The term eczema describes a number of skin conditions that cause the skin to become dry, inflamed, and itchy with a rash-like appearance. Lest you think you’re alone in your itchiness, over 31 million people in the United States have some form of eczema. Your skincare routine plays a valuable role in managing and minimizing eczema. If you know what to look for in your skincare products and why you need them, you can better (and more comfortably) manage eczema.
What is Eczema?
There are seven types of eczema, including:
- Contact dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Nummular eczema
- Seborrheic eczema
- Stasis eczema
While the symptoms of the different types of eczema look similar, they generally have different triggers and require a different approach to treatment. Talk to your doctor about eczema to find out what type you have and work toward discovering the triggers that cause you to break out. You may also get tips on the kinds of products that can help you most.
How to Pick Skincare Products When You Have Eczema
It might take time to find the triggers that affect your skin. It could be everything from foods and pollen to household cleaners and fabrics. Keep your skincare routine basic at first, and focus on retaining your skin’s natural moisture.
Know Your Cleansers
Dry skin is a common cause of an eczema flare-up. Changes in seasons or weather and frequent washing or a combination of both can easily leave your skin feeling dry, brittle, and prone to cracking.
Be wary of synthetic fragrances and dyes in your skin cleansers, which can irritate the skin. Traditional soap is too harsh and drying for skin prone to eczema. Opt for a soap-free cleanser, like Total Facial Cleansing Gel. This gentle, soap-free formula provides vitamins and antioxidants to nourish and soothe the skin without leaving it overly dry or tight.
It’s not just what you wash with. It’s how you wash that can trigger eczema. Avoid long, hot showers or baths. Extended exposure to hot water dries out the skin. Instead, use tepid water for showers. While an occasional soak isn’t bad, baths are more drying than showers. Keep both showers and baths short to reduce the amount of moisture lost from the skin.
Be careful when drying yourself off. Pat the skin dry rather than rubbing. The extra friction of rubbing removes more moisture and can inflame the skin.
Remember to Moisturize
Moisturizer is one of the most important parts of your skincare routine. Pick it with care. Look for formulas designed for sensitive skin. Avoid harsh (often synthetic) fragrances and dyes. Consider lightweight moisturizers that allow the skin to breathe.
SkinResourceMD’s Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer is an excellent option. This non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores) formula contains no fragrances, oils, or parabens. It also contains a full antioxidant treatment to help heal and protect the skin from sun damage.
Your skincare routine should include a moisturizer in the morning before you apply any makeup products. Apply the same or an ultra-nourishing moisturizer before bed to give your skin a boost before it enters its healing phase during the sleep cycle. You can amplify the effects of your moisturizer by applying it when your skin is slightly damp. This locks in moisturize and extends the benefits of the moisturizer.
Pick Your Sunblock with Care
Sun damage can trigger eczema. Sun protection is incredibly important for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, too. Use a physical sun protector rather than a chemical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays, but their chemicals also soak into the skin and can stay in the bloodstream for days or weeks. Physical sun protectors or sunblocks prevent the UV rays from penetrating the skin.
Look for a formula like Essential Solar Protector that creates a moisture barrier that retains the skin’s natural moisture. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin and offers SPF47 protection. Another moisturizing option is Hyaluronic Facial Solar Protector, SkinResourceMD’s tinted moisturizing sunscreen. It’s another gentle formula that can act as a moisturizer and foundation before you head out the door for the day.
Choose your skincare products with care. Look for gentle formulas designed to work with the skin’s natural moisture. From the cleansing to the moisturizing down to the sun protection, avoid harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes, and comedogenic ingredients. While there’s no cure for eczema, there are many ways to minimize its effects and keep outbreaks to a minimum.