Eczema is a chronic skin condition caused by weak skin, and results in allergens being able to enter the body more easily. If you suffer from eczema, you’ll be all-too-familiar with the dryness, flaky skin and redness that goes hand-in-hand with this often painful skin condition.
Having eczema necessitates a few changes to your beauty routine, as well as the vetting process for introducing new products to your skin.
Get our top tips for dealing with flare-ups and the best K-Beauty products for eczema.
If you suffer from eczema, adopt a three-pronged approach to introducing any new products to your skincare routine –
1 First, perform a severe allergy test – this involves using a tiny amount of the new product on the inner corner of your arm for one hour. If you don’t experience any adverse reactions from this, move onto the second test.
2 Try a 48 hour patch test – this involves re-applying a coin-sized amount of the product onto your arm several times a day for a 48 hour period. Watch out for any reactions, but if your skin handles this as well, you can move onto introducing the product to your face.
3 Try using the product on half of your face (only) for a month. If you experience any symptoms, immediately discontinue using it.
As eczema results from a weakened skin barrier, it’s essential to opt for low pH soaps and face washes, body washes and shampoo/conditioner. pH balanced products support the skin’s protective barrier function, and ensure it stays balanced so that it can fight bacteria and infection.
The basic rule: anything you put on your skin that is higher or lower than its natural pH will raise or lower the skin’s pH as well. This is why it’s best to opt for products that are between a pH 5.5 to 7. For more on the importance of pH balanced products see our previous blog post here.
Eczema sufferers are usually well advised to avoid harsh anionic surfactants (such as sulphates and olefin sulfonates), drying alcohols, fragrances and most essential oils. Caution is also recommended with chemical sunscreens. On the other hand, urea and glycerin are both known to play nicely with eczema-prone skin.
Some of our other favourite ingredients, which you’ll frequently find in K-Beauty products, include:
Aloe vera can help soothe and heal eczema in the same way it soothes and nourishes burnt skin.
Although it’s not for everyone, many eczema sufferers find that Korean beauty products containing snail mucin can assist with their flare-ups. Be sure to patch test to confirm that snail works for your skin.
If all else fails and you end up with a flare-up, try soaking in an oatmeal bath (with 2-3 cups of finely ground oatmeal). Once you’re out of the tub, use an ice pack to lessen the inflammation and soothe any itchiness. If severe flare-ups persist, prescription medication and antihistamines may be options to talk about with your doctor.
Do you have eczema? What are your best K-Beauty products for eczema? Let us know in the comments.
"Winter is known for being the worst season for eczema"- Eczema Association of Australasia
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