Skincare for Dry and Eczema Prone Skin // With Dermalogica

My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic

My skin is a flaky, dry, sensitive nightmare. I read a lot of skincare solution posts on the blogosphere and a great number of them seem to be aimed at oily and acne prone skin but I rarely see much about the opposite type of problematic skin. Life at the other end of the skin type scale can be just as miserable. So I thought I'd share my current skincare routine that is working fantastically for my dry and eczema prone skin - for anyone out there who's flaking in silence.

My Skin, My Story

Before we get in to the products I'm using at the moment, I thought I'd give you a run down of my skin's history (feel free skip ahead if you just want to see the skincare routine).

When I was a wee'yin I had pretty bad eczema on the crook of my arms, back of my legs and underneath my chin - all pretty common areas for eczema to strike. Thankfully by the time I was 7 it pretty much completely disappeared and I was blessed with a few clear skin years. All good! Until I hit my teenage years and the eczema came back with a vengeance. Fierier, itchier and oozier (a gross reality for eczema sufferers) than ever. And so ensued a few years of throwing various steroids and the latest hero creams at my skin - to no avail.

To my dismay this was only the beginning. When I moved to university at age 17 things got much worse. My skin became severely allergic and sensitive. It would arbitrarily break out in bouts of flakiness, dryness, itchiness, mysterious rashes, sores and even hives and weeping blisters at times. I saw dermatologists. I cut things out of my diet. I added things in to my diet. I changed washing powders. I opted for anti-allergy duvets and pillows. In fact I opted for anti-allergy everything. I avoided certain fabrics. I tried very strong steroid creams. I tried special soaks and washes. I dabbled with natural remedies. I changed my skincare again and again. I even had skin biopsies and allergy patch testing. The results? Always inconclusive.

The frustration at not ever finding out why my skin is the way it is or being given any solid solution is unreal. I'm not trying to be dramatic and am not in any way looking for sympathy. I just think it's good to share these things incase any one reading this is going through something similar and thinks thinks they're the only one. You aren't. I understand how uncomfortable and surprisingly debilitating skin conditions can be. Yes there are worse health issues out there but that doesn't make a skin problem any less upsetting.

It's not all doom and gloom though. As I've gotten older (I'm now approaching my mid-twenties) I've slowly but surely figured out things that work for me and my skin and things that absolutely do not, making my bad skin a whole lot more manageable. For example obvious things like healthier diet and lots of water help but an excess amount of alcohol (specifically wine) almost guarantees a break out of eczema on my face. I'm definitely allergic to neoprene (found in wetsuits and certain work out clothes/shoes). And lots of other little discoveries along the way have meant that, although my skin can still be pretty unpredictable at times, I feel a lot more in control.

Especially now that I'm sticking strictly to the skin care routine I'm about to share with you. Now that you've read about the nightmare I've had with my skin I hope you understand that when I'm recommending these products - I'm not taking it lightly. I really believe in them and they have really been working for me.

The Products

At a recent skin mapping appointment, with Dermalogica, a trained beautician assessed my skin and told me exactly which products I should be "prescribed" based on my specific skin problems. I definitely think the products I was advised to use at this appointment are the reason for the recent improvement in my skin and hence think they are the key products in my current skincare routine.
My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic
Precleanse (£34.35) PreCleanse is similar to many make-up removing skincare products that are on the market right now in that it is an oil which, when massaged into dry skin on top of make-up, dissolves everything. Then when water is added it all turns milky and your carefully applied face melts away to nothing and slips down the sinkhole.

I've fallen in love with the Dermalogica one specifically because, for one, it smells INCREDIBLE! I'm honestly transported the spa in my mind every time I use it. Secondly, it's so gentle. My skin never feels stripped or dry when using it and it doesn't sting - even when applying it to areas in which I've had an eczema breakout. Definitely worth a try if you're a lover of the "oil to milky" style cleansers.
My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic
UltraCalming Cleanser (£27.20) Ive never been enamoured with the whole "double cleansing" thing since normally the second step tends to be a foaming, soap based cleanser which doesn't do my already dry skin any favours. The UltraCalming Cleanser is different. It has a non-frothing, gel like consistency. You just massage it in to wet skin and wash it off with warm water or a wet flannel. The result is very cooled and soothed skin, even when my skin is at it's angriest this cleanser feels unbelievably calming. As is the case with any of the products I've tried from the, aptly named, UltraCalming range.
My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic
Daily Microfoliant (£41.75) If you try any of the products I mention - make it this one. Definitely. This rice based exfoliant consists of a very fine dry powder which you mix a little bit with water in the palm of your hand to make a paste. Bizarre but you get used to it. It's the contact with water that activates the magic ingredients in the microfoliant which include Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes. I've taken to massaging this in with my Konjac face cloth once a day, every day. I massage in circular motion for about two minutes and my skin has been noticeably brighter and free from scaly dry bits. My favourite thing about this exfoliant is that its so fine meaning it doesn't feel harsh, scratchy and sandpaper-y like many other exfoliating products tend to so again it gets top marks from me and my sensitive skin.
My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic
My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic
UltraCalming Barrier Repair (£36.90) Of all the products I tried from dermalogica this was the one I was most sceptical about. Moisturiser wise I tend to like something thick, rich and creamy to really douse my skin with moisture. However, I was advised to use the UltraCalming Barrier Repair as my moisturising step at my skin mapping appointment so I thought since all the other recommendations were so great I should try this out too.

Barrier Repair is a gel consistency moisturiser (it has an almost silicone like texture since it is water free) which is supposed to act as a protective barrier (its all in the name really...) for sensitised or damaged skin. Not only this but, since it is part of the UltraCalming range, it is also supposed to help with skin inflammation, burning and itching. The lovely girl who did my skin mapping also told me it's great to apply straight to patches of flared up eczema. I can confirm that all of the above is very true. I'm delighted with this new moisturiser and use it every morning on my face (it also makes a surprisingly good make up primer) as well as on the very bad patches of eczema which I get on my hands whenever they need an extra bit of TLC. The consistency doesn't feel like it should be moisturising (compared to what I'm used to) yet somehow it is very moisturising and my skin feels supple and soft after application. I do still like to use a heavier night cream but this has been an amazing addition to my morning skincare routine.
My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic
The Routine

Morning

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Dermalogica UltraCalming Barrier Repair

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Nuxe Rêve De Miel Lipbalm

Evening

Dermalogica PreCleanse

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser

Moisturising Overnight Mask e.g. Origins Drink Up Intensive or Clinique Moisture Surge

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Nuxe Rêve De Miel Lipbalm
My Skin My Story // With Dermalogica AlmostChic

So there you haven't - more than you'd ever need or want to know about my current skin situation but I thought it was worth sharing for any of you fellow eczema/sensitive skin sufferers. I hope I've encouraged you to not suffer in silence with bad skin. Its great to talk to people about these things - you'll most definitely find you aren't alone. Why don't you share your story in the comments below or with #MySkinMyStory.

A bit of general advice if you've been thinking about trying some Dermalogica products (whatever your skin type) - it's definitely worth the investment. Definitely take advantage of their free skin mapping service so you can find out exactly which products would work best for you - you might be surprised and you don't want to invest in the wrong products for your skin. You can find out more and find your nearest location for skin mapping on Dermalogica's website HERE.


Jess

*The above products were provided by Preen.Me and Dermalogica for review. All opinions are entirely my own.*


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