted to find these cute wee sample tubs of Pai’s Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (2 tubs), Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator and Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Moisturizer. A perhaps irrelevant point, but I really liked how sturdy the tubs were – much better than the Daiso kits I use for travelling at the moment.

pai skincare camellia & rose cleanser
Image credit to Pai Skincare

And after that lengthy introduction, I’m finally going to cut to the chase. I was blown away by Pai’s Camellia & Rose cleanser from the first use. The cleanser is soft and creamy and the texture of it seems to invisibly melt into your skin to cleanse. Naturally, no foam or bubbles or even white milky streaks on your face. Just a wonderfully soft feeling when I massage a dollop of the cream into my face. Much like the touted Eve Lom cleanser (which I have not tried before), Pai recommends using warm water and a muslin cloth (provided in the full size version of the cleanser) to gently wipe and rinse away any residue from your skin. Having no muslin cloth at hand, I used a soft face towel and that worked just fine too. Amazingly, this simple and gentle method of cleansing my face worked more wonders in removing the dry flaking skin on my face from a recent eczema flare-up than any of my other gentle exfoliation methods previously. And have I mentioned the scent? It’s soft and delicate, and made me feel like I was having a spa session in my home.

The end result was soft, soothed, non-irritated, calmer looking skin. I have not felt my skin feel this comfortable on its own for a long while now, and needless to say, I’m delighted.

I can confidently say that I vastly prefer Pai’s Camellia & Rose cleanser over my previous standby Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser for Intolerant Skin. I was never really able to put my finger on it before, but now I can – Avene feels a bit like it sits on top of my skin because I feel there’s filmy layer is left behind whereas Pai sinks into your skin, leaving it soft and hydrated to the look and touch. This baby’s a keeper for me!

Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser retails for USD 50.00 (100ml) on their international website here.

Description : Our Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser easily removes dirt, make-up and other impurities that build up on your skin throughout the day. Suitable for all skin types, including allergy prone skin, the Pai cleansing system is gentle but effective. Unlike detergent or alcohol based cleansers, it won’t dry out or irritate your skin. Bursting with omega 3 and vitamins A, B, C & E, this cleanser works to hydrate your skin, leaving it soft and supple.

Directions : For eyes – Pump one dose of cleansing cream on to a cotton wool pad and gently pull the pad across the eye lid to gently lift away make-up. For face – Gently massage 2-3 pumps of cleansing cream onto damp skin. Remove with a warm damp muslin cloth using a circular motion. Rinse the cloth and repeat the exercise until all the cream has been removed. Finish with a splash of cold water to the face.

And finally, a related but yet unrelated postscript : In the course of writing this blogpost, I did some Googling and lo and behold, apparently Paris B reviewed their hand cream before. (But the brand didn’t strike my fancy then. Ahahahaha.)

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