Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying out a few potions that have hit the market – all with anecdotal evidence to support great effects on eczema and dry skin – holy grail miracle creams according to some of their reviewers. All of them, I think, have been developed out of a need to find something that worked for the creator’s children or the creators themselves as an alternative to existing emollients and to avoid the need for steroid creams.
As everyone who suffers from eczema knows – what might be a miracle cream for one could fall flat for another and at worst cause a horrible reaction. There is also the massively disappointing scenario whereby the cream works miracles one week and appears to be the cause of a flare-up the next.
But, the skin on my face has been so inflamed,puffy, creased and flaky over the last couple of months – my usual routine of Aveeno and Vaseline with a short blast of steroids to tackle intense flare-ups has not really cut the mustard. So I decided to take the plunge and have a go at these little pots of mystery.
Here they are from left to right:
1. Gentle Green Soothing Cream
2. Selexir Peace Balm
3. Pure Potions – Skin Salvation
Selexir Peace Balm
I first came across this after a glowing review on Twitter which claimed to work miracles on the blogger’s skin.
This cream/balm is the result of Selexir founder Elena Herdieckerhoff’s personal quest to find a solution to her own skin condition – soon after that friends and family were asking if she could make more for them and Selexir was born.
It’s not cheap, 15ml for around £25 and then getting on for £60 for 50ml, which I guess is down to its long list of botanical ingredients:
Black currant, black cumin, shea butter, aloe vera, honey, beeswax avocado, evening primrose oil, radish root, Japanese honeysuckle, garden honeysuckle, extract of poplar bark, centella asiatica extract, chamomile, calendula, witch hazel, cupuaçu seed extract, lavender oil, mango seed butter – to name but a few!
I wanted to like this cream so much, given the many documented success stories, and was prepared for a lifetime of shelling out a small fortune if it worked. But after the first application I’m sorry to say it really did nothing to calm my red and inflamed skin and even after several layers it didn’t manage to hydrate sufficiently to penetrate the awful flakiness. I am very well aware that you need to give skincare weeks to truly know whether or not it is having a long term effect – but I needed instant relief and this just didn’t do it for me.
Gentle Green Soothing Cream
My son suffered very badly from eczema all over his little body when he was 5 – scratched himself raw, wore bandages to school, cried himself to sleep – life was miserable. Until we found eczema clothing – enclosed cotton pyjamas with no inside seams meant reduced scratching at night and the lessening of the symptoms. Highly recommended for anyone in the same situation. (www.eczemaclothing.com) After he suffered the worse case of chicken pox I’ve ever seen at the age of 6 – the eczema happily disappeared.
But I still get the catalogue. And on the pages of the latest issue – there was an ad for Gentle Green Soothing Cream. I’d just been paid, so I decided to treat myself. £30 for a pot.
Gentle Green Soothing Cream was created by Hannah Pearson at her home in Devon. She suffered from severe eczema as a child which inspired her to create an alternative to conventional steroid treatments.
Ingredients: Shea Fruit butter, Avocado butter, Coconut butter, Sunflower oil, Rosehip seed oil, Hemp seed oil, Sea Buckthorn fruit, Marshmallow, Calendula, Chickweed, St John’s wort, Nettle leaf, Roman Chamomile, Manuka, Lavender.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Green Cream is orange. It’s a little like the consistency of set honey. But when applied instantly turns into a kind of wet slippery thin grease which takes a long while to sink in. This was totally not for me from the moment of first application – it did hydrate me immediately but left my face so wet and slippery it would have been impossible to feel or look dry. After it did sink in I’m afraid I felt like I needed an immediate top up. Again, I really wanted to love this. I admire and support the efforts of sufferers to find a solution to their own skin problems but, like I said earlier, each eczema sufferer’s skin is so different, with different needs and unique reactions. Wet and slippery might be just up your street – but I needed something with more welly!
Pure Potions Skin Salvation
I have naturally saved the best till last.
Pure Potions Skin Salvation is yet another kitchen sink tale of eczema woe. A Brighton based mother was exasperated by the state of her daughter’s skin and the lack of help offered by medical staff other than to blast with steroids (which, for my skin, I need to do from time to time) – so, yes you guessed it she came up with her own. I really take my hat off to these domestic alchemists – I wouldn’t have a clue where to start!
This is from the Pure Potions website:
“Natalie Balmond, founder of Purepotions, formulated the first of her products when her daughter Lula was suffering from a chronic dry skin condition.
None of the treatments she had tried, conventional GP-prescribed creams or alternative remedies,alleviated the itching and soreness that was causing Lula a great deal of distress. Lula was so poorly that 90% of her body was covered in open bleeding sores and she had to be wrapped in bandages every day. Natalie was desperate to find a solution and finally she took matters into her own hands.
With much determination and experimentation, Natalie developed a natural salve in her own kitchen, using a combination of herbs and oils which dramatically improved the condition of her daughter’s dry skin.”
The ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract.
£12.99 for 60ml.
Well, after I had scraped out my first, very solid, finger load (think the consistency of butter straight from the fridge), warmed it in my fingers and applied to my face … aaaah – instant relief. It is a balm-like consistency, but once you’ve scooped out the tiniest amount and started working it into your skin it turns into another slippery hydrating treatment. But this one does soak in and it leaves my skin feeling soft. You wouldn’t want to leave your front door straight after applying it, you do look like you have a face full of grease for some time, but for me anyway it offers some real hydration on top of my regular emollient.
But the best thing about Pure Potions is that it helps to calm the anger and fire in my skin when I’m having a horrible flare up. Anything thin with a liquid consistency can really burn when I put it straight onto my inflamed skin and this is where skin salvation really earns its stripes.
So, I’ll leave you with an image of pure comfort and joy. It’s very early days yet – but here’s hoping.