Logic tells us that when your skin is irritated, don't mess with it further especially with makeup. Unless my plan is to hide at home or be covered with a paper bag. It's awful enough that the world has to see my dry, flaky, reddened skin and then I have to show them my face sans makeup... In many situations, not wearing makeup at all is unacceptable. At least for those who wear makeup daily.
So, what to do?
Read on for my makeup tips during an eczema flare as well as some related ramblings.
Step 1: Calm the Skin
To soothe my itching skin and smooth out the flakiness, I'd reach for my Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel. I bought it as a foundation primer (dupe for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer) though it's really a product that relieves chafed and irritated skin for sensitive areas ie. inner thighs, bikini are, breasts and underarms. On the face, it works like a charm to soothe the irritation and smooth out my complexion.
Foundations are typically drying so I avoid them when I have an outbreak. Instead, I go for my Madara Tinting Fluid which gives a very light coverage and doesn't worsen irritated skin. To set, I'd use a light dusting of mineral powder foundation.
Step 2: Bring Out the Eyes
If the rash is mostly concentrated on your cheeks or forehead, divert attention away from the skin and to the eyes. I sometimes get flakiness on my eyelids as well. What I like to do is apply a colored eyeliner, define my lower lash line and apply substantial amount of mascara.
Don't forget the eyebrows! If you have them really well-groomed, they're gonna frame your eye makeup and make your eyes stand out better.
Here's a colored-eyeliner look tutorial
Here's an eyebrow tutorial
Step 3: Pout and Blush
I dislike using blush or lip color when I have eczema because the flakiness and bumpiness would just make the application look very uneven. If you really need to have color on your lips and cheeks, you can go for tinted lip balms and cream/liquid blush. Those products would reduce the appearance of flakiness and blotchiness.
Remember, you're not doomed to not wear makeup just because you have Eczema!
Recently, I received this comment on my "Eczema Part 1: The Low-Down" post by cafy101.
"Hi there, I am from the Philippines. I fear that I have Eczema on my lips. I suspect that sudden change of temperature triggers my allergy on my lips. Would that be possible. I haven't checked it yet from a derma doc but I am afraid I have it with all the symptoms and exact pictures. It's very dry and itchy. Like I wanna lick it all the time to make it wet. First, I will suffer itchy lips, then very red lips then the next morning, its like covered by a plastic skin,kinda.. Like I can't open my mouth very well. Not comfortable to talk. I can't think of any allergy like food or soap because the first thing that would come to my mind when it strikes, the change of temperature like aircon, cold water or cold weather. and by the way, I started to have this like 4-5 years ago. What will I do? The doctor just gave me a lip balm but it's not helping. Thank you. Your post is very helpful."
Cafy here experiences a very similar condition to what I often have. One of the main reasons why I don't normally do lip swatches or really wear much lip color for that matter, is because of the eczema on my lips. On really bad days, my lips would crack and bleed when I stretch them eg. by smiling. I've had this condition on and off for 15 years!
- Change of temperature can definitely trigger eczema. Basically a lot of things may trigger a rash; cold air, friction, dryness, sweat, stress, salt water, sun, hormonal changes etc.
- Licking your lips will only make the eczema WORSE! Refrain from licking your lips whenever it feels dry. Rather, apply lip balm whenever your lips feel irritatingly chapped.
- Aircon is drying to the skin, which could also trigger eczema. To prevent, keep your skin well-moisturized at all times. Hydrating with a facial spray will also make your skin feel more comfortable.
- Avoid from applying lipsticks or lipglosses, especially those that contain glitter. If applying lip balm alone doesn't seem to improve your condition, you may want to consider getting a steroid treatment from the clinic. However, I personally try to not be dependent on steroid as it may cause discoloration.
- Be aware of what triggers a rash whether is it a certain type of product, ingredient or food. When you recognize the allergy pattern, you'd know better how to handle those allergens and reduce the occurrences of an eczema outbreak.
Atopic Dermatitis aka Eczema is something that can occur at any point of life. It may be temporary, long term or even lifelong. Fortunately, these days there are ample of options out there to help deal with skin sensitivity. However, to keep eczema in control is much more than just applying the right products. It's also about adjusting your lifestyle and habits.
Do you have any eczema-control tips? Please do share!