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Easing Eczema the ‘Natural’ Way

A couple of week’s ago, I wasn’t feeling too great or ‘goddess’ like. Let’s be honest though, when do we ever feel goddess like? Anyway, a number of things had conspired to make me feel less than great.

To start, my weird allergy thing had decided to reappear after getting rid of my cold. I’m fairly certain I have an annoying dust mite allergy (which is pretty common), which means that in it’s full blown itchy form, I suffer from an itchy roof of mouth, nose and eyes. Although I’ve not been officially told that dust mites are definitely causing it, there are a few things that point to it being related to those critters:

  • it made my hayfever ten times worse and has stuck around throughout the seasons;
  • it’s worse at night and in the morning (dust mites are predominantly found in and around the bed);
  • its intensity varies depending on how dusty a place is (it was a lot worse in our lovely but dusty Florence apartment); and
  • it’s worse straight after hoovering (when particles are thrown up in the air).

Dust mites are therefore the one thing that I can really pin it down too, and although our house isn’t dustier than most people’s, very frequent hoovering, dusting and washing of bed clothes on a high heat seems to make things a little more bearable. I’m quite reluctant to take antihistamines and nasal sprays every day of my life, even though they do help and I appreciate many people do.

Anyway, so a couple of weeks before Christmas, my eyes became insanely itchy, I literally couldn’t stop rubbing them, I’d end up waking myself up by rubbing them in my sleep. All that itching took it’s toll on my skin and led to the return of my eczema – fun times!

So as you can imagine, I was most definitely not feeling like a goddess. I was feeling pretty lousy and not that inspired to go to work with my very red crusty eyes! And so after a long commute into Wimbledon one morning, I had enough and decided to pamper myself a little with a few face-friendly things from Boots and Holland & Barrett. These were my purchases, why I chose them and my thoughts about them! In the end, they had a positive effect on easing my eczema (big woop!).

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Tea Tree Essential Oil

The night before I bought this, I was getting so fed up with my itchy eyes that I started Googling for remedies. In my younger years with eczema, I always resorted to Aqueous Cream or Hydrocortisone Cream, but I didn’t fancy putting either of these on my sensitive eyes. Luckily, I came across a number of articles recommending Tea Tree Essential Oil as a natural, non-cream based way of relieving skin irritations.

Tea Tree Oil comes from a plant called Melaleuca alternifolia, found in Australia and has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, allowing it not only to sooth skin, but also to prevent infection within the sore areas. I’ve read that this essential oil, is one of the few which can be used directly on the skin without a carrier oil, however I think it’s probably best to dilute it anyway.

Although I had intended to use the oil (diluted) on my eyes, I decided instead to mix it with my Epsom bath salts to make the most yummy relaxing bath ever! I added a cup of the salts in a full bath with 5 drops of the oil. It smelt amazing and left my skin feeling so soft. I gently washed my face in this mixture and felt the relieve in my eyes.

For information about using essential oils to help eczema, this post is quite helpful (and interestingly, she’s an environmental consultant like me!).

I bought this Tea Tree Oil from Boots for £7.99. It will last a while though as you only use a couple of drops at a time.

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The Jojoba Company Hydrating Day Cream

This purchase was perhaps the most extravagant!

For a while now, I’ve not really been able to wear makeup as I’ve noticed it’s dried my skin and led to it becoming irritated. That irritation then leads to me rubbing my skin, making the eczema worse… etc! So as you can imagine, I was getting pretty fed up when on the Tube without any mascara or blusher on (pretty much my makeup routine) sat next to all those pretty Londoners!

I thought I’d put a stop to that envy, and decided that if I couldn’t wear makeup, then I sure as hell was going to have nice skin! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Holland & Barrett have quite an extensive range of ‘beauty’ products which tend to be quite a bit friendlier (to your skin and the environment) than most of the stuff on the high-street. I decided I wanted a face cream which was going to keep my skin moist and supple. I opted for The Jojoba Company’s Hydrating Day Cream which was £22.99 (it’s a bit cheaper on Amazon, so that’s why I’ve linked to it there).

Why this cream? Well, I’m not really sure why I picked this one. But I’m glad I did as The Jojoba Company’s philosophy is to use as natural ingredients as possible (their caveat is that they have to add preservatives to ensure mould and other nasties don’t grow in it), and they don’t test on animals or use any animal associated products. The preservatives that they add are all Ok’d and certified by the Natural Products Association. The cream includes the following yummy stuff: Jojoba, Macadamia, Green Tea, Pomegranate, and Chamomile. Although I wouldn’t say it has a strong smell, it reminds me a lot of Spirulina, and I think that’s the Green Tea in it.

I absolutely love this cream. I use it twice daily, once in the morning and then just before I go to bed. I think this has really helped to keep my skin hydrated and has said goodbye to the eczema on my eyes. PHEW!

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Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm

After being recommended this brand by my lovely friend, Megan, I thought I’d give it a go with this intensive lip balm. After a freezing cold day in London, my lips had decided to become very raw and sore. Seriously! My face was conspiring against me!

I popped into Boots and found this life saver. From a little bit of research, Eucerin (who fall under the same parent company as Nivea) have a history (over 100 years!) of developing products which are perfect for sensitive skin through the use of tested ingredients. But! Eucerin do not test on animals.

I’ve probably not used this lip balm enough to find out if it’s any better than other types, but it certainly provided relieve to my very sore lips. And, being someone who suffers from dry lips a lot, I’ll definitely be able to test it some more!

I bought this from Boots at £6, however the link above is for Amazon which is £2 cheaper.

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Heath & Heather Organic Imperial Matcha

I’m a big tea drinker – but occasionally, drinking a lot of tea or coffee can make my skin feel a bit…. less than goddess like! Now, I know that there really isn’t any better substitute for drinking a lot of clean fresh water (especially for skin health), but let’s be honest, it’s not the most interesting of drinks. So when I was in Holland & Barrett, I came across this green tea which includes a small amount of Japanese Matcha.

There are a number of great reasons to drink green tea on a daily basis; for one thing, it’s full of natural antioxidants which fight free radicals that aim to damage cells in our body. In addition, it’s linked to being a reliever of stress.

After some research of the benefits of Green Tea and Matcha, it definitely seems like the jury is still out. But for me, it’s a nice way to start the morning. The other day, I bought this really good travel mug from Lakeland which will be my Green Tea mug, my other travel mug is a little…. tea stained!

These tea bags were about a fiver, I think – annoyingly, I can’t find them on Holland & Barrett’s website and so I’ve linked to them on Amazon.

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The Not-So-Technical Verdict!

As you can probably imagine, it wasn’t all too helpful that I decided to buy this all a couple of week’s after Christmas as it wasn’t cheap, but the nice guy at Holland & Barrett gave me a discount even though my points card had nothing useful on it. I must have really looked like I needed it all!

After a couple of week’s of use, I think my favourite so far has to be the Hydrating Day Cream. Although I’m reluctant to have it as my usual face cream (because of the hefty price tag), it certainly does seem to be caring for my skin and has thankfully, kept my eczema at bay. Runner up has to be the Tea Tree Oil mixed with some Epsom Bath salts. YUM!

Unfortunately, my allergy symptoms are still with me, but at least I’ve managed to sort out my eczema.

Disclaimer: I’m by no means a doctor, and so please please do see someone if you have allergy symptoms or eczema which are irritating you. Something that works for me, might not work for you.