What is eczema?
Eczema is a dry skin condition, which can be red, sore and itchy and in severe cases can weep and bleed, or become infected. It is an inherited condition but not contagious. It is most commonly found on the hands and face, and in creases around the joints such as the elbows and knees.
How common is it?
It is far more common than you probably think. Up to as many as 1 in 5 children under 3 suffer to some degree and as many as 1 in 10 adults. Most cases can be managed successfully by following the advice given here. While there is no cure for eczema, intensive studies show that 75% of children grow out of the condition by puberty.
What triggers eczema?
You can help your skin by identifying which triggers for you could make the condition worse. These can include:
How can I manage eczema?
Obvious ones will be to try and avoid any triggers you have noticed and making sure you can relax where possible. Aside from that using moisturizing and cleansing products specially developed for dry, eczema prone skin where possible.
For example, creams and lotions are soothing and moisturizing and can help to cool the skin during the day. Ointments and oils can be used at night for very dry skin. While bath and shower oils help cleanse the skin and will leave a protective layer of oil on the skin and emollient washes are mild cleansers that will not dry the skin. Stuck for product ideas? Isabella’s Secret 100% ORGANIC FACIAL SCRUB and DRY SKIN BODY SAL SCRUB are made from Dead Sea salt and have shown to be remarkable in easing the conditions of both eczema and psoriasis. While Isabella’s Secret DRY SKIN BODY OIL is specially formulated for those suffering dry skin and is ideal for night time use.
With any products you choose though it is best to use them regularly, not just when particularly dry or sore. When applying, smooth any scrub, oil or cream downwards in the direction of hair growth as rubbing can further irritate the skin. And take warm showers or baths only as very hot water can further dry or irritate the skin. Good luck!
The benefits of face masks and body scrubs have been known for years. Masks purify the skin especially when we tend to consume more toxins in the cold winter months, while scrubs are great for removing tired and dead skin anywhere on your body!
Here at Isabella's Secret we have tried to take the effort and mess out of having a face mask with our unique and clever kits. And when it comes to body scrubs, there are none finer than the range we have made available - particularly if you have sensitive skin or suffer from eczema and psoriasis.
And now with Spring slowly beginning to peer around the corner, it's time to prepare our faces for a sunnier onslaught. So coming out of wintery hibernation bows the time to give your skin a good detox with our deeply purifying rhassoul clay face mask. It's even great for your hair as well as for your body. We have a sensitive skin clay mask range too. Or maybe try our beautifully uplifting eucalyptus body scrub and richly moisturising face oils, like Argan or Rosehip.
March into March with radiance and that big 'hooray, Spring is here' smile...
Want greater peace of mind? With less stress? Live your life in reverse. Here’s how.
We can pin the start of the ‘consumer age’ as far back as the 1960s. Most of us will have caught an episode of Mad Men or at least know what the program is about: the birth of advertising agencies and the power of selling a lifestyle and aspirations.
Today, we see the same and yet it has been so ingrained into our way of life that we sometimes forget just how susceptible we have become to the lure of what we are told our lives should be and how they should look. Whether as a colleague, a boss, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a parent, a wife, a husband or as a student amongst our peers.
‘If I just have this…’ or ‘if I can just buy that…’ then ‘I can do this…’ and ‘be…’, well, you get what we mean, you fill in the gaps. It could be ‘happy’, ‘part of the crowd’, ‘respected by my friends’ or even just ‘not be the odd one out’.
So what are we saying here? Well, the observation that we are continuously encouraged to live in this world of ‘Have. Do. Be.’ What society and the media has told us is ‘acceptable’, is ‘required’, or is ‘expected’ of us. Whether from weekly magazines, TV ads, or even TV shows we establish from what we see elsewhere what the norms for our life should be. And it will cause stress and particularly so when it doesn’t always feel natural.
As you know, here at Isabella’s Secret we believe true beauty lies within and when we are happy, content, calm and at peace with who we are, our true beauty shines out and radiates. So give some thought to what this would look like in reverse. A life of ‘BE. DO. HAVE.’
Let’s look now a little at how.
Our value system is very personal and individual to us. We may say we have ‘love’ as a value but how and what we mean by that four lettered word will vary as much as our good old English weather. Same goes for other common values you will hear such as loyalty, family, integrity.
It doesn’t matter what values we will be holding most dear, whether we are 19 or 99, but it does matter that we understand what our values are and that this becomes our first step. ‘BE’. After all, if we don’t make a stand for something, we will fall for anything!
BEing those values means DOing the things that those values uphold. And the beauty of this approach is that what we receive – what we then ‘HAVE’ - as a result, is the peace of mind that comes with this alignment, this congruence. If we are true to ourselves, life becomes so much more tolerable and fulfilling.
Why does this matter? Well when we feel stressed, under pressure or ill at ease it is almost certain that one of our values (even something that we may not even have recognised as a core value we have) is being impinged, threatened or ignored. It’s a great first step to bringing that balance back we want.
Good luck! And do let us know how you get on.
Deep in the dark, moist depths of your makeup bag lurk some shocking truths that you’d probably rather not know. From that year-old liquid foundation and those unwashed brushes to the slowly drying mascara and out of date lip balm, it's time to stop ignoring these items. Because while we’ve been turning a blind eye, they've been busy making friends. Bad ones.
“It’s a well-known fact that makeup bags are a breeding ground for bacteria,” explains Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic. “Many laboratory-based tests where makeup items have been swabbed have shown the growth of all sorts of different microbes that can cause infection.” Nancy Crossley, makeup artist and founder of Beauty So Clean adds, “We have done studies with outside labs and on average, 11 out of 25 products tested contained Staphylococcus Aureus [a common cause of skin infections and food poisoning], Pseudomonas Aeruginosa [which can trigger bloodstream infections and pneumonia] and E-Coli.”
So… how much bacteria could be in your makeup bag? Short answer: a lot. Impact? Bad skin, clogged pores and the spots you fight to get rid of. But there’s also a lot you can do about it.
So how should you store your stash? Though you may have been very particular about your choice of makeup bag, we’re sorry to tell you that it’s actually a lot more beneficial to the hygiene of your makeup to use a standard clear one. Bye, bye bright colours and personalised initials, hello boring see-through plastic (but potentially better health). Why? “Bacteria can build up anywhere that is dark, warm, moist and has nutrients so your makeup bag is the perfect place,” warns Dr Helen Webberley, GP for oxfordonlinepharmacy.co.uk. “Imagine the warm petri dishes you used during science at school – a foundation compact is a pretty similar piece of kit!” Suffice to say, where you store your makeup bag is key too – keep it away from a hot radiator and out of direct sunshine.
(Credits…this article first appeared last year in Refinery29)
Salt from the Dead Sea lake is one of the world's foremost therapeutic health and beauty treatments. The Dead Sea borders Israel, the West Bank and Jordan with banks more than 400m below sea level. It's famously hyper saline water makes floating easy while it's mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments the world over. According to a study by the University of Kiel in Germany, Dead Sea salt minerals “bind water, influencing epidermal proliferation and differentiation and enhanced permeability barrier repair." This coupled with the potassium content of Dead Sea salt – which helps to balance the moisture in your skin - means that the skin retains water. More moisture in the skin reduces the appearance of wrinkles and prevents new wrinkle formation. While according to another study, Dead Sea salt also increases blood circulation at the skin's surface when massaged in a circular motion. It draws blood to the skin's surface, encouraging the release of toxins, and this increase in circulation aids skin rejuvenation and cellular renewal. Dead Sea salt minerals include magnesium, bromide, zinc and sulphur, all of which are proven to heal and soothe skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. According to psoriasis experts, Dead Sea salt minerals can slow the overactive cellular growth that causes it while reducing inflammation and redness. Gently scrubbing the areas of skin affected by psoriasis or eczema a few times a week will slough away dead skin while delivering the necessary nutrients for healing, as well as moisturising the areas that are commonly at the root cause of these conditions.