With the change of weather my skin has become extremely dry and i’m finding that my usual body cream is no longer doing the job to keep my skin hydrated and soft. My skin has become unbearably itchy and I have been having eczema flare ups more often which is a total nightmare as it keeps me up at night, I hardly sleep because i’m constantly scratching leaving behind new scars which make me self conscious in summer.
My skin literally feels like crocodile skin which is so embarrassing, I try not to go to the doctor or dermatologist as I find that they always prescribe cortisone ointment/creams and antihistamines. Cortisone ointments and creams can really damage one’s skin making it thinner, my skin also tends to rely on the cortisone creams/ointments and when coming off them I suffer really badly with eczema flare ups. So I try to avoid using them no matter how desperate I become. I also try avoiding antihistamines as they make me feel drowsy, groggy and miserable all the time which I hate as I can’t function properly.
This winter I have been trying out Eucerin body products to see which ones work well for me and help soothe my itchy burning skin. I will be telling you all about the products that I have been trying out on my body and face this winter in a series of posts so if you also suffer with a skin condition like myself or looking for products to keep your skin hydrated this season you can read all about my skincare journey and see what works well for me and could possibly work well for you.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked and rough it can also cause blisters. Eczema affects the skin’s barrier function so there’s loss of moisture in the skin and the barrier is weaker and damaged.
Genetic factors, nutrient deficiencies, bacterial infection and dry irritated skin can cause a flare-up. Certain foods like nuts and dairy products trigger the symptoms (I find that not only do dairy products trigger the symptoms but also seafood and canned foods). Environmental factors like smoke and pollen can also trigger symptoms.
There is no cure for eczema only to avoid triggers and to treat symptoms by healing the damaged and inflamed skin. Some people are lucky to grow out of it and some not so much like myself as it has been a lifelong condition. All the Eucerin recommendations at the end of this post help alleviate symptoms it is also good to learn what triggers the flare-ups and to avoid it.
The rashes can be extremely itchy which causes trouble sleeping and scratching can spread the eczema rash to other parts of the body (like my face).
Topical Corticosteroid creams/ointment and antihistamines are often prescribed to treat flare-ups. My body does not handle these very well as using the ointments over time tend to make my skin thin and weak.
Eucerin AtoControl Body Care Lotion
I always use creams as they are much richer and I find them to be more hydrating than lotions but I was excited to finally try out a lotion and feel “normal” for once.
The Eucerin AtoControl Care Lotion is recommended for dry and irritated skin, it contains 12% Omega and Licorice extract. The formula combination of highly concentrated Omega fatty acids (Evening Primrose oil and Grapeseed oil) and soothing Licorice extract replenishes the skin, helping to restore its natural barrier, making it more resilient.
The lotion is fragrance free, it is a water-in-oil lotion which is easily absorbed into my skin as the lotion is thin not thick in texture. I found it to be hydrating, soothing and the itch and tightness is relieved for a short period of time. The lotion has an oily finish on my skin the only problem I had with the lotion is that it is not rich and continuously needs to reapplied throughout the day as my skin starts feeling dry and itchy very quickly.
Eucerin AtoControl Acute Care Cream
The AtoControl Acute Care Cream is a skin calming complex which helps soothe dry and irritated skin and relieves itching, it is applied to affected areas as often as needed. I basically looked at it as an ointment but it is much thinner in texture the same as the lotion.
It has the same skin calming formula as the previous product but contains a few extra ingredients. Licorice Extract is the extra ingredient which helps with itchiness and Decanediol which intensively cares for and actively relieves the skin.
The AtoControl Acute Care cream claims to calm, soothe and reduce scratch so the skin feels more comfortable and it is also suitable for use during a flare-up. My entire body flared up so the tiny tube was not enough, I often mixed it in with the lotion and then applied the mixture onto my skin.
The cream is a yellow colour and has a weird scent but not unpleasant. I felt a slight sting or tingling feeling when applied to the affected areas (which is normal) but unfortunately the relieve did not last long and my skin continued to itch ☹.
Eucerin Original Crème Originale
This is more of what i’m used to it’s a cream in a big tub. The crème is for very dry and sensitive skin and contains rich emollients that seal in moisture to heal, relieve and protect very dry sensitive skin.
Like the lotion the crème is also a water-in-oil formula. The nourishing formula seals moisture in the skin and protects the skin’s protective barrier. It also contains no added fragrance to minimise the risk of skin irritation and allergies. Even though the crème is thick in texture it does not clog pores. It is recommended to use immediately after bathing while skin is still damp for best results. I find it difficult to apply on a cream or lotion immediately after coming out of the shower as I first have to apply on my eye and face cream so immediately locking in the moisture has always been a bit of a problem for me 😐.
I found the texture of the crème to be very thick almost clay like i’m not too sure if it is because of the cold weather or if the texture is normally like that. The extremely thick texture makes it difficult to rub into my skin and it is not easily absorbed. However this was my favourite I found it rich, soothing and moisturising. It did reduce the itchiness and offered longer lasting relief compared to the AtoControl Body Care Lotion so I didn’t have to reapply it as often as I had to with the lotion. The crème has a oil and slight white finish on my skin and was very hydrating.
Eucerin AtoControl Bath and Shower Oil
Like the lotion the bath and shower oil contains 20% Omega and is suited for dry, irritated skin and can be used everyday. I think that this product would be best to use in the bath as it can be very slippery in the shower and I shower everyday.
The AtoControl Bath and Shower Oil contains no preservatives, fragrance or colourants to minimise the risk of skin irritation and allergies which is why Eucerin has to be one of my favourite brands as it is best suited for my skin.
The oil is applied to wet skin and should be gently massaged to gently cleanse dry skin, rinse thoroughly and gently pat the skin dry with a towel taking care not to rub the skin as it irritates the skin and makes it worst. The oil protects the skin from further dryness and helps relieve itchiness.
I’m not really a fan of using oils in the shower but I have been very desperate to get relief for my dry itchy skin. I found that the oil has a weird unpleasant scent which I did not like. It pours out as oil but when rubbed onto the skin it has almost a lotion texture and look. I would like to try this in the bath but unfortunately I haven’t had the time to, I find that it makes the shower a little slippery which makes me scared of falling after my recent accident in the shower.
The AtoControl Bath and Shower Oil helped a lot with hydrating my skin and leaving it slightly softer and less crocodile like.
Below are a list of recommendations from Eucerin (and my thoughts on some) to help with dry and irritated sensitive skin.
Recommendations from Eucerin
- Try to take only one warm (not hot) shower per day. (I find this so difficult when it is sooo cold brrr)
- Do not rub the skin with the towel but pat dry.
- Avoid harsh soaps which further dry out the skin. Eucerin AtoControl Bath and Shower Oil helps to support the moisture and lipid replenishing efficacy of the Care products.
- Afterwards apply a daily Care product (lotion or cream).
- Avoid overheated rooms with low humidity during the winter season.
- Avoid clothes with synthetic materials (synthetic material and blankets irritate my skin a lot so I definitely try and avoid these as much as possible).
- Keep your fingernails short to avoid cracks in the skin. (When my skin is constantly itchy I still manage to find a way to scratch it even with short nails).
- In acute flare-ups phases please first contact your doctor (dermatologist) in order to receive the appropriate medical treatment. (Like I mentioned earlier I find that doctors and dermatologists only prescribe cortisone creams which my skin relies on and allergy medication makes me feel very miserable but if it’s extremely uncontrollably bad I do recommend that you see a doctor).
Below are the prices of each product:
- Eucerin AtoControl Body Care Lotion R189.99 250ml
- Eucerin AtoControl Acute Care Cream R189.99 40ml
- Eucerin Original Crème Originale R179.99 45g
- Eucerin AtoControl Bath and Shower Oil R179.99 400ml
Quick tip: When your skin becomes extremely dry and inflammed it’s always best to wrap the affected areas up before going to sleep. What I mean by this is first apply a hydrating cream or lotion or if prescribed ointment use that on affected areas then apply cling wrap over the areas and secure with cloth bandage so that the cling wrap does not come off while sleeping. This can be slightly uncomfortable but in the morning your skin will feel a lot better and more hydrated and the itchiness won’t be as bad and unbearable. Continue to do this for a couple of nights till the flare-up has minimised.
I hope that this post is helpful for those of you who suffer from the same skin condition as myself. Please keep an eye out for more posts on products that I have been trying for my dry sensitive skin.