So suffering from skin problems is really crap. Whether it’s eczema, acne, allergies or rosacea, you never fully appreciate your general appearance until you look like a rotting tomato. For the past year I have undergone a serious change in my self-love. Mostly to self-loathing and general dislike of mirrors, then on better days, wearing a scarf and a hat. But now it’s summer and there’s less chances and excuses to hide. As a very active and sociable person I’ve found ways to manage my skin anxiety and give myself a little TLC. Here are my 5 things to make you feel good.
5. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is INCREDIBLY good for you. It is not only really nutritious but is also chocca with Antioxidants (haha, see what I did there?) I don’t mean the sugar refined crap you can buy for £1 in Coop (don’t buy that for this). I mean the delicious, almost dirt dark chocolate that everyone avoids because of the bitter taste. But seriously, one square of this with a cup of tea (herbal or normalitea) or coffee (if you can have it) is really great to give you a little perk. It’s also enough to make you feel like you’ve eaten the entire £1 bar from Coop.
(I’d also highly recommend stealing your partner’s Vego Bars. Just because it’s fun AND tasty.)
4. Wearing Lipstick
If you are able to (I know many sufferers have nasty patches around their mouths so I’m sorry if this doesn’t work for you) wear a good lipstick when you go out. If you’re like me and you feel like make up is irritating and just emphasises the flakiness of your skin, invest in a good, right shade of lipstick, something bold maybe, that makes you feel good. It will take the attention away from your skin and take the focus in pictures too!
3. Nail Care
Taking care of your nails is really REALLY important when you have skin problems, especially if you’re a scratcher. Dirt under the fingernails can help the spread of dermatitis around the skin and long, uneven and bitten nails open fresh cuts on the skin inviting infection. At least once a day get a cuticle stick under your nails and pick out all the dirt (you’ll be surprised at how much gets under there!) You can buy a pack of them from Boots, or anywhere like that for really cheap. Cut your nails, keep the at a good length and if you bite them, make sure you file away the jagged edges. I REALLY like to paint my nails, it’s just another little thing that takes the edge off the sight of bad skin.
2. Sea Salt and Oat Baths
Some people don’t like baths, but I massively rate them for anyone with skin problems. Run the hot tap, sprinkle in a tablespoon of sea salt and keep the water running. When it’s about half full add another teaspoon of sea salt.
Now, my house-mate gave me this great tip – get an old sock, fill it with oats and tie into a secure knot. Add it to your bath and let the hot water soak into the sock. After a little awhile the oats will become creamy and you can use the sock to wash your skin and your face. It’s literally amazing!
1. Keep healthy
You might not feel like it, but going outside is great. If you’ve been inside for a few days and you’re starting to feel a bit anxious, stick your headphones in and go for a walk. Immerse yourself in the music and stretch your legs. Fresh air and exercise are really great for your well-being.
Make sure you eat well. Many dermatitis sufferers recommend a completely raw diet. For me, and many others, this is not practical or very affordable so do what you can. If you can’t afford avocados all the time, Apples are full of Vitamin E which is really good for your skin and turmeric is SO good as an anti-inflammatory. A healthy diet can also help your mental well-being. Stay away from processed food as much as you can.