skin conditions

Alternatives to apply to your skin if you are suffering with Eczema or Psoriasis

When it comes to managing eczema or psoriasis, you definitely want to be more cognisant of what is being applied to the skin. After all, the skin is the largest organ of the body and is absorbing whatever is being applied topically. If using common over the counter moisturisers, more than likely they contain toxic chemicals that are best avoided at all costs.

 The below list has been proven to be effective when searching for alternatives. These ingredients will not only aid moisture, but will also nourish and heal the skin.

Alternative moisturising agents to apply topically:

Coconut Oil

It is thought that the  lauric acid in coconut oil is the active agent which helps eczema heal. Lauric acid is a nutritious fatty acid, or lipid, also found in breast milk. It is used to develop monolaurin, which is an antimicrobial agent that can fight bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses and other pathogens, therefore making it an antimicrobial agent that can fight yeast, fungi, viruses and bacteria.

Credit to Irene Kredenets

Credit to Irene Kredenets

Coconut oil has a natural ability to penetrate the skin quickly which will boost the hydration therefore reducing the chances of an infection.

This study also proved the ant-inflammatory benefits of coconut oil which makes it a suitable oil to apply topically for those struggling with eczema.

When using coconut oil as a moisturiser, ensure that it is cold pressed and extra virgin. This will ensure there are no additional chemicals added.

 Personally, I have found coconut oil to be very key in terms of our healing experience with eczema, however it was typically used in conjunction with another oil.

 Blackseed oil

This has to  be one of my favourite oils and is a must for any natural first aid cupboard. Blackseed oil is also known as black caraway, black cumin, kalonji, and black onion seeds and comes from the Nigella Sative plant. In an oil form it can be ingested and applied topically. This article explains the phenomenal properties of blackseed and why it so beneficial to people with eczema or psoriasis. Some of the properties of blackseed oil include:

  • Antimicrobial

    • Antibactrial

    • Antiviral

    • Anftifungal

    • Antiparasitic

  • Wound Healing

  • Anti-inflammatory

 Jojoba and Borage Oil

These oils are also seeing promising results when used as part of a moisturising regime for eczema, this is once again largely due the anti-inflammatory properties these oils possess.

 Tea tree oil

This oil is commonly used topically today to treat wounds and cuts, but is also very useful when treating eczema. One study even found it more effective than using zinc oxide or itchthammol topically. Benefits of using tea tree oil specifically for eczema include:

  • Reduces Inflammation

  • Heals wounds

  • Fights off viruses

  • Relieves itching

Credit to Cari Corbet -Owen

Credit to Cari Corbet -Owen

Aloe vera

This plant is long known for its natural moisturising properties and there is now some evidence to suggest that it could be particularly useful when dealing with eczema. The following properties of aloe vera is what makes this another great option to consider:

  • Antioxidant

  • Antimicrobial

  • Immune boosting

  • Would healing

You want to ensure you are using 100% aloe vera gel.

From personal experience, the cooling nature of this plant was also very useful to calm the itching that is typically associated with eczema or psoriasis.

 Wrapping it Up

There are a few more options, but these above are the most commonly used topical applications when it comes treating eczema or psoriasis. As you can see there are no crazy names that are impossible to pronounce and more importantly the body would actually recognise these ingredients.

Whilst dealing with eczema or psoriasis, the healing is very much an “inside” job rather than an ‘outside’ in approach. These ingredients have proven to be very effective when wanting to manage and heal eczema and psoriasis naturally.

It is important to note that what works for one, may not work for another. It is all about trial and error, even with natural approaches. At one point in our journey, I got so specific of what I knew worked for my son, that I had it custom made up, and even then, I still needed to add my own additional coconut oil.

From my experience, I’ve found a combination of coconut oil, blackseed oil and tree tree to be amazing at assisting the healing the process. It goes without saying with eczema or any skin condition, that it is all about moisture, moisture and more moisture ,so a once off application will not cut it.

If you need assistance wanting to heal eczema or psoriasis from the ‘inside out’ then email info@chantalkhoury.com.au to see which one of packages may best suit you and your family.

Chantal1 smaller.png

Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums transform the health of their family’s by using Food as Medicine and transformational wellness practices to create peace, harmony and joy.

Ingredients to avoid when looking for a moisturiser for Eczema

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?

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The below list is not exhaustive, but a sample of the most common toxic ingredients found in commonly known skin moisturisers.

Sulfates

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.

Parabens

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.

Phthalates

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.

Triclosan

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.

Siloxanes

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.

PEGS

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”

Petroleum

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.

Ingredients 1

  • 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

Ingredients 2

  • Acid Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceridestearic, Petrolatum, Sodium Hydroxypropyl, Water

Ingredients 3

  • 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:

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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 info@chantalkhoury.com.au and let’s get the ball rolling.

Chantal1 smaller.png

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.

The Top 3 Foods that could be triggering the next Eczema Flare

This really is a topic that is close and dear to my heart. My little man suffered terribly with this debilitating skin condition. I was literally pulling my hair out and would do ANYTHING to give some relief and not watch him scratch himself to sleep. These are memories that still haunt me today. There was a silver lining in the cloud and we did heal his eczema naturally with lots of concerted effort.

Eczema is very much an inflammatory skin condition that is linked to the health of 2 organs in particular, the gut and the brain, i.e. root causes. Will go into that another day.

There are 3 main triggers that can set off a flare up, food being one of them. Most people suffering from eczema will quite often have a very strong sensitivity or allergy towards the common inflammation causing foods. This was definitely the case for my son, even though none of the practitioners would listen to my concerns at the time to get him tested. In true stubborn "Chantal" style, I took myself privately to get him tested, and what do you know? A positive testing to at least 3 of the 7 common foods, anaphylactic to 2 of them.

The top 3 trigger foods for Eczema:

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  • Dairy - A sensitivity or allergy to cow milk dairy is more than likely due to the A1 protein found in the milk. This is not to be confused with a lactose intolerance to dairy, which is an issue processing the natural sugar found in the milk.
  • Eggs - Once again due to the protein found in the egg and more than likely the white of the egg than the yolk, however both can present an issue as it did for my son.
  • Gluten - The culprit here, you guessed it, is the protein found in the gluten. Unlike the other 2 foods above, symptoms can be presented within minutes of consuming gluten, whilst the others can have a delayed reaction.

Other likely and common culprits are:

  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
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My little man tested positive to Nuts, Eggs, Dairy, Peanut & Sesame with anaphylaxis to Nuts, Peanut and Sesame.

How do you know whether these foods can be a trigger for yourself or a loved one?

The short answer is to remove them from the diet for a minimum of 30 days. Couple this strategy with a healing protocol and you will give the body an innate window of healing at which point you can challenge the trigger food.

Just removing the 'culprit food' is counter productive if no healing strategy follows.

For clarity purposes, I want to re-iterate that allergies or sensitivities to the above mentioned food is not the main cause of the eczema, they are just a symptom of a much deeper issue, however can trigger a flare up in most people, not everyone.

If you are feeling completely frustrated and overwhelmed dealing with a skin condition, then why not grab my 90 minute Nutrition & Wellness Audit, where I can help you, uncover the the potential triggers & root causes. Together we will lay out an achievable plan how you can overcome the root causes and start healing without relying on topical & band aid solutions.

Chantal1 smaller.png

Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping families implement healing wholefood protocols and wellness practices to transform the health of the family.