Learn about my natural eczema skin care routine that healed my skin for good. Every single time I went to the doctor for my atopic dermatitis I got the same response: “eczema isn’t caused by food, it could be anything your skin is contacting though. Here’s some steroid cream.” It turns out that the main thing causing my eczema was the steroid cream I was prescribed. After years of using steroid cream, I knew it was time to switch to all natural skincare products, so I could truly heal my eczema.
Natural Skincare Products for Eczema
Every single time I went to the doctor for my atopic dermatitis I got the same response: “eczema isn’t caused by food, it could be anything your skin is contacting though. Here’s some steroid cream.”
It turns out that the main thing causing my eczema was the steroid cream I was prescribed. I put steroid cream on my skin for eight years. I didn’t lather myself in steroid cream (thankfully), but I did use a small amount on all of my eczema patches about every two days. Have you ever read that “discontinue after two weeks of use” statement in microscopic font on the pamphlet inside the steroid cream box you probably threw away? That statement is there because your skin can literally become addicted to the steroid cream if use it for more than two weeks.
Cortisone creams and ointments were causing my eczema, because they are addictive. I was addicted to the topical medication I was being prescribed. So, if I went two days without the cream, the eczema came back because the itchiness and rash were side effects of withdrawal. All the chemicals and preservatives in the steroid cream also threw my skin microbiome off-balance, exacerbating my symptoms.
After years of using steroid cream, I knew it was time to switch to all natural skincare products, so I could truly heal my eczema.
Natural Facial Products for Eczema
When I decided to try healing my eczema for good, I focused in on simplifying my skincare routine. The less I put on my skin the better my skin healed. When trying to figure out how to make my eczema go away, I always wanted to try new things. I kept adding, and adding more and more things that were supposed to help my skin heal… but it turns out that I was making everything worse. When I simplified, not only the number of things I put on my skin but also the ingredients, everything changed.
I decided I would use two natural facial products, and not wear makeup, in order to let my skin heal. I switched to all natural bar soap for facial cleansing, and handmade tallow balm for moisturizer.
Topical Steroid Cream Withdrawl
I ditched the Steroid Cream & voluntarily went through withdrawal in January of 2017. Once I found a skincare routine that works, I stuck to it! Since then, I have not tried any new skincare. I found what works for me and there is no sense in switching it up.
If you’ve used steroid cream for an extended period of time, talk to your doctor about stopping. Stopping extended use of steroid cream means that you will withdraw from it because it is an addictive drug. Also, if you choose to quit the steroid cream and go through withdrawal, prepare to look like a molting lizard… in the driest desert. Prepare to be so itchy you feel insane, and to be in pain. I personally broke out in multiple rashes and had chills. It was not easy. I do have an extremely supportive and loving husband who helped me through this.
It took about 3 weeks total for the withdrawals to stop. After, I looked like a whole new person. My skin was actually glowing for the first time ever and all of the eczema was gone! Until I got too excited and tried some face serum I never used before. That’s when the eczema returned on my eyelids. I obviously discontinued the use of the face serum and once again I’m eczema free!
How did I cope and care for my skin while going through withdrawals? With the most natural skincare products and a lot of self-control. I also gave up all makeup for a few months. I wore no make-up at all for about three months, then gradually added back in mascara and my eyebrow pencil. Now I use Toups and Co. Organics makeup with no problems!
Healing Eczema Skincare Routine
- Moisturize with simple natural ingredients
- during withdrawal I only used Sweet Girl Tallow Balm from Toups and Co. Organics This is what saved my skin through the withdrawal process.
- (update 2021) I now use my homemade tallow balm and the pomegranate argan face oil from Chagrin Valley for moisturizer.
- Facial Steams, then moisturize
- I like to do a facial steam with green tea leaves and hot water. Simply add hot water to a bowl with green tea. Drape a towel over your head and create a mini sauna for your face over the bowl. This opens the pores and allows for better absorption of moisturizer.
- I used soap in extreme moderation
- During topical steroid withdrawal, I used soap only once a week. While healing, I only washed the necessary body parts with soap daily (i.e. armpits, butt, vagina). I rinsed everything else with warm water. I bathed my whole body with soap only once a week (face included). I think this was vital in rebuilding my skin microbiome. The soap I use is from Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve. My favorite is the Adzuki bean soap, which has a lot of ingredients that can help boost the good microbes on skin. I love this company, and it’s especially convenient that they have sample sized soaps you can buy to test out!
- Exfoliating for Eczema
- I used a soft bamboo bristle exfoliating brush. While withdrawing, I dry brushed all my eczema patches and in the shower I used it with just water, no soap.
Exfoliating was vital in healing my eczema. It aided in detoxing the steroids by removing all my dead and damaged skin cells. Exfoliating also helped with blood flow and skin regeneration. While withdrawing, I dry brushed all my eczema patches, and in the shower I used a bamboo exfoliating brush with just water, no soap. I eventually switched to using an exfoliating glove from Wildpier and I love it; I exfoliate my face and body with it.
Does Coconut Oil Help Eczema?
You might be wondering if a thick moisturizer like coconut oil is good for eczema. It is! I’ve used coconut oil to moisturize in the past, but I prefer tallow balm. Toups and Co. Organics Tallow Balm was basically magic for my skin. During steroid cream withdrawal I put this tallow balm on my face immediately after exfoliating with warm water. I attribute my quick skin healing to tallow balm, and I’ve even started to make my own.
The Best Soap For Eczema
The best soap for eczema is natural bar soap that does not contain any artificial ingredients. This is the only brand of soap I use. I specifically picked their adzuki bean soap because I figured my skin microbes may thrive when exposed to healthy food sources like beans. It works for me, so I guess I chose the right one. I’ve just stuck to this soap since I cured my eczema. Not a lot of science here, just a little microbiome intuition.
Epsom Salt For Eczema
Epsom salt baths or soaks were fantastic for my skin! Not only did the salt water help to rebalance my skin microbiome and soothe my eczema, it also was a great source of transdermal magnesium to aid in hormone balance. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body, and is vital in the healing process. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, which can be absorbed through the skin and used to regulate stress and healing.
Bleach Baths For Eczema, are they good or bad?
I’ve heard that bleach baths help some people with itching relief, but I never took one. My goal was to rebalance and rebuild my skin microbiome, not to kill all the microbes on my skin, which bleach baths do. My eczema patches did contain staphylococcus aureus (read more about that here) but I never took antibiotics or bleach baths to treat it. I figured if I could increase the microbial biodiversity on my skin, that was a better approach. I recolonized my skin by taking apple cider vinegar baths, yogurt baths, playing in my garden often, and eating a lot of fermented foods.
Can Sweat Cause Eczema?
Sweat does not usually cause eczema, but chemical heavy antiperspirant deodorant can disrupt your skin microbiome, and cause itching and rashes. Sweating is a natural process our bodies are meant to do. Along with thermoregulation, eccrine sweat is VITAL for skin barrier health. Sweating can even help to balance out the skin microbiome and help boost skin barrier integrity. (Here are two links to some science on that 1. 2.) Sometimes I choose to not wash up immediately after working out because my skin feels so good from sweat.
Eczema in Armpits
I had eczema in my armpits, mainly because I was using deodorant that contained chemical additives that triggered my eczema. One of my WORST eczema patches stretched from my armpit down to my elbow. When I quit antiperspirant deodorant and switched to natural deodorant, allowing body to naturally sweat, it went away! It took months and many stinky days, but it’s gone! I love using Chagrin Valley’s line of deodorant.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Eczema
Apple cider vinegar helped with my eczema. While going through withdrawal and trying to balance out/ recolonize my skin microbiome, I sprayed a diluted apple cider vinegar mixture on my body. I would also add a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to my epsom salt baths.
Other Eczema Blogs to Read
- Tallow Balm Recipe for Eczema Relief
- My Eczema Diet Plan and The Best Probiotics for Eczema
- Natural Ways to Cure Eczema