This winter has been brutal! It has been especially hard on eczema sufferers. Finding a good moisturizer is vital to treating symptoms. If the products you are using aren't working, you might want to consider your location. Is your climate dry or humid? Even though there are a number of reasons why people suffer from eczema, we all agree that keeping your skin hydrated is one of the best ways to reduce flare-ups. Humectants are ingredients that help draw or keep moisture in your skin. There are a different types of humectants and they all work differently in different climates.
For example, if your climate is dry you might benefit from humectants that help trap moisture on you skin. Good humectants for dry climates tend to be richer and creamier. If your dewpoint is 30F-60F (you can get that information from your local weather service) look for rich humectants like Cupuacu butter, and standbys like shea and cocoa butter. Also look for products that include oils like olive oil, Tamanu or Kikui nut oils or other oils rich in amino acids and phenols. These are some of the ingredients that can help hold moisture in your skin. On a side note, Lanolin is also a humectant that is commonly found in skin care products, but many eczema sufferers may be allergic to it. Cupuaca butter is a great substitute for lanolin as it shares the same moisturizing properties, but is less likely to cause irritation. Plus it is 100% plant based and natural making it a great choice for vegans or people who prefer to avoid using ingredients made with animal by products.
For people in humid climates with dew points of 60F and over, good humectants to look for are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, D-panthenol and lecithin. These ingredients are water based and if used properly, attract moisture to the skin. This might be helpful in humid areas where heat and/or humidity cause sweating, which can aggravate symptoms and encourage the growth of yeast and fungus. They allow the skin to breathe and unlike the heavier humectants, are less likely to trap bacteria against the skin.
Check the labels on the products that aren't working for you and compare them with these ingredients mentioned above. It might help you in your search to find the right skin care! Good luck!
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