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moisturiser for sensitive skin?  RSS feed

 
Linda Secker
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Location: Lancaster, UK
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Hi All

do you have any recipes for moisturising sensitive skin and lips? I get very dry skin in places, and my skin is sensitive to all sorts of things. I need a thick cream for hands, feet, elbows and knees, and a lightweight cream for my face. I also get occasional patches of eczema. I'm particularly bothered about lip stuff - I've tried several lip balms here in the UK, some natural, some not, and the only thing that actually works is vaseline which is petroleum jelly - yeuch!!!

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd like to try making something!

Linda
 
Tobias Ber
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hey linda...

i m no expert but what might help:

- aloe vera leave gel (grow them yourself)

- wash with water and then apply oil or fat (olive oil ... hemp seed oil should be very good ... evening primrose oil ... butter or ghee ... maybe shea butter??)


best wishes

tobias
 
Linda Secker
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Hi Tobias thanks for reply!

I know someone with an Aloe vera plant so I shall cadge an offset off her and give that a try - i think it's meant to be good for all sorts of skin problems.

I only ever wash with water but your idea of just using oil is an interesting one! Years ago I had some Argan oil and found it just too oily and not very moisturising, but I just tried a smear of coconut oil on my lips and on a patch of eczema and so far so good!! Maybe it's a matter of finding the RIGHT oils for my skin so thanks!

Linda
 
Tobias Ber
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hey...

when you wash with water, the skin is wet. when you apply oil then, it helps to keep moisture in the skin.

have you thought about making balms/oils with herbs? maybe calendula?


have a blessed pentecost!
tobias
 
Miranda Converse
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You can make your own lip balm with beeswax and coconut oil. It's super easy and it only takes a little bit of each to make a years supply;
Ingredients-
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Beeswax
Optional: Vitamin E, Argan Oil, Jojoba oil, whatever you want, just decrease the coconut oil by the amount of whatever else you use

In a double boiler (I just use a small pot 1/4 full with water, with a glass measuring cup inside to hold the ingredients) melt the coconut oil and beeswax at a 2:1 ratio (you can experiment with how hard/soft you want the balm by changing the ratio slightly) and pour into the container of your choice.

You can even make bigger batches to use this as a moisturizing balm for the areas that need a heavy moisturizer.

For your face, I would try Jojoba oil, which is supposed to closely mimic our natural sebum, or fractionated coconut oil, which is supposed to be one of the lightest oils so it absorbs easily and doesn't feel greasy. I just use unrefined coconut oil on my face (and everywhere else). It feel a tad oily for maybe 30 minutes but eventually absorbs in.

As far as the eczema, have you tried avoiding using soap in those areas? I get dyshidrotic eczema on my hands and I notice it always gets worse if I wash my hands with soap a lot. I have started using an exfoliating scrub instead of soap, unless I feel particularly germy. My hands are softer than ever now! I make my own scrubs too, another super easy recipe. Just mix sugar or salt with any oil at a 3(sugar):1(oil) ratio. You can add any essential oils you want to make it smell nice, just make sure you aren't sensitive to them first.
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
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This thread reminded me to use the tallow balm I made on my hands because I have been washing my hands so much lately they cracked! I rendered suet then made a balm by adding 10% olive oil and some lavender essential oil. It is still quite stiff but a scraper some with my fingernail if I need a lot. It has helped my skin heal from all kinds of injuries including eczema. Tallow is said to be closest to the fat profile of our own skin. I found coconut oil to be drying so I avoid using it topically now.
 
Rebecca Norman
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I've tried various natural products, since I live in such an arid place that moisturizing is essential. Like you, I am sad to find that the only thing that works on my lips is chapstik and blistex brands. Natural salves and beeswax-based brands lead to painful cracked lips within a couple of days.

Sometimes I use plain oil on my hands and face: olive oil, apricot seed oil, ghee, whatever is on hand and feels nice. If used right after your skin was washed and still has some moisture, it feels nice and soft initially. But after a few days, my skin gets cracked and rough with these. I'm sad to say, Vaseline Intensive Care brand works best; and at least it has an unscented variety. Homemade lanolin based salve from a friend worked pretty well though my skin did eventually get rough, but I'd like to get some more lanolin and try again. Or tallow mentioned above.

I get painful cracks in my heels in this dry climate. To prevent them, I have to wear socks at all times, even with sandals. I have to soak my feet in hot water and scrape them regularly, like once a week. Sometimes you just get cracks anyway. The best treatment and prevention is tape. If you've got a painful crack in your heel, soak and scrape your feet, then stuff a tiny dab of greasy stuff in the crack, and tape over it with medical tape or a bandaid; it will stop hurting within 12 hours, and start healing. When cracks are too persistent, I just tape over both heels as a preventive measure and it works perfectly.
 
Linda Secker
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Thanks for your input everyone!

I've decided to make a lip balm first (as I've got the ingredients) as per Miranda's recipe, but I shall add some chamomile or Calendula flowers somehow. I can probably use that on my eczema patches as well..... I also did some trawling on the net and wrote down several more cream type recipes to have a go at next so I am feeling inspired!! Go to pick up an aloe vera plant later on today, but will have to grow it on a bit before I can sacrfice any

Love this forum
Linda
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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As far as I can tell, eczema is a dietary issue, not moisture problem...

My tribe's strategy for dealing with eczema is:

Reduce inflammation in the body by avoiding processed foods, and common irritants like coffee, caffeine, wheat, dairy.
Don't eat any oils other than coconut or olive oil.
Eat more flax and fish.
Get about 20 minutes of sunshine every day, at about mid-day, over as much of the body as is legally allowed.
Eat fermented foods every day.
Eat lots of different kinds of green and colored vegetables to increase vitamin intake.
Drink Plenty of Water.
Don't poison ourselves with perfumes, deodorants, soaps, make-up, fabric-dyes, cleaners, -cides, processed foods, new car smell, etc...
Avoid common allergens like dogs, cats, dust, pollen, etc.... (wear dust masks, vacuum frequently, stay indoors during wind storms, hire a kid to mow the lawn, etc)
Get sufficient sleep and exercise.
Maintain a healthy weight.
And then, if desired, apply coconut oil to the skin.
 
Miranda Converse
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Linda Secker wrote:Thanks for your input everyone!

I've decided to make a lip balm first (as I've got the ingredients) as per Miranda's recipe, but I shall add some chamomile or Calendula flowers somehow. I can probably use that on my eczema patches as well..... I also did some trawling on the net and wrote down several more cream type recipes to have a go at next so I am feeling inspired!! Go to pick up an aloe vera plant later on today, but will have to grow it on a bit before I can sacrfice any

Love this forum
Linda


You can make an oil infusion by filling a glass jar with the chamomile/calendula (or any herb you like) and topping off with the oil of your choice, just enough oil to cover the flowers. Let it sit for a couple weeks and occasionally give it a shake. Strain the flowers from the oil and then you could use that infusion in the lip balm recipe. Just make sure you melt everything on low heat so you don't destroy the medicinal properties of the oil. Not sure how much you should use but you could experiment and see what works best!
 
Tobias Ber
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hey miranda ...

thank you. we ve planted lots of calendula in our garden this year. edible flowers are nice...

for the oil, which parts do you use? whole flower? just the petals? do you need to dry them first?

thank you
 
Miranda Converse
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I haven't actually infused oil with calendula but I would assume you could use the whole flower, whichever parts have any medicinal value or would contribute to the scent if that's what you are going for. You should dry them a bit first so the moisture doesn't make the oil go rancid.
I tried to post this link that has more detailed information but for some reason it didn't go through the first time so here it is again: http://mountainroseblog.com/making-herbal-infused-oils/
 
Rebecca Norman
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I made calendula oil by soaking freshly picked whole calendula flowers in olive oil this past winter, as showed to me by a friend who makes and uses it all the time. Exactly as desccribed above, we packed calendula flowers in a jar, filled with olive oil, stood it in the sun for a few days, then strained it. The fresh flowers didn't make it rancid. When I looked online, it seems that people worry that the flowers COULD make it rancid so you should use only the petals and/or dry them, but nobody actually seems to say that the flowers DID make it go rancid in their experience.

(The calendula/oil was pretty good at preventing cracked heels when I soaked them frequently and oiled them up, but on my hands it was very smooth initially, but made them rough in a week or two.)
 
Linda Secker
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okay peeps so here's what I eventually did ..... I made up just half a pot to see how my skin likes it, but it was really easy

3 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
3 teaspoons jojoba oil
the sap from one aloe vera leaf (approx 3 teaspoons)
the contents of one vitamin e capsule
about half the contents of one lecithin capsule for its emulsifying properties
3 drops essential oil (which is a bit too much)

mix it all together in a cereal bowl with a teaspoon and keep mixing until it combines. i guess you could whip it if you wanted to. Pour into little pot and leave to cool - it's a lovely soft consistency and yellowish in colour - and my skin loves it!!!

Linda
 
K Putnam
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Adding a bit of aloe is a great idea.

Just as an aside, I personally found coconut oil dried out my skin and left it feeling a bit scalded. A lot of people find it to be a drying oil.  The jojoba will likely help with that in this mixture, but if you find it drying, it may be the coconut.   Jojoba was still slightly too heavy for me, so I switched to straight apricot kernel oil about a year ago.  It's very lightweight and absorbs almost like a lotion, but without any of the chemicals involved.  I almost entirely quit using soap on my face and the amount of oil I need to keep my skin moisturized has gone way down as well.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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lots of good info here.  I used to make a skin cream for myself in the days when I had to wash my hands at least 10 times per hour, if not more.  I started with the idea that what I needed was oil/fats, but realized I needed more water fraction than oil, so went to a recipe that was 2/3 water or aloe or herbal tea, with meadowfoam,& borage oils, beeswax, cocoa and or shea butter, and ricebran, olive, or grapeseed oil. 

The beeswax in combinatino with just a touch of borax works as an emulsifier.  melt the fats butters and beeswax, heat the water add the borax, pour the two together mix with a hand blender until temperature is in the low 90s,  And as the temperature drops near 100 degrees F then add the more fragile ingredients and aloe.  It protects the medicinal molecules AND speeds the cooling.

right now I'm out, and need to make some more.
 
Jamie Jackson
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Didn't have time to read all the replies.  I make body butter for people with very dry skin and since many of my clients have eczema, I always tailor anything I'm making to them.  I don't make creams requiring water, preservatives or emulsifiers, butters are what our ancestors made.  The ingredients are shea, sunflower oil, castor oil, sunflower lecithin (both castor and lecithin act as humectants and you would love the feel of it), coconut oil, and almond oil etc. 

I have found that for me, and some of my customers with very sensitive skin, aloe irritates us - which many find odd.  I ran out of body butters, but will be putting them back on etsy for Christmas.  MissouriHerbs.com
 
casey lem
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My hands get extremely dry in winter, to the point of cracking and bleeding when it's very dry. I've used several "natural" products which have worked great. A hand salve by Burt's Bees and a product called almond milk kitchen hand cream were the best I remember. But, in a pinch I always end up returning to good old cold pressed olive oil. It's almost always around and doesn't cost nearly as much. I'm happy to see that this thread mentions calendula recipes as I've been meaning to infuse a little oil w/ said flowers to help my winter maladies. It readily self seeds in our front yard garden, and perhaps this is the motivation to finally create my own remedy.
 
Brandon Moores
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Any saturated fat is fine:  coconut, shea, cacao, ghee, etc.


Polyunsaturated fats cause skin aging, so best avoided. 
 
Thekla McDaniels
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my friend made an excellent skin cream out of raw cream (which she lef out on the counter for the water to evaporate from) then mixed in some tallow and some essential oil.  It is great stuff.

In the desert here, I and many others find we absolutely need some water or water based substance (aloe herbal tea extract etc) in the skin prep.  Of it does not contain the water, then the skin remains cracked dry chapped.

I really think the need for "water" in the lotion or cream is climate based. Moisture means water.  I spent a month in a very humid part of Africa, and the whole time my skin shed in large amounts, leaving me with the smoothest skin I had ever had, and without use of any lotion or "moisturizer" at all. 

When the air is moisture laden butters work great for me, but when the air is arid, then before a butter does anything for my skin, I have to wash with warm water and soap, which allows the moisture into my skin, then the butter on top seals it in.
 
Dan Robinson
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This is not "making it yourself," but I just use 100% Emu Oil. It works great for me. I can use it on any part of the body, including the face. Of course it's oily. So, I usually just rub it in and then take a cloth or damp paper towel and rub off the excess residue.

It leaves the skin soft and moisturized. Works great in the winter time when my skin gets very dry.

Another benefit is that it has the ability to soak down into the lower skin layers, contrary to some other oils that sit on the top layer of skin.

I also occasionally use it as an after shave conditioner on the face.

In addition, I make up my own skin conditioning potion for the face. I've had a slight case of rosacea on my face, and this potion has helped significantly with that. This potion has some of the same ingredients contained in some cosmetics advertised as anti-aging. The good thing about mixing your own potion is that you are in control of the quality, quantity, and freshness of the formulation.

I mix a small batch of the following supplements into Emu oil:
high quality Vitamin E (including Tocopherol and Tocotrienol forms), astaxanthin, coenzyme Q10 (Ubquinol form), DHA/EPA (nutrients found in fish oil). The Emu oil acts as the carrier to absorb the nutrients into the lower skin layers.

Of course, you can mix whatever nutrients you believe to be beneficial for the skin.

The only caution with this potion is that astaxanthin, which is a naturally occurring compound found in shell fish, is the color of a lobster (bright reddish orange), and will stain linens, and it will be impossible to get it out. Therefore, I only use a wet paper towel to wipe off the residue.
 
Polly Oz
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:... realized I needed more water fraction than oil, so went to a recipe that was 2/3 water or aloe or herbal tea, with meadowfoam,& borage oils, beeswax, cocoa and or shea butter, and ricebran, olive, or grapeseed oil...  melt the fats butters and beeswax, heat the water add the borax, pour the two together mix with a hand blender until temperature is in the low 90s,  And as the temperature drops near 100 degrees F then add the more fragile ingredients and aloe.  It protects the medicinal molecules AND speeds the cooling.


Sounds like a nice mixture. If using 2/3 aloe instead of water, when do you add it, and how do you dissolve the borax? Do you have a recipe or do you wing it? I'm definitely not confident enough to do the latter ☺️
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I made a recipe with about a thousand ingredients,ratio of liquid oils solid oils is important.  I could look at it, give you the ratios so you could make ia simpler version or the complicated on.

I started with a set of ratios from an on line formula.  It might be a day or two before I can  find it, but, "watch this space".
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I can't prove it, but my opinion is: the most important is what you eat and drink; to have a healthy skin you need healthy food. It takes time, after you change your diet your skin does not become healthy in some days, or weeks. Maybe it will take over a year. And it depends on your skin type too. That's why I can't prove it, I have an easy skin. I can do without any cream or moisturizer on it.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I can't prove it, but my opinion is: the most important is what you eat and drink; to have a healthy skin you need healthy food. It takes time, after you change your diet your skin does not become healthy in some days, or weeks. Maybe it will take over a year. And it depends on your skin type too. That's why I can't prove it, I have an easy skin. I can do without any cream or moisturizer on it.


Diet is important beyond measure, but I don't think it is the only variable.  Skin is the biggest organ, and the cell membranes of the skin cells are made of phospholipids.  Skin cells are always dividing, and so there is constant need for the right building blocks, so that the cell membrane can do a great job of letting some things in and some keeping other things out.  That's crucial,

Going further into it, though, there is no denying the simple question of humidity.  Just look at all the posts that are from people from arid climates.  In arid conditions, the skin has a tougher job, and it is tougher.  Kind of more like a husk than the lovely rose petal textured skin from humid climates.

The amount of pigment in skin is also a factor.  Melanin protects.  The darker the skin the more it protects, and so skin does not have to be as thick.  ( I used to do TB skin tests and punctured the skin of thousands, that's how I reached that generalization re skin pigmentation).

Then there is the individual difference thing.  With so many variables, how could we "prove" the importance diet, I am with you,  it's importance obvious.

 
Thekla McDaniels
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My best approximation of my recipe for a great natural lotion:

use ounces or grams, what ever you want, just keep the units constant, and use weight, rather than volume to measure the parts.

24  water
24  aloe
4 borax

1 stearic acid (this can be extracted from plant, also I think can be created in the lab.  It's not hard to find the plant origin stearic acid.   It is a "fatty acid" not an acid like HCl or those acids that will burn your skin)
2 or 3 beeswax (I have used 1 carnauba 2 beeswax, carnauba a tree based wax)  also could be used in this category: candelidilla wax

6 liquid oils, I have used it in this combination:
4 herb in fused rice bran oil
1 meadowfoam (this stabilizes and prevents other oils from oxidizing)
1 borage

6 oils solid at room temp  I have used 3 shea butter, 3 cocoa butter

And here is how I put them together

Heat the water to ~160 F
dissolve the borax in the hot water

Heat the solid waxes and oils and stearic acid, then add the liquid oils and bring to ~160F

Be very careful not to over heat the oils and waxes as they are capable of bursting into flame.   Small amounts are harder to manage gradual heating than large ones.  A double boiler is probably the safest method)

When these two are heated to 160F,  pour the one into the other.  (in soap making, it's important to add the lye to the oils, but in this case it is not critical)

Use a stick blender, an immersion blender and mix the two together. and keep mixing until the temperature drops to the 90s F range.  This is why I don't heat the aloe.   Once the water and oil phases are mixed, then I add the aloe and that speeds the cooling.  I also use a stainless steel pan for the mixing, and once the oil and waters are mixed, I put the pan into a sink of cool water to speed the cooling.

(keep an eye out at the thrift store, I have found them at goodwill. It's good to have one that is dedicated to the lotion making rather than borrowing the kitchen blender)

I have made this lotion with various combinations of oils and waxes.  I think the important thing is to keep the ratios of waxes, liquid oils and water phase pretty constant.

You can make the lotion without the stearic acid, but it really helps with the texture to include it.



 
Polly Oz
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Thekla, thank you so much for the very clear instructions. I'll order the couple of ingredients I don't have and give it a go. A good friend, an art teacher has developed contact dermatitis. People who've never had skin issues can be remarkably resistant to using moisturisers. I'll try to make the experience less off putting for him by using ingredients where he might at least enjoy the fragrance.
 
Jamie Jackson
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People with sensitive skin do not do well with borax.  That's why for sensitive skin it's so important to make a butter, not a cream.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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My experience is that borax sensitivity is individual.
 
Woutah Maze
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Hi Linda,

I lived on the continent and never really had any serious dry skin/ eczema problems; then I moved to the midlands in 2010 and quite quickly started having very similar problems as you describe. I tried out all sorts of creams and moisturisers because after a shower my skin felt like it was going to burst. The problem is that the more you use these, the less your skin can breath making the problem long term worse (soap is evil!)
I even ended up taking anti-histamines non stop to alleviate the itchy feelings on my back.
I recently moved abroad and within a week all my problems disappeared. I couldn't believe it myself.
So my advice would be to buy a device which can take out the minerals out of the water before it reaches your shower!

If you're sure, the water isn't the problem, then please ignore my reply of course!

What the best solution is for that, I wouldn't know though...

Kind regards,
W
 
Linda Secker
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completely with you there Woutah.... and I do think water is part of the problem!!! I think it's the calcium in it - I avoid washing (!!!) in hard water areas as the itching is so much worse....

Anyhow, my super skin cream I made was only super for a few weeks - it went off

I bought some completely natural cream (Jaoh??) but it's too thick and stiff for my face really. I need something softer and less greasy

So Thekla - I'm going to try your recipe but could you tell me what you would describe the consistency as? And does it keep??
 
hellen ellis
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Thayers Witch hazel toner. It not only helps you clean your skin but also moisturises the skin very well. The toner is proper to all types of skin. So it's ok to your sensitive skin.
 
Rebecca Norman
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I've got an update to my posts above. I got pure lanolin and have found it to be the best yet. Yes, it's very stiff and sticky when you rub it on, especially in cold conditions, but it seems to soak into my skin quickly, and doesn't seem to leave greasy fingerprints around like some other natural products have done. Best of all, I've used nothing but lanolin, on my face, hands and feet, for six months in the desert, and it works really well, better than anything I've ever tried. It doesn't lead to rough cracking skin after a couple of weeks, the way natural oils have done for me.
 
Reginald Ret
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Rebecca Norman wrote:I've got an update to my posts above. I got pure lanolin and have found it to be the best yet. Yes, it's very stiff and sticky when you rub it on, especially in cold conditions, but it seems to soak into my skin quickly, and doesn't seem to leave greasy fingerprints around like some other natural products have done. Best of all, I've used nothing but lanolin, on my face, hands and feet, for six months in the desert, and it works really well, better than anything I've ever tried. It doesn't lead to rough cracking skin after a couple of weeks, the way natural oils have done for me.


Lanolin works fine for me as well.
Olive oil too.
Olive oil requires a regular hygiene rhythm because rancid olive oil stinks.
I have insufficient structure in my day to risk that.
 
You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because
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