Whenever people ask if I have sensitive skin, it always gives me pause. Do I say yes if my facial skin can tolerate quite a lot but the skin on some other parts of my body can’t?
You see, I don’t have sensitive skin anywhere else on my body except for my hands. Its something I noticed and paid attention to in the last few years and I’ve traced my “allergy/sensitivity” to:-
- harsh detergents – no washing up for me without gloves
- certain chemicals – yet unknown which but usually in body washes, shampoos or face cleansing gels
- certain organic products – depending on concentration of ingredients
- prolonged contact with paper – work hazard
What happens in my case is nothing very serious from a health standpoint. However, its terribly serious from a aesthetics and comfort standpoint.
For me, if I come into contact with any of the above, within 2 days max (except for paper), the skin on my hands start to harden, dry out and peel. And its serious chronic continuous peeling. As long as I’m exposed to the item, it will continue. its so bad my hands look like that of a burn victim. And it does not recover as quickly even after I stop contact with the offending product.
I recently had a very bad bout – I have not yet been able to trace it to the particular product – where I had one of the worst ever reactions. I really should have taken a picture but I was spending too much time trying to cure it so all you have is a picture of my finger as shown above. Multiply that by 5 and include the palm and you get the general idea. Better this way. I don’t spoil your breakfast/lunch ;)
Using hand creams don’t help in my case. They alleviate the discomfort for a short while but then it comes back. That leads me to believe that many hand creams out there only work on the surface. They do not help “cure” a dry skin problem, no matter what they claim. Didn’t stop me however, and I did find a combination that helped me cure my problem! I’ve shared below some of those I tried and what eventually helped me.
Here are the creams/lotions I tried that did not work for me (product names link to my reviews where applicable):-
- Lucas PaPaw Ointment – I usually use it as a lip treatment, but I read it can also be used on dry skin. For 4 nights straight, I’d slather a thick layer of Lucas Papaw Ointment on my hands. In the morning, my hands would feel softer but it would be only for about an hour before the skin hardens and dries out again.
- Crabtree & Evelyn Gardener’s Hand Therapy – Wonderful hand cream provided your hands are “normal”. For me, it helped alleviate tight dry skin for short periods of time but did not cure the problem. I had to keep reapplying.
- Derma Health’s Skinlabs Vitamin E Cream – Applied a thick layer at night and it helped soften the dry hard skin. The effects lasted much longer than Lucas Papaw Ointment, lasting up till about lunch time next day before I had to reapply.
- Kiehl’s Light Weight Creme de Corp lotion – same effect with Derma Health’s SkinLabs. Offered temporary relief only.
- Pai Organic Hand Cream – it helped soften the dry skin and the relief was for longer. I only had to apply it once a day, but it did not cure the problem, just made it feel better. I still had the dry peely skin, just more comfortable.
So you’d think that with all this, I’d despair? Heavens no! It just made me more resolute :P And I did eventually find the products that helped relieve my skin and heal. Hallelujah!
The 2 dry skin saving products I found were:-
- Eucerin PH5 Protection Wash Lotion – I had a bottle of this in my storeroom which I’d forgotten about. Its a hazard of trying new stuff. The oldies and goodies get forgotten. I came across it while I was cleaning one day, and put it to use. It is nice and gentle on my skin and does not dry my skin out further which is a huge relief. I find the scent a little strong and powdery but I’ll live.
- Esmeria Intensive cream – This! This is the cream that saved my skin. I only had a little bit left in my tube so one night, after picking away at the dry skin and hating it, I remembered this cream that resides in my travel pouch. Picked it up and slathered it on. The next morning, my hands had lost that papery feel, and felt like proper skin again. Importantly, the effects did not wear off. My skin stopped drying out throughout the day and start to heal! I don’t have a photo of my hands when it started to heal. It was mainly because I was holding my breath every day, checking to see if it was a temporary measure. Happily, it was not, and I had the skin on my hands back to normal in about a week. The bummer of course is that this cream is being or is discontinued. Wha??!!! I’m going to have to stock up at least 1 more tube if I can find it. This tube is nearly finished, and I need to make sure I have my “cure” on hand for those times when I play around with products that irritate my hands.
Oh and here’s an ironic thing. When I told you that the Esmeria Organics shampoo made my hands dry and peely, it was also the Esmeria Intensive Cream that helped me once again. I swear, I have to make sure I have one on standby! I’m not sure if the new Esmeria Organics Body Lotion will be as miraculous but I’ll try it if I don’t have an option.
Do you have a similar problem to mine? Or perhaps you have a problem with dry skin on your body in general? How did you eventually cure your dry skin problems? It would be helpful to know :D