I currently have to rely on medication, but would love to one day not be tethered to a doctor’s office and my eczema medication when traveling abroad.
My criteria concerning which eczema-fighting products made it into my one 50 lb. suitcase to Venezuela were as follows:
- Is the product cost-efficient?
- Is it long-lasting?
- Does it create a thick moisture barrier? The dry, itchy eczema patches form because the body does not produce enough oil to create a moisturized barrier to the outside world; a thick moisturizer is a must because it’s literally standing in for the body’s lack of one.
- Does it heal and not just alleviate the discomfort eczema causes?
The first product I tried was Accént. New to the market, it can be found at drugstores such as CVS. I immediately noticed the body wash and the lotion both had a slightly medicinal scent that was not pleasing. The body wash lathered well and was gentle on my skin. The lotion, however, was too light for me. As soon as I applied it I felt like I needed a second coat, and even a third one for my extra dry hands. After a couple of uses, I moved on to the next product because Accént was not meeting my third and fourth criteria. My mom, on the other hand, liked it. She doesn’t suffer from eczema though.
Gold Bond Ultimate Eczema Relief (8 oz, $9.99)
The Gold Bond Ultimate Eczema Relief I whipped out for small eczema patches on my back that I forgot to point out to my doctor. Since I had a sample size, I would dab a little of this cream on my back after getting out of the shower. I have to say out of all of the products this one came the closest to actually healing an eczema patch (my fourth criteria). The flakiness seemed to decrease over time, which I appreciated.
As soon as I see Aveeno’s logo I’m brought back to my childhood. My mom must have noted early on that I had an issue with dry skin because I remember us specifically going to the store to pick up Aveeno. We would check for its mention of oatmeal, a soothing item for irritated skin, before placing it in our shopping cart. I thought Aveeno came along just for me when my eczema began to rear its dry, scaly head.
Now as an adult, I found myself applying the lotion—still replete with its oatmeal— to inflamed skin on my thighs. Immediately, the irritated area was calmed. Of course, that was a huge plus in my book. As a creamy lotion, I didn’t feel like I had to break out in a sweat simply trying to rub a dense layer of product into my skin. For instance, Eucerin’s Original Healing Tub (16 oz, $12.59) takes a long time to apply because it is uber-thick. Aveeno I can apply quickly and well. I still prefer a thicker barrier, but what Aveeno lacks in the barrier department it makes up for in the cost-efficient one.
Aveeno is also dermatologist-recommended. My dermatologist, who had pockets full of Aveeno products, told me I had to apply the lotion at least twice a day. In the beginning, multiple Aveeno applications made me feel clammy instead of moisturized, but as the days faded away so did the clammy feeling.
The body wash was extremely gentle but didn’t lather as much as I would like. I know the lack of lather is actually a good thing since that means there are fewer harsh chemicals that could re-irritate my skin, but I still like some bubbles when I bathe.
I then tried the CLn Body Wash from CLn Skin care. When I started using this product I purposefully stopped using my prescription medicine to see how long it could stave off a skin eruption (also known as a flare). Usually, I can’t go more than three days without my medicine. Full disclosure: I continued to use my medicine on my hands because I over wash them. I have used CLn Body Wash for more than a week now and my skin is still smooth! I must admit, I am beyond impressed. However, it’s really expensive. I also don’t like the lack of lather. I honestly wonder if I’m even clean after showering with it. That being said if, God forbid, I ever go through a period without health insurance where I can’t get my medicine again I would definitely turn to this product. If I do have health insurance, I would not use it because of the price.
The final product I tried was good ‘ol Eucerin. I used the Eucerin Original Healing for years because my dermatologist recommended it. As stated earlier, it’s really thick and gets the job done. When living in a cold climate like New York though, it can get a little difficult to apply in the winter (the heat was not on 24/7 in my apartment building—which is the norm for a NYC apartment—so the cream would really solidify).
This time around I tested the product that was one step down on the richness scale.
The long and short of it? I loved it. It created the thickest barrier out of all of the products I tried, moisturized and nourished my dry skin all day long, went on smoothly, and was even cheaper than the Aveeno!
Even with my eczema, I’ve been told that I have surprisingly soft skin. One girl on my high school dance team stroked my arm in amazement without my permission. I looked down to see her in a state of rapture before she snapped out of it and apologized. I laughed off the incident because it was a far cry from the “did you burn yourself?” scene. The Eucerin Original Healing was to credit for my dance team member’s awe, but I have a feeling the Eucerin Eczema Relief will continue the “softness trend.”
By the trial’s end, I ended up carting the Eucerin and Aveeno with me to Venezuela. The Accént didn’t make it, and The Gold Bond I forgot in the last minute, harried rush.
Although none of the products met my fourth criteria of healing an eczema patch, Gold Bond came closest to healing while CLn prevented new patches from forming. Thus, when I return to the United States I’ll definitely purchase the Gold Bond Ultimate Eczema Relief and the Eucerin Eczema Relief. CLn won’t be forgotten in case I need something while in a clutch situation. Gold Bond and Eucerin will definitely become a part of my simple beauty toolbox (along with soap and water) to keep my eczema at bay and my pocketbook in check.
Lo and behold, October is Eczema Awareness Month. Now, I do think there are more pressing issues to tackle than eczema. Nevertheless, more information can be found at the link provided.