Skin Health

Eczema Diaries – Vegan BS and False Selling

Hello! It’s been a long time since I updated the Eczema Diaries! Apologies, festival season is now here and I have been on a rocky path with my mental health for a little while which has hindered my motivation to write. But I am trying to help myself out by focusing on small, chill projects like this blog. So, let me give you a skin update:

Since finding out about my dust and grass allergy, I’ve been able to take some positive steps to avoid flare ups. Mainly, I have stopped cleaning so much! I’ve noticed how itchy I get when I was dusting my many, many figurines the other day. The itchy patches on my fingers and wrists have pretty much gone now, but when dusting they flare up still and hives appear. Based on past experiences I am dubious to say that I’m over the worst of it, because I’ve done that before and I was totally wrong and it was a bitter disappointment. It has been a couple of months since I’ve had a bad flare up though, I still have dry patches on my face, and you can see where the eczema is still under the skin beneath my left eye but it’s not incredibly itchy or flakey, which has been really lovely. But the reason why I’m cautious about it is because I played a gig in Hydra Bookshop on Saturday and it was both dusty and incredibly sweaty and my skin was super, super itchy. I was a bit nervous, so I made sure to wash my face with apple cider vinegar before bed. This has been really helpful the past few months!

The weather here has been unusually hot and for a long period now which might have something to do with the miracle clear up. Lots of people with eczema find that their skin improves in the summer because the heat dries out the skin but I’ve not really enjoyed this until this year. I’m still using LUSH’s Breath of Fresh Air toner water spray. I carry it around with me during the day, at festivals, etc, only I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping it in the fridge and because I know it’s fine on my skin, i’ve topped it up with a little bit of ACV. It’s been super great! LUSH actually have a new spray out with lavender in it, I can’t remember the name of it, I will find out, but that’s also a nice spray to try out.

Last weekend I went to the Just V Show in London with my mum, the show was a vegan and vegetarian, free from and allergy fair so it was quite interesting to go around and talk to some companies about their products for eczema, and pick up some stuff from the National Eczema Society. The fair overall wasn’t great. I really don’t understand how these fairs can exist WITHOUT providing things like recycling bins, bio-degradable cups, tester pots, etc. How they can have gluten-free sausage stand (meat, IT’S FUCKING MEAT!) I tried to explain to my mum that veganism, or western ideas about veganism are a privilege. A privilege in the sense that we have (in true white imperialist form) taken what we find most appealing and ignored the rest. Veganism is really just a fad diet to so many, it angers me so much that people have no regard for the connections between veganism and environmentalism, socialism, capitalism, etc. To be a vegan should be a positive thing, and for so many it’s just another way to make more waste and call it ‘healthy’. These ‘vegans’ are ignorant, they don’t want their reality interrupted or upset by talking about things like palm oil, or soy farming, or the fact that Alpro is owned by Dairy Crest, they don’t undertake the active responsibility to be aware which being vegan demands. Whilst I understand that everyone has their personal reasons to be or not to be vegan, we all have a responsibility to look after our planet and the animals that share it. We should all be aware of the cycle of damage that our capitalism causes.

Okay, one rant over, another begins…

I spoke to several companies at the show about their eczema products, lots of people brandishing the phrases ‘miracle cure!’ ‘this will do wonders for your eczema!’ ‘this will definitely help’. THIS isn’t helpful. A person tried to sell me some of her product that was completely oil based, she said it was ‘like a cure’ and I had to tell her to stop saying things like that. Eczema is hugely dependent on the individual, what works for some people won’t work for others. Oil on my skin is like wildfire, it makes the eczema spread. I have wasted (and if you suffer, you probably have too) so much money on creams, potions, lotions and what nots on completely rubbish products that do nothing, or make it worse. So I asked this woman to re-phrase how she tries to flog her products. Because it’s not helpful, not everyone can be proactive to learn about their skin problems and invest the time and the money into ways of managing it. So if you’re selling skincare products, try to be realistic with people with eczema, we literally don’t have time or the skin for bullshit.

On a more positive note I did pick up some new creams from Pure Potions which I’m eager to give a go. I’ve been looking for a new cream for my face because I’m still using Aveeno and I don’t want to buy it anymore because it’s tested on animals. I’m really hoping i have a breakthrough with one of these, or maybe both! I used a bit of the Intensive Moisturising Ointment last night and it has made my eczema patches a bit dry. I’m going to keep up the new products for a week or so and update again.

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