After ditching the cold and moving to Austin, Texas four months ago, I thought my days with eczema numbered. In theory, humid weather should offer relief for dry skin, but I’ve had the opposite experience. Since relocating to the Lone Star State, I’ve been made aware that summer eczema does exist in the form of dry patches and flares—no thanks to the scorching hot temperatures, which average in the high 90s.
“Eczema-prone skin has an impaired barrier function, and as a result, the skin does not retain water as well as those without eczema, so skin becomes dry and inflamed,” says Jeffrey Fromorowiz, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Boca Raton, Florida. He adds that this can still happen in hot, humid weather, which means summer eczema is very much a thing—and it’s essential to adjust your skin-care routine accordingly.
Most of the skin-care products that I’ve traditionally used to treat eczema were designed for more frigid temperatures (aka thick, creamy, and occlusive), so to deal with flare-ups this summer, I made the switch to Olay’s Sensitive Skin Collection, and it's been a game changer.
What is Olay’s sensitive skin collection
The collection, which launched in May, was designed to target symptoms associated with eczema and provide relief to people with sensitive skin. It features four products: Skin Relief Cream ($40), Soothing Moisturizer ($30), Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 30 ($30), and a facial cleanser (which, sadly, is currently sold out).
Olay’s sensitive skin collection is available over the counter, but was formulated with many of the same ingredients dermatologist recommend to their eczema-prone patients. First up, colloidal oatmeal. This type of oat extract works great on eczema-prone skin because it “forms a protective and hydrating seal over the surface of the skin and contains anti-inflammatory avenathremides,” Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, previously told W+G. Colloidal oatmeal is especially helpful for eczema because it can help combat the uncomfortable symptoms of eczema like itching, irritation, and rashes.
What’s more, thanks to the infusion of shea butter, skin gets an additional dose of hydration. As a skin-conditioning agent, shea butter forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface to prevent water loss and keep skin cells quenched, even in hot temperatures.
How the products work
To start, Olay’s moisturizer has a buttery consistency that melts into the skin with just a few swipes. Enriched with 0.5 percent colloidal oatmeal and shea butter, this moisturizer delivers instant hydration and relief to the dry skin patches around my lips. It’s also formulated with vitamin B3, which evens out my complexion. The formula is long-lasting, and I find that I don’t need to reapply until the end of the day. Since using this moisturizer, I’ve noticed more plump and dewier skin and fewer dry patches.
Though the moisturizer is slightly creamier than what I'd typically use in the summer, it blends easily and feels lightweight on the skin—which makes it easy to layer under SPF. I apply Olay’s sunscreen—which clocks in at SPF 30 and protects me against the UV rays—daily after my moisturizer and every two hours as recommended by dermatologists. In addition to my moisturizer, this sunscreen adds an extra dose of hydration thanks to the colloidal oatmeal and glycerin blend.
Like the moisturizer, the sunscreen blends easily into the skin, leaves behind no white cast, and is packaged in a pump applicator that makes it easy to dispense. Also nice? It’s free of fragrances, so I don’t have to worry about it irritating my skin.
Olay’s Sensitive Skin Moisturizer and Mineral Sunscreen leave my skin looking and feeling more hydrated and dewy—and in the face of eczema and summer's extreme heat, that's exactly what I need.
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