It’s 2019, and Mandy Moore has a rash. “I started getting these red splotchy, itchy, inflamed, and peeling spots all over my face,” she recalls. “I just assumed, ‘Well, I’m working a lot, I wear a lot of makeup. This probably has something to do with that.’”
It didn't. Even after "throwing the kitchen sink" at the situation, the uncomfortable symptoms persisted. “[Finally], I was like, ‘Okay, I need to get a real doctor’s eyes on this.’” When she did, her dermatologist diagnosed her with atopic dermatitis—the most common form of eczema.
For many, the diagnosis might feel like a setback, but for Moore, it was a relief. As she puts it, “Once I knew what it was, I could move forward and understand what triggered it and how to prevent it."
How Mandy Moore manages her eczema
Four years after that initial rash showed up, Moore's gotten a pretty solid handle on how to deal. "My atopic dermatitis really flares up this time of year, as it starts to get colder and drier, so I know come winter I'm going to have to implement some different things that I don’t necessarily need to do year-round,” says Moore. This means stocking up on occlusive and skin-soothing ingredients ahead of the colder months as well as keeping her routine as streamlined as possible all year round.
These days, she keeps her regimen "pared down to a really manageable, easy, simple level," she says. Think: fragrance-free formulations, more natural ingredients, and always having some Aquaphor ($13) on hand. She’s also a fan of Cerave products, particularly the brand's Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($16) and Moisturizing Cream ($18), both of which are formulated to suit sensitive skin types and are packed with ultra-nourishing ceramides.
Equally as important as what you put on eczema-prone skin is what you keep off of it, which is why part of Moore's treatment plan involves advocating for herself and her skin needs while she's in the makeup chair. “I have my own bag of tricks,” she says. “If I haven’t worked with a makeup artist before or haven’t been able to have a conversation with them prior, I bring my makeup bag and say, ‘Hi, I have eczema. So there are certain products that I like to use, certain things that I don't like to use, certain things that irritate my skin.’ I know what works best for my skin.” A few of her go-to brands (which happen to be our favorites, too)? Kosas, Westman Atelier, Merit, and Saie Beauty.
Of course, effectively managing eczema goes beyond just switching up your topicals with the seasons—and Moore has found that a holistic, 360-degree approach works best for her individual skin needs. “Food is a big help, like having things that are rich in omega-3s,” she shares. “I'm a huge salmon and sardine fan; that really helps establish more of a moisture barrier in my skin. Stress is also a trigger, which is unavoidable for most of us.”
How she deal when the effects of her eczema are more than skin-deep
While eczema affects the skin physically, it can also take a toll emotionally—which is something Moore learned firsthand during her early struggles with the skin condition.
“Your self-confidence can absolutely take a hit and that's no small thing,” says the actor, who has partnered with Incyte on its “Moments of Clarity” campaign to raise awareness around eczema. “It's how you feel in the world and it's how you present yourself to the world, because we're all 'public-facing' in one way or another."
For Moore, it’s all about having grace for herself and turning to her all-important toolbox of treatment methods in those less-than-pleasant moments. “I would just encourage people to harness their power and talk to a doctor and know that you don't have to suffer in silence," she says. "There is a way to feel confident, feel like you're putting your best foot forward in life and to not be uncomfortable anymore.”
“I know what it's like to live with eczema...and I know the different ways and means to help myself and get through this,” Moore continues. “I know how to find relief for my symptoms. Those kinds of things, I think, are helpful in those moments. But really just recognizing that this is just a moment in time and tomorrow will be a new day. Just the simple, ‘This too shall pass.’”
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