During one of my pregnancies I developed a range of hypersensitive issues including eczema and contact dermatitis. Converting to natural cleaners was an easy choice for me- reducing the chemical burden on my family (and my hands) has been nothing but beneficial. So if you suffer from similar conditions read on, we have solution.
One easy place you can aid in reducing eczema and contact dermatitis is in your hand wash routine. Wash with warm water, not hot, as this will further breakdown the integrity of your skin. Use a natural hand soap with added glycerine; this will draw moisture back into your skin. Alarm bells should be ringing if you are using a brightly coloured, artificial smelling, unnatural looking hand “wash” on your dry and cracked skin- multiple times a day. The same goes for anything anti-bacterial and alcohol based- ouch! You will most definitely be taking one step forward and two steps back with this hand cleaning regime. Lastly, invest in a natural and good-quality moisturiser to compliment the glycerine in your hand soap.
In terms of hand soap I recommend stripping your hand soap right back- and only use products that are pared back and natural (i.e. you should be able to recognise EVERY ingredient within it). What a hand soap needs to do is “’collect’ the germs from your skin as you lather, so they can then be washed away by water. What you don’t want is a product that will obliterate everything it touches, including your skin. As a side note, your skin is the largest organ system of your body and is highly absorbent; its not just your hands receiving the nasties, it’s being delivered throughout your body.
So having said that, I also have an easy solution. What I use in my home is a foaming soap that only has four natural ingredients:
1) Figgy cleaning soap- this is what removes the germs, and it’s made from 100% coconut oil;
2) Glycerine – a plant derived gel like substance that draws moisture into the skin;
3) Essential oil – pressed out from plants and gives your soap a beautiful yet natural scent;
4) Water……. And that’s it!
In addition, I have a reusable work-horse of a soap pump that has been going for over a year which saves waste- an added bonus. AND best of all, my kids love the foaming soap too! I think we all know how germy kids can be (grimace).
You can use this foaming soap day in and day out and there is not a chemical in sight. You can also tailor it to suit your skin type and preferences – a little more glycerine for particularly dry skin, and little more soap for a stiffer foam etc.
If you want to give this a go there is a foaming soap pack available in the Figgy & Co. webstore that has everything you need. No thinking necessary (except for getting to choose your own essential oil- yay!). The pack also includes a recipe card to make it an easy and seamless switch -because let’s face it, its got to be easy and well as effective.
This hand wash routine has significantly reduced the contact dermatitis and eczema on my hands. Personally I hardly get any flare ups anymore. But lets keep it real- its not fixing the causes or triggers, but what it is doing is allowing my skin to remain intact which in turn prevents the severity and frequency of flare ups- well worth it if you ask me.