Most people who have eczema also have very dry, sometimes flaky skin. Therefore, the number one skin care product you want to use is a moisturizer (cream, lotion, gel etc.) to apply on a daily basis, or even several times a day whenever you notice that your skin feels dry.
Even if you do not suffer from eczema, maybe you just have dry skin and you came here looking for a good moisturizer, this article will be of interest for you.
It is crucial to find a moisturizer that does not irritate your skin. During a long time, I used to us a well-known and expensive brand of moisturizing lotion, only to find out after years that it contains substances that actually made my skin worse and not better! Once I found a replacement product, my skin improved considerably right away.
There are many moisturizers for dry skin on the market, so I’m going share my experiences with moisturizing creams and gels here in order to help you find the skin care product that works best for you.
What to watch out for
Be wary of all products that contain perfume. Generally any kind of perfume is harmful to sensitive skin. Some people do okay with perfumed creams or lotions, but ultimately you will have to test the product on your own skin to see if it does you well or not.
Also check the ingredients of your moisturizer to make sure it does not contain parabens. Parabens are an inexpensive preservative used by the cosmetic industry. However, they have been known to irritate the skin and even cause eczema by themselves in some people, so they are definitely not recommended for use on sensitive skin.
Checking the ingredients
If you have any kind of skin disorder linked with allergies, you should get used to checking the ingredients on any product you buy, especially on any skin care products. Of course unless you have a PhD in chemistry or pharmaceutics, many of the components will make no sense to you. As a general rule, look out for the ones you know to be harmful (parabens, perfumes) and remember, the more natural the components are, the better.
Aloe vera to the rescue
I used to use a high-percentage (84%) organic aloe vera cream as a moisturizer for years, and it has done my skin very well. Later I switched to a 99,9% pure aloe vera gel. The gel is very effective and has a soothing effect on my skin. At first it feels somewhat sticky when applied, which takes some getting used to but it’s actually quite nice once you get accustomed to the feeling.
In the beginning I felt that aloe vera gel didn’t moisturize my skin as much as aloe vera cream, but after a few weeks of using gel every day I actually prefer the cool and smooth feeling it gives me. The drawback is that gel seems to get used up a lot more quickly – it seems I need to apply more of it to properly hydrate my skin.
I suggest you do some experimenting with aloe vera gels and creams to find out which one you like best. No matter though if you prefer cream or gel, aloe vera is a natural product known for its soothing effect on the skin, and I can definitely recommend it as a daily care product for any type of skin rash, dryness, and redness. As a bonus, it also helps to alleviate sunburns.
Changing skin care products
Once you find a skin care product that works for you, if you are anything like me you will probably keep using it during a long time just because it is quite difficult to find an equal or better replacement. However, unless you are 100% happy with the condition of your skin, it is always worthwhile to check out alternative products once in a while, just to see if they work even better than your current treatment.
I have found that whenever I switch treatments, and the new product isn’t harmful or irritating in some unexpected way, that my skin seems to thank me for the change by getting noticeably better. It is almost as if the skin gets tired of the old stuff and is happy to get some new nutrients… that may not be the most scientific of explanations, it’s just the way I feel about it.
Moisturizers for different parts of your body
Whatever moisturizing skin care product you decide to use, you will find that a product that works well for one region of your body may not work so well on another. For example, a moisturizing cream that feels perfect on your legs may irritate you when you use it on your face or around the eyes.
Therefore, it is a good idea to have several different moisturizers for different zones of the skin. For example, you may want to use a different product to hydrate your face than what you use on the rest of your body. A very sensitive region is the skin around the eyes, so you might have a special cream to put on your eyelids. Also I sometimes like to use a separate product for my hands. Hands can sometimes get very dry and thick skin, as they are exposed more to the environment than other parts of the body.
The following regions of the skin can be identified as having special needs in terms of moisturizing:
The zone around the eyes is usually the most sensitive part of your skin. It is recommended to use a very mild cream here that does not contain anything that could irritate you. Personally, when I notice that the skin on my eyelids needs moisturizing, I use a mild coneflower cream to keep it well hydrated.
The hands can have very tough skin as they are permanently exposed to the environment. Therefore they may need more hydration than the rest of your body. In addition to the aloe vera gel that I use on my body, I like to use a special hand cream, especially in winter. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream is a fragrance-free moisturizer that repairs my hands nicely, even when the skin is extremely dry and cracker. Immediately after applying Neutrogena, my hands feel nice and smooth again. If you have trouble finding a good moisturizer for the skin on your hands, you can order it for a very decent price here.
Your face is the second most sensitive region of your skin, only topped by the zone around the eyes. Therefore, a skin care product that works great for you on the rest of your body could possibly irritate the skin of your face. If this is the case, you may want to use a higher quality cream for hydrating your face than the one that you use on the rest of your body (for example, if your face cream is rather expensive or you only have a small quantity available).
My personal favorite
To sum it up, except for the skin on my hands and my eyelids, natural aloe vera creams and gels are the best everyday moisturizing skin care products that I have come across so far. Of course your mileage may vary, as every individual case is a bit different. But nevertheless, whether you have eczema or not: If you suffer from dry skin at all, give it a try and check out some aloe vera moisturizers if you haven’t done so yet. You might just be pleasantly surprised!