During our lengthy battle with Scarlett's eczema we tried so many creams, doctors were next to useless and I had googled "eczema cure" about 2,456 times.
Some advice was weird, others made sense, but almost always it was advice about what you should but in the bath and then what to put on the skin after a bath.
We tried... oats, epsom salts and baking powder in the bath then coconut oil, almond oil, kawakawa oil, aloe vera, or rosehip oil on her skin, about 5 different types of google recommended moisturisers including imported stuff from Australia. That crap that the doctors prescribe... what is it called? fatty cream, gah! Hydrocortisone... more hydrocortisone....
Most things never worked for long and it was a constant battle trying to put creams on her every 6 hours or so. We changed our hand soap, cleaning products and our washing powder. Some days were worse and some days were better and we just couldn't figure it out.
In the end we tried reducing her dairy intake, and it helped, but every now and then she would still have a flare up which would make her skin raw and itchy.
It was during these flare ups that I did some research into the acid mantle and found that those baking soda baths that weren't helping at all were possibly even making it worse as I wasn't rinsing off the alkaline based bath water (the skin naturally likes to be slightly acidic).
Then I looked at my DIY toner in the cupboard which contained witch hazel, and vitamin C.
Now I made this toner shortly after I had my second baby and I realised that maybe I needed a bit of a skincare regime. My eyes were puffy from lack of sleep, acne prone due to the crazy hormone post pregnancy drop, wrinkles were forming and it was dry and unloved.
That bottle of witch hazel in my cupboard that had served its purpose on those post labour hemorrhoids (Yip I said it), made its comeback in the form of a vitamin C toner :)
DID YOU KNOW HOW AMAZING WITCH HAZEL IS? It's like a magical wonder product for your skin! It helps lock in moisture, helps with acne, reduces puffy eyes and reduces pores. Honestly it made the best ever toner spray when mixed with vitamin c! it has no preservatives and is natural, simple and cheap! :)
The other use that I overlooked when making the toner the first time around was that it is also great to calm itchy eczema skin!
So I tried this on Scarlett's skin to calm it :) It acidified her skin back to normal and the witch hazel reduced itching.... the severity of the break outs were reduced.
Finally we pinpointed the break outs to the red food colouring that contained the cochineal bug and the rest was history. The small break outs are few and far between and when she does break out, it is managed naturally and easily. I also use it on my hands too where I get a bit of eczema where my wedding band sits as I am allergic to gold.
What I have learned during our battle with her eczema was a combination of different approaches was the key to success... it was just finding the right combination for us. Everyone is different and there are many different approaches and advice out there because they are just sharing what worked for them. Our combination of a dairy intolerance, an acid mantle that was too alkaline and and allergy to cochineal is fairly unique to Scarlett, but could be a help to others trying to deal with eczema.
Below is my DIY recipe for vitamin C toner/ skin calming spray.
You will need...
1 small spray bottle (I just got mine from the $2 shop)
70 - 100ml Witch Hazel Extract (alcohol free if possible)- I get mine from Pure Nature
1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C powder (water soluble) - I get mine from Pure Nature
1 drop - Lavender oil if you would like to add a scent.
I use this morning and night after I wash my face :) Sooooooo good!
Get your Witch hazel and Vitamin C from www.purenature.co.nz