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Rose Water for…Eczema?

As I’ve mentioned before, my son has a decent case of eczema on his little legs. And it just breaks my heart when I see him scratching. My biggest treatments are baths with baking soda, honey, milk, and oatmeal, as well as a homemade moisturizer, the recipe for which I found here.

The moisturizer recipe felt a little sticky to me – probably because of the honey – so I decided to try mixing it with some water before rubbing it into my son’s legs. On a whim, I tried spritzing Josiah’s legs with Rose Water that I use as a skin toner and then rubbing the cream on his damp legs. This smoothed out the stickiness and allowed the moisturizer to absorb much easier.

I have to say, after two days, I was very shocked at the sudden improvement in his skin. The redness was almost completely gone. I’ve now used this combination of rose water and moisturizer and his skin is 90% healed. There’s no redness. Just a patch of skin that gets dry easily if I forget to moisturize it.

Rose water or rose hydrosol can be found at local health stores or online (Amazon, for sure). Rose water and rose hydrosol are basically the same thing except rose hydrosol has been steam distilled from rose water (it’s purified). Both are essentially highly, highly diluted rose essential oil.

Blessings.

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Washing Your Face with…Oil?

It may seem counter-intuitive to add oil to an already oily face, but it may be the best thing for acen-prone skin (and believe me, I have acneic skin). When we have acne-prone skin, we tend to want to strip our face of oils. That way our skin is squeaky clean, which means it wont be shiny or pimple-central.

The problem is, this just doesn’t work.

The reason it doesn’t work is because when you strip your face of oils with harsh cleansers, your skin thinks there is an oil famine and, concerned about dried out skin, it begins to over-produce sebum (the natural oil produced by your skin). And the result is squeaky clean skin quickly transforms into where’s-my-oil-blotting-tissues skin. So by complimenting and even adding healthy and non-comedogenic oils to your skin, you are telling your skin; “Skin, you are hydrated. You don’t need to produce any extra sebum.”

So how do we apply this concept to our skincare routine? First. Be certain you are using a very, very gentle cleanser made without synthetic detergents. I’m currently using Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (check Amazon or your local health store). A good bet is something that says, “soap” and not “cleanser”. If it’s a cleanser, just make sure the ingredients are gentle.

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My routine:

  • First, I apply a hot and damp washcloth over my face for a few moments to help open my pores.
  • Then, I mix a little bit of soap with a little bit of Jojoba Oil. I gently wash my face, neck, and upper chest, and rinse without scrubbing. (Acneic skin needs very gentle care. No scrubbing.)
  • I spritz my skin with rose water/hydrosol (an excellent, gentle toner).
  • Finally, I pat my still-damp skin with a few drops of a healthy, skin-loving oil blend that I have lightly rubbed into damp palms. Only a few drops. 3-4. Oil is very concentrated. If your skin feels oily afterward, you used too much oil or oil that is not easily absorbed by the skin.

I wash with Jojoba specifically because the chemical make-up of this wonderful oil is almost identical to human sebum. This makes it highly qualified to attach to the “dirty” skin oils already on your face and allow the soap to more effectively wash those oils away.

Great oils to include in your final step moisturizer could be:

  • Avacado Oil
  • Marula Oil
  • Camellia Oil
  • Vitamin E or Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Babassu Oil
  • Shea Butter

Great ESSENTIAL oils to consider:

  • Tea Tree
  • Frankincense
  • Cedarwood
  • Cajeput
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Lavender
  • Palmarosa
  • Myrrh
  • Turmeric
  • Black Pepper
  • Carrot Seed
  • Geranium
  • Rosemary

I personally, do NOT recommend Coconut Oil on acneic skin because it is comedogenic. It’s more likely to clog pores and create acne. But it is a very cleansing oil, high in lauric acid, so a good alternative to it is babassu oil – which has a very similar fatty acid profile but is non-comodogenic.

Blessings.

Verse of the Day:

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;” (Colossians 3:12 NASB)

Hydrocortisone Cream Alternative

Hydrocortisone Cream is an over-the-counter steroid treatment for agitated skin. It works rather well for temporary conditions – insect bite, temporary rash, etc. However, it can be as much a a curse as a blessing for chronic conditions. Hydrocortisone Cream is only meant to be used for up to a week before the skin needs a break from it. Long term use can actually dry out and thin our skin – making it more sensitive and agitating the original problem. The problem is, people with chronic skin conditions have a hard time finding anything as effective and yet safe for longer-term use.

I know because my skin is very sensitive and very easily agitated. And I’ve definitely over-used hydrocortisone. Soooo…here’s my solution:

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Semi-DIY Skin-Soothe Cream

1 Tablespoon of any cream or lotion (preferably all natural because essential oils may interact with synthetic ingredients) OR 1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel (or even coconut oil or shea butter or some other carrier oil is fine)

10 drops of Helichrysum Essential Oil

10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (Optional)

10 drops German or Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (Optional)

5 drops Carrot Seed Oil (Optional)

1 drop Clove Essential Oil (Optional)

Why these ingredients?

  • Helichrysum is the Big Daddy of soothing-agitated-skin-essential-oils. It is the absolutely best option for any chronic itchy skin condition. (Some people say any skin condition. Period.) It is on the expensive side but you do not need much. A 5 ml bottle will have approximately 80-120 drops of essential oil; there is an average of 25 drops essential oil per milliliter, but this, of course, varies between essential oils. For an alternative; Aura Cacia (the brand found at most health stores) has a diluted version for around $20 that works pretty well when applied directly to the skin without further dilution. However, if you have a chronic skin condition, and you need more Helichrysum over the long-term, it is more cost-effective to buy this oil undiluted. This is the major anti-itch/agitation ingredient in this formula.
  • Lavender is very skin soothing and anti-bacterial.
  • Chamomile is very healing to damaged skin.
  • Carrot Seed is skin’s best friend. It is very nourishing and regenerative for any skin type.
  • Clove is a natural numbing agent. But only use a minimal amount because it is very strong and too much may cause skin agitation. Robert Tisserand recommends a maximum dermal usage of only .5% for Clove oil.

Directions

Pour the cream/lotion/aloe in a glass or stainless steel container (essential oils react to plastic). Add essential oils of choice. Mix. If the container is not opaque, store in a dark place to avoid light degrading your essential oils.

As always, when using essential oils for any therapeutic purposes, only use a given essential oil for a maximum of three weeks, then take a one week break (you can use regular hydrocortisone cream during this week off). This will prevent your body from desensitizing to the oils.

Blessings

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Welcome: Eczema Bath Smoothie

Welcome to my new blog! I’m really excited to start on this new exploration of the world of DIY. As a homemaker, I find that I am growing more and more picky about the chemicals and products that I allow into my home. As I research, I am finding that many of the products I normally buy are either vastly overpriced or perhaps not the healthiest option to have around my 1 year old son. As a solution, I dove into the world of making my own products at home and wow! I love it. The research is fascinating and the work is empowering.

So. What am I going to share on my blog? I’m going to share recipes for my favorite homemade products – everything from laundry detergent to body creams to safe and effective cleaning supplies. But let’s face it, I don’t know anybody who has the time to make their own everything. So, if there’s a product out there that I do buy and find it worth the expense, I’ll talk about it here as well. I’ll share video tutorials on various crafts like sewing, crochet, homemade soap, and candle making. Continue reading