Friday, March 15, 2013

Best Creams for Eczema or Dry Winter Skin

So winter is almost over. It is actually over for me over here on the West Coast. However, know that it is still a bit cold and snowy on the East Coast so I still wanted to post this. This winter has been really rough (no pun intended!) for me in terms of skin care. I have severe eczema that becomes unbearable in the winter months. I'm sure there are others out there with the same conditions so I wanted to provide you guys with some tips on the best creams I have found.

Jergens Shea Butter- I have used this cream for YEARS with positive results. It is the best cream out there on a budget for controlling eczema. My doctor even recommended it saying that it was one of the best in a study he had read. The other drugstore alternative is Vaseline, but I cannot personally recommend it since I have not used it. I layer on the Jergens very generously after my showers after I have patted myself dry. I also reapply it before changing clothes and whenever I start to feel itchy. The bonus of having such a large bottle for so cheap is that I can layer on a hand full anytime I want and the bottle will still last me at least six months if not a year. This might not be so if you share the bottle with a family member.

Lush's Dream Cream- I tried this cream out for the first time this year and I must say I am amazed. Although the cream is pricy ($26.95 for 8.4 oz) it is very effective at stopping the itching and irritation thanks to some very soothing ingredients: oat milk, olive oil, cocoa butter, and chamomile oil. It also disinfects since it has a bit of tea tree oil. In addition, it has minimal (if that) preservatives since it is from Lush. The only downside in my opinion is that it does contain parabens which have been found (but not linked to!) in breast cancer tumors.

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CeraVe- I was first introduced to this lotion while visiting my boyfriend's family. I had run out of cream and needed something fast. His cousin handed me this miracle. This cream is accepted by the National Eczema Association and is produced by Coria Laboratories. I don't usually flaunt science on this website, but I will this time since as a biophysicist I feel that this is a product that has the right science behind it. First it has hyaluronic acid which is what makes skin soft and supple. Two, it uses vesicle technology to deliver the product to the skin and keep it there so it penetrates deep into the skin to repair it. My guess is that it might also have a delayed release system so that the user feels relief over an extended period of time. It is also non-comedogenic and non-irritating. The only downside in my opinion is that it has parabens. This seems to be a common trend in today's market when it comes to cosmetics and body products.

True Blue Spa's Too Shea Body Butter (from Bath and Body Works)- I don't know if this product can still be found at Bath and Body Works. However, when nothing else soothes the skin, I like to pile on this super greasy product. The oiliness is great for even the worst types of eczema. I apologize for the horrible pciture quality/dirty product. I use this a lot and it gets kinda sticky and oily on the outside so dust tends to stick to it. :(

Finally, my last tip has nothing to do with cream, but is still a great tip for eczema. Try to wear as much cotton as you can in the winter or whenever you have an eczema flare up. It will not only prevent the flare up from getting worse but it will also sooth your skin and help the chaffing. I find that jeans are the worse thing to wear in the cold months so I usually stick to cotton leggings/yoga pants. If it is too cold for you to wear just leggings try wearing them under your jeans so that they are the only thing that your skin is directly in contact with.

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