I partnered with AVEENO® on this post. All opinions are 100% my own. I participated in the #AveenoDailyChallenge for three weeks.For the last three weeks I participated in the #AveenoDailyChallenge using both AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash + AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion. The goal was to follow a daily cleanse + moisturize regimen with both products every day in order to accomplish two things - a healthy habit and softer, hydrated skin. Healthy habits don't always come natural to all of us. As an admitted chocoholic, I can tell you that I am more likely to reach for some cocoa deliciousness over a healthier alternative. However, habits don't just happen overnight and it takes consistent repetition over the course of about 21 days to create something you'll stick with. So during the 21 day #AveenoDailyChallenge, I not only challenged myself to stick to a daily cleanse + moisturize regimen, I also consciously made the choice each day to do something healthy when my inner voice would whisper chocolate. For example, putting honey in my tea instead of straight up sugar. (The honey pictured is insanely good and seems to satiate my sweet tooth.) I also added some extra vitamins and supplements like Vitamin D, probiotics, biotin and cranberry in addition to the multi-vitamin I am already taking. If you haven't yet tried AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, it's a pearl-colored body wash with a thick texture that smells incredibly fresh. It's the kind of body wash that will stick to your shower puff, not slide through it, and create a rich lather on your skin. AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion is fragrance free and has the look of a thicker cream with the application of a thinner lotion. It absorbs quickly and is non-greasy. In addition to the natural colloidal oatmeal, this lotion also has dimethicone. Dimethicone is known for its moisture retaining properties that helps prevent and protect skin from cracking and drying in cold weather. After 21 days my skin feels great. I also love that these products are safe to use on my sons, especially my newborn. Did you take the #AveenoDailyChallenge yet? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and Twitter. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!
I partnered with AVEENO® on this post. All opinions are 100% my own. I’m participating in the #AveenoDailyChallenge for three weeks.When it comes to my skin and incorporating healthy habits into my daily life, I can sometimes get into a rut. Whether busyness gets me distracted, the stressors of daily life keep my sidetracked or sometimes, dare I say it, pure laziness gets ahold of me - it all wears on my skin. As we begin to delve into the colder months, it's not only important to begin incorporating healthy habits into our lifestyle, it's imperative. From colds and flu to dry skin and eczema, it seems Fall and Winter are frought with ways to bring you down. So how can stay on top of it without slacking off? Why, using the buddy system of course. It's proven that when you work things in pairs, you have greater success at whatever you are trying to achieve. Of course, you'll want to naturally pair things that make sense like delicious raw honey to sweeten an indulgent tea as a healthy way infuse antioxidants into your diet and to destress. And no, pairing ice cream and your weight loss plan are not a natural pair. (Sorry.) Another way to ensure that you maintain a healthy routine is to make it a habit. Whether it's doing something at the same time every day or pairing the same items together when you use them, "association" is a great way to commit something to memory so that you maintain it. For the next three weeks, I’ll be participating in the #AveenoDailyChallenge, using both AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash + AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion every day. This nourishing duo contains colloidal oatmeal, which is soothing for dry, irritated skin. It's also blended with rich emollients to help replenish skin's moisture barrier. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of dry, itchy skin regardless of the season. Will you join me on my journey to healthy, beautiful, nourished skin? To participate, follow me on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and be sure to tag me and use the hashtag #AveenoDailyChallenge. I'd love to encourage you during this 3- week challenge! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and Twitter. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!
Personally speaking, why do I only get eczema in the spring and summer? My husband and teen-aged son also have an onset of eczema at the same exact time as me, yet two of my younger sons only get eczema in the winter. But why?
I decided to go to the experts for answers because I can't imagine I'm the only one plagued with wondering why spring sets off two seasons of itchy bumps taking up residence on my elbows, inner corners of my arms and my hands - and the more I scratch, the more it spreads.
It was only in the last few years that I suddenly began to have eczema flare-ups and once the summer is over, my skin returns to normal... like it never even happened. Does this happen to you?
"In some ways, eczema is a bit of a mystery. It can pop up in all seasons for many reasons. Causes run the gamut from genetic to an auto-immune issue. In general terms, eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a non-contagious, recurrent inflammation of the skin. It is different from a true allergy, but eczema can get worse if a person is exposed to irritations." says Dr. Barney Kenet.
Fayne L. Frey, MD, FAAD of Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery tells me that to date, there is no cure (although plenty out there say they have the miracle cure.) Eczema is often found in individuals with asthma and hay fever. The exact cause of seasonal outbreaks is also unknown.
However, there seem to be many "triggers" that cause eczema to flare. According to Dr. Frey, they are:
- Dust mites (that hot forced air may blow around a home in the winter.)
- Pets (cats & dogs)
- Pollen (some people flare-up in the spring when pollen counts are high or in the fall when ragweed pollen counts are elevated.)
- Hot weather (may cause summer flareups)
- Low humidity (causes more water to evaporate from the skin which may lead to flare up in the winter)
- Certain foods, like nuts, eggs, soy products, may trigger eczema flare ups (possibly a particular food is eaten seasonally to cause a flare up)
- Hot showers or many showers (could account for flare-ups in the winter or summer for some.)
- Wool in blankets and clothing
When it comes to my younger sons and their eczema onset every winter, it was clear that it was due to our wood stove and thermostat zapping the moisture from our house. It was easy enough to treat by eliminating baths (when they were really little), limiting their showers to every other day and making sure I kept their skin moisturized daily.
However, it wasn't until Dr. Frey mentioned pollen as a culprit that I realized that it must be the trigger for my eczema each spring. Like clockwork when my oldest son, who has severe seasonal allergies, starts with his allergy symptoms, my eczema seems to also appear. I have seasonal allergies, but just not as bad as my son. It all makes sense now that pollen is my trigger. Liz Fuller of Makeup Artistry Inc. brought up the idea that eczema could be triggered by dairy, as well. She had suffered from eczema since she was a baby, but at 43 decided to go dairy-free and within two weeks her eczema was gone and has not returned for over a year now. (I'm not ready to give up my ice cream and frozen yogurt just yet.)
As a side note, dairy is also a culprit when it comes to cystic acne. Now that we know some of the possible triggers, I wanted to find out some of the ways in which we can treat eczema to either help minimize it or at best, prevent the itching that can lead to it spreading to more areas.
Dr. Elizabeth Rostan of Charlotte Skin & Laser suggests using a humidifier in the winter to add moisture back into the air to prevent the skin from drying out. She says that severe cases are helped with soaks in diluted bleach baths and with wet wraps overnight.
Dr. Chynna Steele of Steele Dermatology's recommendations for combatting eczema are: "It is best to keep the skin well moisturized year round to keep eczema flares at a minimum; also, to keep the skin covered (long sleeves and long pants) during the changes in season when environmental allergens are at their highest.
Taking an antihistamine during "allergy season" also helps keep the inflammatory cells in the skin under control and prevent eczema flares. Use gentle, moisturizing soaps and fragrance and dye free soaps, detergents, hygiene products to keep skin calm."
Dr. Barney Kenet says to look for products that say "emollient" and "fragrance free" when it comes to moisturizers. According to Debra Jaliman M.D., Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, you can also apply moisturizer containing glycerin, Shea butter or hyaluronic acid. Again, make sure they are fragrance free, as it can be irritating to your skin. Avoid all products with acid, such as lactic acid in glycolic acid.
When using a sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens and only use a physical sunscreen containing a high concentration of zinc oxide as this is more soothing to the skin.
Pregnant and have eczema? While an anti-histamine like Benadryl is considered pregnancy safe, you may not want to take any medications during those 40 weeks out of erring on the side of caution. Dr. Steele recommends pure shea butter as a moisturizer since it is an anti-inflammatory for the skin and completely natural.
She also suggests Vanicream, which has the seal of approval from the National Eczema Association, because it is also a great product that those with sensitive skin can use and they have some lighter weight options that are good for the summer. (I couldn't determine if this was a cruelty free brand or not, though.)
Some other good cruelty free options are our very own natural body lotion, Waxelene (petroleum jelly alternative), Yes to Coconut Eczema Relief Spray and Nature's Gate Colloidial Oatmeal. I hope you found this article helpful!