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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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!