If you suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis, you're not alone! The condition causes dry, itchy, and inflamed skin for an estimated 15 million Americans, including our daughter. In fact, her eczema is the driving force behind Butter by Q.
However, eczema doesn't just impact the skin, it can lead to an even dryer wallet and/or purse. Simply put, finding reliable eczema products can also be expensive, but it doesn't have to be.
Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to manage and prevent eczema flare ups without breaking the bank. Let's take a closer look at a few top cost-effective eczema prevention, maintenance, and management tips you can use to achieve healthier skin.
Whew…That Smells Like a Problem
Perfumes and synthetic fragrances are among the most frequently cited substances in cosmetic care, lotions, body washes, and personal care products that cause eczema reactions. According to the Dermatology Times, fragrances are most likely to cause allergic contact dermatitis, representing anywhere from 30 to 45% of cosmetic product reactions.
What Are Fragrances and/or Perfumes?
Fragrances and perfumes are comprised of volatile chemicals that create odors. Most perfumes and fragrances are made of hundreds of synthetic chemical compounds. Because of this, it's important for those with eczema to be extremely cautious of chemical perfumes and fragrances. According to the National Eczema Association, natural ingredients with scents, such as Chamomile or Lavender are not actual, true fragrances.
What About Unscented Products?
This is where it gets tricky: many "unscented" products may still contain chemical fragrance components called masking fragrances. Masking fragrances are designed to do just that — mask or cover up odors that may be present during manufacturing.
Preserve Your Skin by Skipping Products with Preservatives
If you have eczema, your skin doesn't function as a barrier as it should. As such, you're likely to apply lots of topical medications and moisturizers to combat itchiness and dryness. However, the more products you apply, the more likely you are to develop an allergic reaction to a particular chemical.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, those with eczema had a higher probability of having an allergic reaction to multiple cosmetic preservatives — known as formaldehyde releasers — compared to those who didn't have eczema.
Specifically, those who suffer from eczema are more likely to have a negative reaction to preservatives commonly found in lotions and creams, such as:
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidine urea
But Preservatives Prevent Fungus & Bacteria…Right?
We get it — it's important the products you purchase do not have fungus or bacteria growing in them. However, if the ingredients used to prevent the bacteria irritates your skin, it's a legitimate zero-sum game.
Other commonly used cosmetic ingredients notorious for causing eczema problems include:
In the best case, you should opt for products that rely on natural preservatives, like grapefruit seed extract or neem oil. These nutrients tend to be less irritating.
Certain Foods Can Cause Eczema Flare Ups
You know the old saying…"you are what you eat?" Few things could be truer for those with eczema. In fact, many people who suffer from eczema will also have food allergies. Allergic eczema or atopic dermatitis impacts almost 20% of children — 30% of who suffer from food allergies.
Common foods that may trigger an eczema flare-up include:
- Cow's milk
- Soy products
- Citrus fruit
- Certain nuts
While much of the research around food and eczema is mixed, it's best to use the elimination diet when food allergies have been proven. Elimination diets are plans where certain foods believed to cause allergies and eczema breakouts are strategically removed.
Let's Talk About Yellow #5 Dye
Food dye is an artificial product added to several food products to make them look more desirable. And one popular food dye is Yellow 5 — also referred to as tartrazine.
Yellow 5 can be used by manufacturers individually, but it's often mixed with other dyes to create additional colors. In either case, Yellow 5 food dye boasts a lemon-colored, bright yellow hue and is used in products, such as:
In addition, Yellow 5 dye is often found in cosmetic products, drugs, and even paint, such as:
- And more
Even though yellow 5 food dye is widely used, it may cause eczema symptoms to worsen. In fact, one study on kids aged from 1 to 6 discovered that yellow 5 food dye worsened eczema symptoms in one out of 12 people. The message is simple: make sure you read labels and closely monitor the foods you or your child consume.
Mother Nature Knows Best (The Best Natural Eczema Remedies)
A key to treating and preventing eczema flare-ups is to keep your skin well-moisturized. However, this is often easier said than done for those who have eczema due to a damaged skin barrier.
This faulty skin barrier makes it harder for your skin to retain moisture, causing dry, itchy skin, which can cause the eczema to worsen. At the same time, the faulty skin barrier makes the skin more prone to bacteria, allergens, and other invaders.
Fortunately, Mother Nature knows best. Mother Nature offers several vital moisturizers that double as emollients, occlusives, and humectants:
- Humectants are hygroscopic substances that are designed to keep your skin moist by attracting and retaining moisture.
- Occlusive ingredients provide a protective seal over your skin's surface to prevent the loss of moisture to the environment. Occlusives also help prevent allergens, irritants, and other harmful substances from entering your skin.
- Emollients are substances that smooth the skin by filling in the cracks between your cells.
Here are a few of the top 100% natural, plant-based moisturizers that Mother Nature has to offer.
Shea Butter Is a Humectant, Emollient, and Occlusive
Shea butter is a spectacular option and natural remedy for eczema because it is a humectant, emollient, and occlusive. This miracle substance is extracted from the powerful kernels of a shea tree.
And when applied to your skin, it can ease eczema because of its amazing moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, shea butter is loaded with a myriad of healthy skin-protecting and restoring nutrients.
Mango Butter Is a Good Natural Eczema Treatment
Similar to shea butter, mango butter is rich in compounds that reduce skin inflammation. It's full of Vitamin A as well as potassium, folate, calcium, and beta carotene — all of which promotes healthy skin reproduction. It also offers anti-microbial properties which can help those suffering from eczema.
Jojoba Oil Shows Promising Results as a Natural Eczema Remedy
According to the National Eczema Association, jojoba oil has been studied and shows promising results for eczema. This premium oil doubles as a humectant while offering healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Jojoba oil is an all-natural, go-to solution for relieving itchy, flaky, dry, and inflamed eczema-riddled skin. Unlike water-based moisturizers, jojoba oil provides a long-lasting layer of protection for your skin without the greasy feeling.
Rosehip Oil Provides Eczema and Dermatitis Relief
Rosehip Oil is loaded with two key essential components that help with dermatitis and eczema:
- Essential Fatty Acids Omega 3 and 6. Since your body can't produce Omega 3 and 6, you must rely on external nutrients, like Rosehip Oil, to help maintain the right level. The high fatty acid content creates a fine film over the skin's surface to hold in moisture and prevent it from becoming scaly and dehydrated.
- Vitamin A. This nutrient produces retinol that helps stimulate collagen production to boost the skin's quality and elasticity.
Apricot Kernel Oil Can Act as Natural Eczema Relief
Apricot kernel oil works to expedite the healing of wounds, protect the skin against bacteria and toxins, and lightens unwanted blemishes. It's rich in Vitamin E, fatty acids, and has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes Apricot kernel oil an excellent skin rejuvenator.
In addition to a host of skin enhancing and repair qualities, apricot oil offers anti-inflammatory properties and can help fight acne-causing bacteria.
Certain Essential Oils Can Help Improve Eczema Symptoms
Essential oils have been utilized to treat eczema for hundreds of years. And certain essential oils are known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects that can help ease eczema symptoms. Examples of these essential oils include:
In the end, Mother Natures offers a plethora of natural solutions designed to help alleviate dry skin and heal eczema.
Monitor the Environmental Factors to Naturally Treat Eczema
In addition to what you eat and put on your skin, there are environmental factors that should be considered when it comes to your eczema. While everyone may have different triggers, some of the most common triggers include:
- Getting too cold or too hot
- Extended exposure to water
- Exposure to extreme water temperatures
- Sweating and quickly becoming chilled.
- Living in a dry climate
- House dust mites
- Pollen, pet fur, and molds
- And more
Are You Moisturizing Your Skin Properly? Here's When, How & What!
To moisturize your skin, you simply slather on the moisturizer…right? Well, yes and no. If you suffer from eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, or other skin condition, the devil is in the details. This means you must consider the when, how, and what
When— Moisturize Skin within Three Minutes of Exiting Bath or Shower
According to the National Eczema Association, you can maximize the impact of your moisturizer by applying it within three minutes of getting out of the bath or shower. Doing so, can help "lock-in" moisture and protect the barrier of your skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology explains that applying moisturizer following a bath is key because it creates an artificial barrier. This barrier helps keep out viruses, bacteria, and irritants you do not want in or on your skin while preventing water loss.
Gently Pat Dry Your Skin, But Leave It Damp
Before you apply the moisturizer, it's best to gently pat your skin while leaving it damp. This means you should avoid completely drying off before applying moisturizer. One bonus tip is to try a shower body oil or simply leave your whipped shea butters in the shower.
How — Gently Massage Moisturizer into Your Skin
When moisturizing, gently massage the product into your skin to help bolster blood circulation. This simple step can help increase the absorption of the product. On the other hand, rubbing your skin too hard can lead to breakouts and over-exfoliation.
How Long Will the New Skincare Regimen Take to See Results?
Most dermatologists will advise waiting at least 30 days to determine if your new skincare routine delivers the desired results.
When Should I Apply Topical Medication or Eczema Steroids?
Do you use a prescription topical medication? If so, always apply it as directed before you apply moisturizer.
What Should I Use to Moisturize My Skin?
While you have no shortage of eczema skincare products, not all moisturizers are created equally. And most are loaded with chemicals, preservatives, and artificial dyes. Although cotton-candy-scented, rainbow-colored, sparkling whipped shea butter may be aesthetically pleasing to the senses, it can spell trouble for your skin.
Because of this, Butter by Q skips all of the bad stuff and only uses the best natural ingredients Mother Nature has to offer. We offer an entire product lineup that is safe, free of dangerous ingredients, and designed for people who have dry skin, eczema, and other skin conditions in mind.
Choose Products Infused with Nutrients to Naturally Treat Eczema
Each of our body butters and body oils are infused with key nutrients and gently enhanced with purposeful essential oils. Instead to offering a pleasant, gentle aroma, our essential oils are primarily added for the unique benefits they offer the skin.
For instance, our Smooth Operator Body Oil and Smooth Operator Body Butter is infused with pure German Chamomile, which is designed to tighten pores, reduce redness, reduce blemishes, regenerate skin, and more. At the same time, our Eczema Balm is infused with skin-calming lavender and other nutrients to help sooth the skin and restore the barrier.
Check Out Butter by Q's Eczema Balm & Product Line
As parents of a child with eczema, we know all too well how difficult it can be to manage the condition. Just when you think you're doing everything perfectly, you see the inflamed, irritated skin. And that's the thing, eczema is like pandora's box.
At best, you can be proactive by keeping skin moisturized with the right, safe products. And this is where we come in. We offer an entire line of products that we have been using on our own daughter and children for several years. We are proud to now introduce our Eczema Balm and a host of other 100% natural products.
Need help deciding which product is best for you? Take a quick quiz for personalized suggestions based on your unique hair, skin, and beard goals.