My Post-TSW Skincare Routine

Please excuse the very long absence from the blog world.  I have been meaning to make a post-TSW skincare routine post for a while, and then just kept putting it off.  In all reality, this blog will probably have posts that are way fewer and farther between, since now (OH HAPPY DAY) I don’t need to keep documenting progress of my skin, because I am healed and back to normal!  But, I am still here reading the blogs of others with TSW, and still here to give support and encouragement or just answer questions on TSW, skin, eczema, or life in general 🙂

So what do I use these days for general moisturizing, cleansing, skincare, etc?

BODY:

COCONUT OIL

If I want to use some type of moisturizer on my legs and body, coconut oil is really the only thing I use these days. I like the idea of using something completely natural and smelling like a tropical island. Some days I forget or just don’t want to be all greasy, and then use no body moisturizer at all… I don’t think coconut oil is a dealbreaker, now my body’s skin seems to retain oils whether I remember to moisturize it or not!

If I have any little bumps or tiny rashy spots on my legs, I use the lovely Calendulis cream from The Eczema Company.

If I have any little bumps or tiny rashy spots on my legs, I use the lovely Calendulis cream from The Eczema Company.

FACE (nighttime):

I wash my face once a day (at night) with Paula's Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser.  I used this cleanser all through my TSW days too.  It is very gentle and mild and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean.

I wash my face once a day (at night) with Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser. I used this cleanser all through my TSW days too. It is very gentle and mild and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean.

After I wash my face, it is time to exfoliate to get rid of any dull skin.  In general, I use Paula's Choice BHA (beta hydroxy acids) exfoliant.  I have tried both AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHA, but for me personally, I think I prefer the BHA's effects better.    Sometimes I will switch it up and exfoliate by giving my face a gentle scrub with very finely ground oatmeal.  Chemical exfoliants are best NOT used in TSW...they will sting.  Using oatmeal very gently is okay, and is a nice natural idea for healthy skin too!

After I wash my face, it is time to exfoliate to get rid of any dull skin. In general, I use Paula’s Choice BHA (beta hydroxy acids) exfoliant. I have tried both AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHA, but for me personally, I think I prefer the BHA’s effects better. Sometimes I will switch it up and exfoliate by giving my face a gentle scrub with very finely ground oatmeal. Chemical exfoliants are best NOT used in TSW…they will sting. Using oatmeal very gently is okay, and is a nice natural idea for healthy skin too!

After exfoliating for the night, I use an antioxidant serum, again from Paula's Choice.  I used this through TSW as well and it never stung or gave me any bad effects.  I dab this gently under my eyes and then on other areas prone to eventually show aging, like my forehead and smile lines.

After exfoliating for the night, I use an antioxidant serum, again from Paula’s Choice. I used this through TSW as well and it never stung or gave me any bad effects. I dab this gently under my eyes and then on other areas prone to eventually show aging, like my forehead and smile lines.

Lastly for my nighttime routine, I use grapeseed oil as a moisturizer, putting a few drops of it over my face.

Lastly for my nighttime routine, I use grapeseed oil as a moisturizer, putting a few drops of it over my face.

 

FACE (morning):

I don't wash my face again in the morning... I don't feel like I need to, since it's not like it got dirty in the night with me sleeping.  I splash water on my face and sometimes gently go over it with a washcloth.  Then I use the Antioxidant Serum again around my eyes, and a few drops of grapeseed oil.  My moisturizer every day is Vanicream SPF Sport 35 sunscreen.  This is the best sunscreen hands down - I used it through TSW and it was one of the few things that never made my skin burn or sting.  It goes on smoothly and keeps my skin feeling moisturized all day without being greasy or oily... plus I'm protecting myself from the aging effects of the sun!

I don’t wash my face again in the morning… I don’t feel like I need to, since it’s not like it got dirty in the night with me sleeping. I splash water on my face and sometimes gently go over it with a washcloth. Then I use the Antioxidant Serum again around my eyes, and a few drops of grapeseed oil. My moisturizer every day is Vanicream SPF Sport 35 sunscreen. This is the best sunscreen hands down – I used it through TSW and it was one of the few things that never made my skin burn or sting. It goes on smoothly and keeps my skin feeling moisturized all day without being greasy or oily… plus I’m protecting myself from the aging effects of the sun!

Makeup wise, I LOVE LOVE LOVE these Tarte SmolderEyes eyeliners.  They come in a bunch of colors and they literally do stay on all day and are smudgeproof.  I have sweated heavily in them, and yes, they did fade a little, but still remained intact... very impressed.  I usually line my lower lid in a brown or purple, and sometimes line the upper lid too if I'm feeling fancy.

Makeup wise, I LOVE LOVE LOVE these Tarte SmolderEyes eyeliners. They come in a bunch of colors and they literally do stay on all day and are smudgeproof. I have sweated heavily in them, and yes, they did fade a little, but still remained intact… very impressed. I usually line my lower lid in a brown or purple, and sometimes line the upper lid too if I’m feeling fancy.

I wrote a whole post on this stuff because it's that good.  Tarte Amazonian Clay mascara is wonderful and comes off easily with makeup remover or (my preference) grapeseed oil.  It's not technically waterproof, but I've sweated heavily in it without it smearing.  Two coats of this and I look awake and ready to greet the day!

Tarte Amazonian Clay mascara is wonderful and comes off easily with makeup remover or (my preference) grapeseed oil. It’s not technically waterproof, but I’ve sweated heavily in it without it smearing. Two coats of this and I look awake and ready to greet the day!

So clearly, two of my favorite (and skin-friendly!) brands are Paula’s Choice and Tarte, and I know I’ve mentioned both of these brands in other posts on my blog.  I was not compensated in any way for promoting these, I just think they are two wonderful brands that are gentle on skin and free from irritating ingredients like added fragrances, etc.

One thing that I was really worried about with post-TSW skin was that my skin would be healed, but would be exquisitely sensitive to everything, more so than before.  I am very pleased to note that the ‘sensitivity’ of my skin seems to be what it was before I ever used steroids.  I guess I could truly test it with something I reacted badly to, previously, like aloe…. but since I’ve found a routine that works so well for me, I’m sticking to it.  🙂  If you’re out there still trucking through TSW… have hope!  There is light on the other side!  Normal skin awaits!

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “My Post-TSW Skincare Routine

  1. So pleased to hear you’re back to normal skin 😀 that is fantastic news, well done you! Do you think you’ll be posting any photographs for us to see the transformation?xx

    • Thank you Jenny! I have been thinking of you and your own journey (I always read your blog posts though I am bad about commenting!) I may put up some more photographs, though most of what I have is already posted and scattered throughout the blog. HOWEVER, because this blog is anonymous, I am not putting pics of my face…. but, I am glad to share that kind of thing over email! I will send you a couple “before and after” shots 🙂

  2. Ard68 says:

    I’m so pleased to see that you are still going so well 🙂 I have been following your blog since May this year (but have rarley commented) and have been thinking about how you have been going.

    My healing from TSW has been similar to yours, including time frame, so it gives me hope that I may be over the worst in a couple of months. However, like all things, only time will tell.

    • Hi there! Very nice to hear from you 🙂 How long did you use topical steroids for? Curious if we are similar in that respect as well. Some talk about experiencing one final massive flare, which I feared, but never encountered in my healing. I was more of a slow burn than having great ups and downs with healing and flaring. I’m hoping you have the worst of it behind you as well!

  3. Julie says:

    Hi, I recently came across your blog and realized this is what my skin has been going through. A few questions:
    -What soap do you use for your body?
    -Did you ever use Vaseline as well? I just started usung coconut oil and then the Vaseline on top of that bc the coconut oil doesn’t seem to moisturizer my skin enough.
    -Do you wear powder and blush? If so, do you recommend a particular brand?
    -Do you know what ingredients are in the calendulis cream? I didn’t see the ingredients listed. I actually tried that a month ago on my hands, and it worked really well, but when I stopped using it (bc I ran out), my hands flared up worse than ever. I didn’t know if it was bc I stopped using that or if it was due to other things I put on my hands–after I ran out. I used Exederm on my hands for a day or 2 after that bc it said dermatologists recommended it for babies with eczema.
    -Did you ever try light therapy?
    -Do you still get any flares?

    • Hi Julie! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through the same thing with your skin. I’m more than happy to answer your questions:
      – Soap for body – I use Dove Sensitive. (Good catch, I forgot to mention that in my skincare post!)

      – I did use Vaseline when my skin was really bad and dry and flaking all over. Now my skin makes its own oils and I even get acne sometimes, so Vaseline is way too greasy for me. Once in a while I use it on my lips, but that is it. I did like you are though, with “layering” Vaseline over oil when I was so dry… I would use grapeseed oil on my face and then Vaseline over that. I think it is a good idea as the Vaseline creates a sort of barrier, but then you still have the natural oil, whether it be coconut, grapeseed, whatever, as the first layer on your skin.

      – I actually do not wear powder or blush. However, I wholeheartedly recommend Tarte brand cosmetics overall, they make both powder and blush. All their products are cruelty free, and free of fragrance and many of the common chemicals that are in other brands of makeup. I have researched many cosmetics and they are one of the most “skin friendly” brands.

      – I just found the ingredients for the calendulis cream online at The Eczema Company’s site: Natural, alcohol-free cream base with propolis, calendula, hydrocotyle (pennywort), and a blend of homeopathic remedies (non-cortisone).

      – Light therapy is one of the few things I have never tried.

      – Flares- I would say I get a very very minor amount of little scabs or spots here and there… Maybe not even really “eczema” but just minor skin irritation from who knows what. I only get these on my limbs – specifically on my forearms and on my thighs/above my knees.

      All very good questions! My pleasure to answer them and let me know if you have more. I am wishing you speedy healing for your own skin!

  4. Em says:

    So grateful for this post! xx

  5. Courtney says:

    Yay!!! What a great reason to not have much to write about. I’m sooo happy for you!!

  6. joey says:

    jeez thats alot, all I use is ‘avveno daily moisturising lotion’

  7. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for answering all of my questions. I also meant to ask if you ever tried Epsom salts and if you ever used apple cider vinegar (with water ) on your skin. I’ve heard of both of those helping but wondered if you had used them in your skin regimen.

    I’m so glad I found your blog bc that’s what made me finally realize. What’s going on with my skin. Thank you!

    • Hi Julie, you’re very welcome! I actually do use Dead Sea Salts everyday in the bath. (I guess those are like Epsom salts?? probably similar). I think it does help with itching. I have used apple cider vinegar (diluted) before as well, on my face. I do think it helped the itching just a bit and made my skin feel a little softer, but I got tired of the smell of vinegar so I stopped. I think both are worth a try plus they are relatively cheap! So glad I could help 🙂

  8. Ingrid Allen says:

    hello, i am 5 weeks into TSW and right now the tops of my hands are pretty bad but its my eyelids that are dry and flaky. What lotion did you use on the eyelids at this point of TSW? I am using no moisturizer on my hands and it seems to be working better than any moisturizers (Hemp or coconut oils made it flare much worse). thanks

    • Hi Ingrid, for eyelids one of the mildest creams that I found was Avene Tolerance Extreme cream. Not sure where you are located but I am in the USA and I found it on Dermstore.com. It was one of the few things that did not sting or burn when my face was at its worst. Good luck and speedy healing to you! Keep me posted!

  9. Ard68 says:

    Hello again! I hope your skin is still going well and your are continuing to enjoy life.

    Sorry for the late reply to your question. I think my usage history is different to yours. I have had eczema since a baby and was given mild steroids very occasionally as a child. My usage increased when I left home but I mostly stuck to 0.5-1% hydrocortisone for the last seven years. I would use on and off, sometimes having breaks lasting for up to a year. I used elecon on occasion and went on a short course of presdisone in 2007. It wasn’t until I discovered blogs like yours that I had a problem with TS.

    My skin is continuing to clear and I now feel better than I did when I was still on TS. I am worried about another flare but fingers crossed it doesn’t come.

    • Hey there! My skin is still doing pretty well thank goodness! It is getting a little drier and irritated on my hands due to the cold air now and since I wash my hands a lot at work, but I have no complaints if that’s all I have to deal with. Thanks for sharing your usage history; yes they are different, but it still seems that you may have a less grueling recovery than some since you stuck to mainly hydrocortisone. Here is hoping!! I was waiting for one big final flare myself but my final one was back in May/June. So I hope you are all done with big ones too and now just have steady healing progress from there!

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