This is the first time I am posting a picture. Funny it’s just a picture of the items I have most regularly been using over the last 29 months.
Going from left to right, here is a list of the items, what I use it for, as well as why I use it.
1) Free and Clear Shampoo
This product is for sensitive skin. I use this not only as a shampoo, but also a body wash, bubble bath, bath tub cleaner and hand soap. There are no fragrances, no parabens, no dyes, it’s gluten free, lanolin free, preservative free and made from coconut based surfactants. Yes, I have tried a host of organic and natural products. Sadly many of them have essential oil blends or other extracts that were too active or reactive on my skin. But that is understandable – most skin care products have a warning somewhere on them stating “not to use on broken skin”. When in the throws of RSS you want something that isn’t gonna burn. That’s why I love this product.
2)Organic Jojoba oil
This product is by Aura Cacia, you may be able to find other brands online. Sometimes plant oil skincare is cold pressed and unfiltered, other times they are not. I actually blend the Jojoba Oil with other oils, I don’t use it straight. (I will explain more later.) Jojoba is the oil most similar to the oil the human body produces through the skin’s oil glands. Since the ecology of our skin is comprised during RSS, as well as our tissue production, I chose Jojoba oil to make up 50% of the barrier moisture I apply.
3) Organic Sweet Almond oil
Also by Aura Cacia, this product is often found in the medicine cabinet of the French. It is a heavier moisturizing oil. (It makes a great eye make up remover when applied to a cotton pad.) Almond oil is know for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as a sun protectant. I mix 50% Almond oil with 50% Jojoba oil in a bottle and then add essential oils to create my skin protection. (More later about that.)
4)Zinc BabyTime Episencial Active Repair
This product is by Episencial and is quickly becoming popular baby skin care. There are no fragrances, no petrolatum products and it’s gluten free. The website says “Active Repair is designed to bring comforting relief to dry, irritated, inflamed, cracked or eczema-prone skin without the use of steroid creams. Active Repair uses 95% organic ingredients including calendula, zinc and ceramides. It’s formulated to create a barrier and promote healing while it helps to reduce itching and overall irritation.”
It has definitely helped me and I found that my skin stays drier than when I use the petrolatum zinc creams.
5) Organic Aloe 80
I have never read of anyone using Aloe of any form while they have been dealing with RSS. Im sure i have just not looked at tgd FB and forum posts enough. But more people ought to give Aloe a try.
This product is by Lily of the Dessert, it is artificial color free, fragrance free and paraben free. I have tried about 10 brands of Aloe. None of them are 100% Aloe, all of them have at least 2-10 additional ingredients. This one has a bunch extra but the combination doesn’t upset my skin. Some days all I need is the Aloe and my toner (other than on my hands).
I do like this other product by Aubrey Organics which is an Aloe Juice that you have to refrigerate after opening. It only has guar gum and grapefruit seed extract, but it doesn’t offer the heaviness and sealing capabilities of Aloe 80.
Obviously fresh Aloe is the best. But I go through about 32 ounces of aloe a month which means I would need a lot of plant.
6) Organic Veriditas Essential Oils
You see a spray bottle in the picture which I fill with distilled water and add about 25 drops in total of the following essential oils (some are not pictured): Helichrysum, Frankincense, a proprietary blend called Eczema Treatment, Hyssop and Cedar Atlas. These oils are for tissue repair, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antivirals, antifungal, lymph stimulation and other great functions. After cleansing and drying my skin, I spritz the Tonic on the skin.
Veriditas Essential oils are therapeutic grade, organic and have received their Ecocert. Therapeutic grade means you can actually ingest them, but don’t use them in this way unless you are working with a knowledgeable practitioner.
7) Organic Lavender Essential Oil
Again this is a therapeutic grade oil by Veriditas. A couple drops of this either mixed with aloe or Jojoba oil or a blend of the two can be applied to intensely itchy or burning flared areas. It may bring you temporarily relief. It’s also a relaxing scent that may help to reduce anxiety or help you sleep if spritzed in the air or on your pillow.
8) Egyptian Magic Skin Salve
You may also try the Organic version, Sweet Bee Magic. The ingredients are honey, royal jelly, bee propolis and bees wax mixed with olive oil. So if you have bee product allergies this isn’t for you.
Dr. Rapaport actually introduced me to the Egyptian Magic on my first visit to his office in 2012. It wasn’t until the end of 2013 that I could use it regularly on super dry cracked areas. I mix it with shea butter to dilute it. I use it mainly on my hands, knees and ankles now.
Side bar commentary
I would like to note that I have kept trying different brands of organic herbal and homeopathic salves over the last 29 months but keep coming back to the two above. I don’t think there is any particular salve that has worked for me 100% of the time. In the first 12 months of RSS I kept cycling through petrolatum based products like vaseline, albolene and similar things. They never worked for very long either.
I find that continuing to clean the skin and putting a base of tonic and aloe have been the only consistent products I could apply. As my skin improves I require less lubrication to move and less skin protection for wounds.
9) 20% Zinc Paste from CVS
CVS is a pharmacy drug store. They have their own no frills brand of everything. There are only 2 ingredients in this paste and that’s why I like and can use this petrolatum based zinc paste – 20% zinc and 80% petrolatum. I use this when the cracks are crazy deep and my skin is NOT full of edema. The heavier my body is with fluid the less I want wet stuff on my skin.
Although zinc dries up ooze, petrolatum is occlusive – which means it suffocates the skin and won’t let any thing in or out of the skin. This causes the skin to hold in heat and cause you to be sweatier and oozier. So you just feel damp and gross.
There are tons of other things I have laying around in my arsenal to combat dry skin, cracked skin, oozing skin, open sores, viral infection, bacterial infection, etc. Nothing gets rid of RSS it just makes it more tolerable and aids the skins ability to heal.
My normal skin routine is as follows:
Allow skin to dry
Spritz toner everywhere
Apply Aloe everywhere
For areas that need more care:
Take Jojoba/Almond oil mix and put a little in the palm of my hand and mix it with equal parts aloe in my hand and apply to areas. (I put on my face, neck, décolleté, arms, hands, knees and ankles.) Let it dry and apply again about 15 minutes later to areas that need another layer. (My second layer area is my hands and wrists.)
Always cleanse areas before reapplying products. I usually reapply 3 times a day to my knees, neck, arms, ankles and hands.
Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram @hpesthetics.
You can do it! Don’t give up.