For many, a basic skincare routine is fairly straightforward. You have to wash, tone, moisturize, and nourish your skin each and every day. Then add in a bit of exfoliation from time to time. Simple, right?
Unfortunately, things aren’t always so simple if you suffer from eczema: a common skin condition that affects millions of people. But even though eczema is often annoying or uncomfortable to live with, there are some skincare routines and habits to apply that can make your eczema a little less frustrating and help your skin look the best it possibly can.
Let’s break down the best skincare routines for eczema and explain what you should focus on when selecting skincare products to use with the condition.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition also called atopic dermatitis, although eczema can also be known by several other types of dermatitis. In general, it’s characterized by rashes or scaly patches that can appear over one or more days before taking some time to dissipate. They can occasionally spread across the skin from an origin point, though disconnected patches can also crop up over your face or on other parts of your body.
The majority of eczema cases are fairly mild. Symptoms usually include:
- Dry or scaly skin
- Flushing of the skin
- Open and/or weeping sores
However, some eczema conditions can be more serious and can result in harsher symptoms like scaly patches of significant size, open wounds, and worse itching. The majority of people develop eczema before they are five years old, and most people also stop showing the symptoms of the condition by adolescence.
Those who retain eczema into adulthood can experience flare ups of the condition from time to time, often as a result of their eczema being triggered by one or more environmental factors. If it lasts into adulthood, you’ll likely have eczema for the rest of your life.
What Causes Eczema?
The exact causes of eczema aren’t fully understood. But you can acquire eczema either genetically or because of an allergic reaction with something you encounter as a child or adult.
Eczema flareups are usually caused as a direct result of some skin irritation or a condition that causes an outbreak of the scaly patches. Such inciting incidents can include:
- Dry air
- Cold weather
- Allergic reactions to makeup or other beauty products
- Encounters with environmental pollutants in the air or water
- Swimming in pools with too much chlorine
- Eating certain types of foods that cause allergic reactions, like peanuts
- Wearing tight clothing or clothing with itchy, rough fibers
Alongside all of these possible issues, you may also experience an eczema flare-up because of some random condition or factor you aren't aware of. Eczema outbreaks are not always anticipated or understood, but they can always be taken care of or alleviated with the right skincare treatments.
General Skincare Guidelines for Dealing with Eczema
Depending on the severity of your eczema, you do have the option to manage your symptoms through home care remedies or routines. However, you may also need to contact a dermatologist to either receive recommendations for over-the-counter medication or prescription ointments.
This being said, there are a few basic guidelines to observe when treating eczema or when picking skincare products to use on your skin.
More Oil is Usually Better
First and foremost, any skincare products that use more oils, or that focus more on hydrating your skin, are better than those that don’t. For instance, if you have to choose between a facial cleanser that has more or less oil, go with the former instead of the latter.
The reason for this is that most people with eczema end up experiencing outbreaks because of skin dryness over any other factor. Dryness of the skin causes the scaly rashes to form and spread in some cases. Limiting the amount of skin dryness and practicing a healthful skincare routine can help result in fewer eczema outbreaks overall.
You can do this by using oil-based skincare products. If you have eczema, you also probably don't have overly oily skin already since the majority of eczema cases are experienced by those with dry skin.
Similarly, try to use lotions or moisturizing creams that are particularly robust or effective. Suki Skincare’s Moisture-Rich Cleansing Lotion is a phenomenal choice as a moisturizing agent since it can both restore moisture to your skin while soothing your skin and eliminating any irritation. It even comes with extra antioxidants to facilitate better skin health.
Avoid Dry Situations and Other Risk Factors
You should also try to avoid any situations where your skin would be exposed to excessive dryness or cold weather. For instance, you can try to stay inside as much as possible between the months of November and February; historically, these are the driest months of the year for much of the northern hemisphere.
This will prevent your skin from losing moisture throughout the day. It may also reduce the necessity of applying a moisturizing cream or lotion, or at least as frequently as you were before.
By the same token, try to avoid rubbing any products or things on your skin that can make it drier over time. A great example would be chlorine – avoid swimming in pools with too much chlorine to stop your skin from tightening and drying out. Even though your skin would be wet in this hypothetical situation, it would actually be drying out in its lower layers, which may cause an eczema outbreak.
Use Products Designed for Face or Body Exclusively
We'd also recommend that you only use skincare products designed for your face or body exclusively, instead of mixing the products or using one for both. That's because the skin on your face is much more sensitive compared to the skin elsewhere across your body. Using a body wash or lotion could cause you to irritate the skin on your face and accidentally start an eczema outbreak.
Suki Skincare’s Balancing Day Lotion, for instance, has excellent soothing and calming properties and can reduce the appearance of blemishes while promoting overall skin pH balance. It can even moisturize your skin to some extent. But it’s designed for use with your facial skin instead of your body’s skin.
The Best Skincare Routine if You Have Eczema
The best skincare routine for those with eczema will focus on moisturization and avoiding drying out the skin as much as possible. Because of this, you’ll ignore some cornerstone steps of a holistic skincare routine that you might include if you didn’t suffer from frequent eczema outbreaks.
- To start, you can still use an excellent facial and body cleanser. Just make sure that both of the two products you use don’t dry out your skin and are suitably soothing. A great example is Suki Skincare’s Sensitive Cleansing Bar, a type of bar soap that is far less drying and alkaline compared to the regular stuff you can find elsewhere. It’s a perfect choice for scrubbing your sensitive skin clean.
- In most cases, we’d recommend using a toner product to deeply cleanse your pores and get rid of further impurities. But in this case, you may want to avoid a toner product since many toners can dry out your pores too much for comfort, even if you use a moisturizer afterward. If you’re just now experiencing eczema outbreaks, you might consider trying a toner as you start a routine, then ceasing using the product if it leads to an adverse effect.
- Always use a moisturizer or hydrating lotion of some kind, especially if you do decide to go with a toner. Moisturizer can seal in existing moisture into your skin and prevent your skin from losing hydration as you go about your daily activities.
- It may also be a good idea to use a healthy serum after washing and moisturizing your face. A serum can add additional vitamins and nutrients to your skin, allowing it to regenerate more capably and boosting its ability to repair itself from damage.
- Avoid exfoliation unless recommended by your dermatologist. This is especially important when cleaning areas that do have eczema rashes or scaly patches. Exfoliation can accidentally strip away the layer of skin cells suffering from eczema, leading to open wounds, worse sores, or skin rawness.
As with all skincare routines, feel free to tweak this as necessary depending on your unique needs or circumstances. It’s meant to be a guideline for general eczema care, not a replacement for the advice of a dermatologist or over-the-counter medications.
Living with eczema can be quite a struggle for anyone, whether you've grown used to the condition or are just now seeing eczema outbreaks appear over the last year or so. But just because you have eczema doesn't mean you can't enjoy radiant, healthy-looking skin or employ an excellent skincare routine to help you tackle its symptoms. Let us know if we can help with any other questions or concerns you might have when it comes to skincare with eczema!