It's felt like an especially frigid winter in most places in the U.S. this year. While I don't normally complain about the cold (that's because I spent years living in Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and now live in New York), the last couples weeks in December had my entire body in a constant state of shiver. Unfortunately for me, my eczema-prone skin was not having it. The culmination of bone-chilling winds, single-digit weather, and the sizzling hot radiator left my skin more parched and flaky than the previous months. Thankfully, I've spent the last few weeks of 2022 trying an array of eczema skin-care products and nailed down a routine that has *finally* quelled my flare-ups.
For context, my eczema appears mainly on my hands and face with some dry patches on my body, the severity varying per year. This year, my eczema has flared on my knuckles and face with skin flaking from my chin. Since "eczema-prone skin has an impaired barrier function, the skin does not retain water as well as those without eczema," Jeffery Fromorowiz, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Boca Raton, Florida, previously told Well+Good. That's why I slather on a myriad of moisture-rich products with hopes of restoring my skin's barrier.
My parched hands soak Skinfix’s Eczema+ Extra Strength Body Cream right up. The formulation is infused with a blend of shea butter, almond oil, and glycerin, humectants that draw moisture back to the skin. What makes this body cream so effective at combatting eczema is the two percent colloidal oatmeal. “Colloidal oatmeal is naturally anti-inflammatory and helps with eczema,” says Gibran Shaikh, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of My Skin of Color.
I apply it directly on my eczema patches and all over my body. Having tested it for a month, I’ve noticed more hydrated and plump-looking skin.
Before going in on my face with moisturizer, I apply Mount Lai’s Brightening Berry Vitamin C Facial Oil. Having eczema means that my skin looks red and has an uneven tone, but this facial oil is formulated with hydrating and skin-smoothing ingredients like sea buckthorn berry oil and antioxidant-rich rosehip oil. My skin doesn’t normally tolerate oil-based products well, but Mount Lai’s formula is non-comedogenic to prevent my pores from clogging (hello, clear and hydrated skin).
Colloidal oatmeal and niacinamide are at the top of the ingredient list for Murad’s Daily Defense Cream. Colloidal oatmeal quells inflammation and stops inflammation in its tracks while niacinamide locks in moisture. The result? Flake and crack-free skin. I apply this cream right after my shower and have noticed fewer instances of parched skin.
My face isn’t the only place where things get patchy. My hands—which feel the driest after an exorbitant amount of hand washing—also experience flareups, too. To keep them tamed, I’ll go in with a dab of Eczema’s Honey Skin-Soothing Cream. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal, almond oil, and honey, the cream nourishes dehydrated skin and revives dead skin back to life.
A concentrated product, the Dermatitis Face Balm boasts a mixture of five percent colloidal oatmeal, sweet almond oil, and shea butter, the later of which Dr. Shaikh says “is a hydrating, occlusive (which holds water in) moisturizer.” Whenever my flareups get bolder, I squeeze a pea-sized amount into my finger tips and gently apply to the affected area.
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