If you want to end the struggle with ECZEMA , this really needs to be worked on from the inside and is a longer term strategy. Whilst this is under way, you still need to manage the symptoms topically and consider what you are putting onto the skin.
Straight up, let me tell you that I understand the struggle to find the “perfect” or “magical” cream when dealing with eczema.
At one point my husband looked in our cupboard and joked that I could almost open up my own chemist with the different creams I had. You know what, NONE of them worked effectively. They would provide moisture or relief for about 20 min and then I was back to square one with red, itchy, scaly skin. Hence my search for the magical cream.
This is what prompted me to ask the question why? These creams come highly regarded and marketed specifically for eczema, and yet they did not live up to their promises. So, I started doing a little more digging, aka obsessed research. It was during this time that I started to find out that the ingredients in these so called “miracle creams” over the counter and quite reasonably priced could be the issue why my son’s skin was NEVER getting better or within in 20 minutes of applying, he was itching like mad again. Don’t even start me on the hideous smell.
I found that there was a lot of ingredients in these so called “miracle” creams that were actually irritants to any skin, let alone someone suffering with highly sensitive skin, they also contained known carcinogens.
Not only that, if you read the ingredients closely, you could barely pronounce one single ingredient. To me that screamed chemical sh&t storm. As someone who favours a more natural way of living, it was not okay to put copious amounts of this stuff my precious boy’s skin.
So what are the ingredients to avoid?
The below list is not exhaustive, but a sample of the most common toxic ingredients found in commonly known skin moisturisers.
This is a chemical cleaning agent that is found in soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, laundry detergents and so much more. Sulfates ates can cause the skin to become dry itchy and irritated which seems crazy as that is exactly what you are trying to fix. Go figure! This chemical essentially strips the natural moisture and oils.
These are very commonly added preservatives to cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. They are easily recognised by a list of names such as methylparaben, ethylparaben and many others with the ending of “paraben”.
This preservative is absorbed by the skin and remains in the tissue. Not only does it mimic the hormone estrogen, but it is also a known endocrine disrupter.
These are similar to parabens which are a chemical preservatives and tend to make the fragrance in cosmetics last longer. If suffering with eczema, you definitely want to avoid anything with a strong smell.
Fragrance, perfume or parfum
As mentioned above, this will be a synthetic chemical added to provide a ‘smell’ which would be highly irritating to anyone with sensitive skin.
This is an active ingredient that is found in just about any type of antibacterial product such as deodorants, cleansers and hand sanitisers. Studies have shown that this ingredient is absorbed by the skin and therefore interfering with the hormone function.
These silicone based compounds are often found in cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten the skin. Similar to Tricolsan, studies have shown this ingredient to be toxic for humans.
These type of products are petroleum based and are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, softeners and moisture carriers.
PEGS commonly go by the name of Oxynol, Ammonium laureth sulfate as well as all ingredients with the ending of “eth”
This is otherwise known as petroleum jelly and the European Union have actually classified it as a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics and therefore best as avoided at all costs. It is commonly used as a barrier to lock in moisture.
Examples of Ingredients in commonly used over the counter moisturisers specifically for Eczema:
More than half of the ingredients can’t even be pronounced and keep in mind they are absorbed by the skin, therefore you body is needing to process these ingredients.
Behentrimonium, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Ceramide EOP, CeramideAP, CeramideNP, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cholesterol, Dimethicone,, Dipotassium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycerin, Methosulfate, Petrolatum, Phenoxyethanol, Phytosphingosine, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Water, Xanthan Gum
Acid Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceridestearic, Petrolatum, Sodium Hydroxypropyl, Water
White Soft Paraffin 14.5% w/w, Light Liquid Paraffin 12.6% w/w and Anhydrous Lanolin (Medilan™) 1% w/w as active ingredients and also Empilan Glyceryl Monostearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Cetostearyl Sulphate, Carbomer, Methyl Hydroxybenzoate, Propyl Hydroxybenzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid Monohydrate, Purified Water
So what now you ask, what do I use instead:
Ingredients in your skincare should easily be easily recognised and should not only moisturise, but nourish and heal the skin.
I remember when I started this journey and searching for that magical “natural’ cream, the advice I was given and will pass onto you is “You need to be able to pronounce and recognise the ingredients and most should be edible so that the body can recongise them”
This article will explore alternative topical applications that will moisturise, nourish and heal the skin.
Also keep in mind that healing the skin is an inside job and you need to be very cognisant of what you are applying topically onto your skin.
If you need help starting to heal your eczema from the inside using nutrition, then please send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get the ball rolling.
Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a very special interest in helping time poor mums create thriving families by using Food as Medicine and transformational wellness practices.