Tap Water & Eczema?

Tap Water & Eczema?

If you’re lucky enough to live in a country where you have easy access to clean drinking water, thank your lucky stars. 

However, there are some downsides to drinking and using tap water on your skin that you need to know about.

So, here we go. 

To prevent the buildup of dangerous bacteria in our tap water, which could cause illness, disease and even death, water companies must add certain chemicals to tap water, to prevent all these things from happening.  This is a good thing, but for those with skin conditions your tap water could also be a trigger for your reoccurring eczema and other skin conditions.

There are of course chemicals that don’t have to be added to tap water which can further exasperate your skin issues, such as fluoride, but that is a whole other blog on its own. 

Whether you are drinking your tap water or washing with it, all these different chemicals added to our supplied water can affect your skin.  Also, as tap water travels to our homes through miles of pipes, other chemicals both naturally occurring and through accidental contamination, can also be picked up along the way.  If you find that you are reacting to tap water, it is definitely worth considering how you can make changes that will help your skin.

The way your skin reacts to water, can also be affected by whether you live in a soft or hard water area. The University of Sheffield conducted research, which showed that hard water had a worse affect for those with eczema, than those living in a soft water area.

Here’s what you need to know:

Whether you live in a soft or a hard water area of the country, there are certain precautions you can take before using your shower;

  • Moisturising with an emollient, preferably a natural emollient before water touches your skin is a big help.  A natural butter or an oil on your skin before you have a bath or a shower can be anything from your kitchen: shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, avocado oil, olive oil, etc.  These oils or butter helps protect your skin by creating a barrier between the skin and the water.
  • Once you are in the bath or shower make sure you only use warm water as hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils and also dry out the skin.  Spend no longer than 20 minutes in the bath.
  • Consider buying a shower head called an ionic shower head.  The head of the shower has little mineral and negative iron balls, which help to filtrate and strip out some of the chlorine and impurities from your water.  It is particularly beneficial to those with sensitive skin and skin conditions, especially, if you live in a hard water area.
  • If your preference is to have a bath, you can add salt to the bath, as this really helps soothe the skin.  In my household, we switch between using fine Pink Himalayan Salt, Dead Sea Salt, Epsom Salts and Sodium Bicarbonate/Bicarbonate of Soda. These easy to find salts help to soothe your eczema and skin.  You then have the choice to use them all together or separately. Either way, using a cup of each of these in your bath will benefit your skin, instead of using over the counter bath foam which can irritate and dry out the skin because of the chemical ingredients and the chemical fragrance.
  •  If you’re happy to sit in a bath with cloudy water, then also consider adding Bentonite Clay.  This is a fantastic detox, that draws impurities from the skin.  It can also be used as a face mask when a little water is added.
  • To dry your skin, pat yourself dry, then moisturise straight away to lock the moisture in…remember not to rub the skin too aggressively.  I would suggest that if you’re having a bath or shower more than a couple of hours before bedtime, make sure that before you get into bed, you moisturise again.  You are definitely worth the time you spend on yourself,
  • Another option for those living in the hard water areas of the South of England, is to have a water softener fitted to the main supply of your water system at home.  The softener works by stripping out the calcium and the sodium from the water as these irritate, inflame, and cause the skin to become too dry.
  • Now as a last tip, one thing we do in our household specifically for my son and myself, because we can sometimes get dry itchy skin, or just as another way to treat the skin with care, as a preventative measure, is we create our own colloidal oatsColloidal oats is used by those with eczema or sensitive skin because it helps to calm inflammation, create a protective barrier between the skin and skin irritants, soothe the skin and alleviate itching.  It is also used by anyone who simply wants a natural way to look after their skin.  Again, I use ingredients from our kitchen.  Specifically, gluten free organic oats that we eat for breakfast.  You can use a food processor, or if you have a clean coffee grinder, you can put some of the oats into the coffee grinder to make it into a fine powder, or just leave it as it is.  You can either mix it directly into the warm water as the water is running in the bath, or I prefer to stuff some of the fine oat’s powder into the foot of tights, stockings or a muslin bag.  With the opening knotted I hang the stuffed stocking foot/muslin bag on the tap or leave it in the bath where the water is running and let the water hit the filled bag of oats (or stocking foot). It’s really soothing for your eczema, and it works a treat.
  • If you’re using colloidal oats, adding the different salts and/or bicarbonate of soda to your bath, then moisturising yourself with natural butters and/or oil, this should work fantastically well to soothe and protect your skin from the outside.  So then all you now need to do is take care of yourself from the inside.

I hope you’ve found this useful.  If you know of other natural tips that you want to share, please do let me know.

Alison x

Feel free to check out our YouTube channel for more advice; 

Does Tap Water Affect Eczema? @ Tigs and Moo Naturals 

Also check out our Instagram and Facebook @tigsandmoonaturalskincare

A Natural Skincare Routine

A Natural Skincare Routine

MORNING

FACE

  • Spritz face with a natural & organic hydrosol water and then wipe with a clean dry flannel.
  • Moisturise with a natural face cream that has no added fragrance.
  • Apply factor 30 or 50 SPF natural/mineral/physical sunscreen…it all means the same thing. Chemical sunscreens cause medium and long term damage to the face. You’re also more likely to have a skin reaction if you have eczema or other skin conditions.

UNDERARM

  • Apply ‘Salt Of The Earth Natural Deodorant Stick’ and ‘SO Refreshing Natural Deodorant Gel – Spearmint’

BODY

Tigs & Moo Body Butter (Vanilla & Orange)

With a combination of Vanilla Extract & Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil, this gorgeously scented 100% natural body butter smells so good that you’ll want to lick your own skin. It is also super moisturising, nourishing and soothing.

EVENING

FACE

  • If wearing makeup, apply Tigs & Moo Naked Body Butter to your dry face, then wipe clean with a warm wet flannel.
  • Wet your face, apply an unscented natural soap or facial wash, then wipe with a clean dry flannel.
  • Moisturise with a natural face cream with no added fragrance.

BODY

  • Tigs & Moo Body Butter – starts off as a lightly whipped butter and then quickly becomes a luxurious spreadable oil (my favourite is Vanilla & Orange)

HAIR

  • Once a week or once a fortnight
  • Apply a small amount of a light to medium consistency natural oil to hair and scalp (argan oil, rice bran oil or hemp seed oil).
  • Wash hair with a fragrance free natural mild shampoo (avoid the cleaning ingredients Sodium Lauryl Sulphate & Sodium Laureth Sulphate)
  • Condition hair with natural fragrance-free conditioner.
  • Use a natural leave in conditioner.
  • Use natural oils or creams on hair (no silicone-based products)
  • Wear a Satin or Silk Scarf or Bonnet to bed to stop hair drying out and to keep hair off face.
  • Sleep on silk or satin pillow cases to stop loss of moisture from hair and face.  These also help prevent wrinkles, fine lines and premature ageing.

The more simple you keep your skincare routine, the better!

Alison x

Check out our Instagram and Facebook @tigsandmoonaturalskincare

Basic Steps For Skincare

Basic Steps For Skincare

What is Skin Care?

Skincare is the steps you take to look after your skin.  The products you choose to use on your skin, including the choice of skin protection from too much sun, and environmental damage; Your intake of food and nutrition, and water can all support and enhance the skin and its appearance, or can weaken it and cause damage.  As the largest organ of your body, if you look after your skin, it will look after you.  It is your skin that protects you from outside pathogens. And, in the same way that you take care of the other parts of yourself, your skin requires some attention to keep it functioning properly.

These steps are for anyone who is curious about what it means or what it takes to have an effective routine when it comes to taking care of your skin!

The three basic skin-care steps when using products are:

  • Cleansing
  • Moisturising
  • Applying sunscreen

Your morning routine should include basics steps: washing or spritzing your face with a cleanser, putting on a moisturiser, then wearing a sunscreen.

TIP: Use a moisturiser and/or sunscreen that has a minimum 30 SPF and broad-spectrum protection.

When choosing a sunscreen, you have the options of a chemical sunscreen or a physical/mineral/natural (all means the same thing).

  • Chemical Sunscreen: has a synthetic chemical ingredient called avobenzone, that absorbs the sun’s UV rays, converts them to an energy, then it releases them in the form of heat. The problem with this, is that its protection only lasts 30 minutes.  This means other chemical ingredients must be used in the sunscreen.  One of these ingredients is Octocrylene, which is a known endocrine/hormonal disruptor…not good for those who suffer with acne.  This can cause skin cell damage and increase the risk of cancer.  Studies show that using octocrylene in sunscreen creates more of those pesky free radicals that cause us to age prematurely, than if you used nothing at all and were exposed to the sun.
  • Physical Sunscreen: has natural mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide which forms a barrier that blocks the sun’s rays.  For those who are label savvy, you will know that as well as being natural and better received by the skin, despite the sometimes white/grey hue that takes a while to rub in, zinc oxide doesn’t breakdown in the sun, doesn’t release free radicals, doesn’t cause premature skin ageing, doesn’t cause skin cancer and as an added bonus, it is also coral friendly if you want to go for a swim in the sea.

Your bedtime routine might include additional steps if you wear makeup or a sunscreen that needs reapplying during the day.  You may find that your usual cleanser doesn’t get all your makeup off or still leaves you feeling kind of greasy. In that case, you may benefit from double cleansing without over cleaning or causing the face to feel and look overly dry.

  • Double Cleansing is a process in which you first apply an oil-based cleanser directly to the skin (and possibly wipe clean with a warm wet flannel).  You follow this by wetting the skin on the face and then applying a water-based cleanser or micellar water to remove anything that was left behind.

After cleansing, it’s time to apply any toners or serums, before ending your routine with a good moisturiser.

Just as using a sunscreen is important to protect your skin from the sun, you should use a moisturiser to help protect your skin from environmental damage whilst at the same time it will help prevent the skin becoming too dry, or too oily.  Both these extremes can cause eczema, acne or premature ageing with fine lines and wrinkles.

Keeping your skincare routine simple is best.  When introducing any new skincare, it is safer to only make one change at a time in case your skin has a bad reaction.  This way, you know exactly what product your skin was sensitive to.  Personally, I don’t use anything on my face that has any added fragrance, whether it is synthetic or natural, as i end up with eczema, or a rash of some sort.

If you are looking at ways to look after the skin that don’t include the skincare products in your routine, then the amount of water you drink to keep your body and skin hydrated and the food choices we make are of the utmost importance. 

As an adult, aim for no less than one and a half litres of water a day, and depending on your body size or even what activities you are taking part in that day i.e., exercise or any activity that makes you sweat you could even push it to over three litres.

When it comes to your food and if you are taking your skin health seriously, then keeping away from ultra-processed and processed junk foods are a necessity.  The more natural the food and the more anti-inflammatory the food, the more your skin will thank you for it. 

I often notice that people who eat a mainly plant based, and natural wholefood diet have the best skin.  My skin is far from perfect as I cheat, but when I do eat meat, I try to limit my pasture raised or organic meat and line caught fish eating to two days a week. I keep away from gluten and animal milk, and I aim to have at least organic or locally produced vegetables covering half my plate. As I have a sweet tooth, I use dates or locally produced honey as a sweetener and my guilty pleasure is salted plain crisps, roasted nuts, or chips, which I try and save for the weekend.

See…no one said you have to be perfect…you just need to try your best for your skin, so give it a go.

Alison x

For more information, check our YouTube channel to help with your skin journey! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, like, comment & share!

@ Tigs and Moo Naturals 

Also check out our Instagram and Facebook @tigsandmoonaturalskincare

10 Tips to Prevent Reoccurring Eczema

10 Tips to Prevent Reoccurring Eczema

Eczema symptoms may go away for a while, then flare up again. Here are some tips to prevent your itching from worsening, becoming inflamed and possibly getting infected:

  1. Fragrance

Keep away from Fragrance!

Fragrance is usually synthetic, unless it specifies that it is natural. One synthetic fragrance can be made up of 30 or more individual synthetic chemicals that cause skin sensitivities.  These can all trigger your eczema. It is in in your body wash, facial wash or anything you use or put on your skin that isn’t natural with no added fragrance. For some eczema sufferers, even natural essential oils/fragrances can be a trigger.

  1. Natural Skincare & Ingredients

Go Natural!

When you choose your skincare products, always look at the labels.

Go for Natural Oils:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Hempseed Oil
  • Moringa Oil
  • Cocoa Butter
  • …The list is endless, but some of these oils can cause blockages of pores, so be wary.  Remember we are all unique, so what may affect one person positively, may not affect another in the same way.
  1. Trigger Foods

Is something you are eating triggering your Eczema?

Some of the big food triggers for eczema sufferers, as well as processed junk foods can be natural gluten and milk, eggs, peanuts and oily fish. However, there are many others. The only way to know what you are sensitive to is by doing an temporary exclusion diet for a fortnight, and then reintroducing one trigger food back at a time to see if you react.

  1. Ultra Processed/Junk Foods

These foods are so far removed from being natural, that I believe they should come with a health warning about how artificial and dangerous they really are! They are massively processed, and that is not good for the body.

They are highly addictive due to the sugars, fats, and salt in them. To achieve eczema free skin, it is better to stay away from these.

  1. Natural/Man-Made Bedding & Clothing

Avoid natural scratchy material such as wool; and avoid man-made fabrics like polyester.  Instead, you can wear bamboo clothing!   It is soft against the skin and let’s your skin breath. I would also opt for natural cotton that hasn’t been dyed with any type of colour.

Except for wool, natural products are always a yes.

  1. Eco Friendly Laundry Liquid

Don’t use harsh soaps, detergents, or solvents. Again, these are massively synthetic which can cause your eczema flare-up. If possible, opt for a fragrance-free brand.  As you know by now, anything with added fragrance is a possible trigger for a flare up.

  1. Air Fresheners

This one is sometimes overlooked. You go around spraying or using plug-in air fresheners around your house, so as well as inhaling it, you are also sitting in and on it, as it lands on your soft furnishings such as your sofa.  You’re basically causing your immediate environment around the home to be full of allergens that trigger your eczema, and even asthma.

  1. Humidifier

Is your house too dry?

It’s a good idea to add some moisture to the air in your home, if you have central heating.

This can help avoid having dry skin and aid a comfortable night’s sleep if you have issues with your sinuses.

  1. Wash Time

If you’re sweating a lot, it’s important to have a shower or bath, as your sweat can be a trigger.

Take warm baths or showers and keep them short. Long, hot showers can dry out your skin, making it more prone to flare-ups. Don’t forget to slather on a body oil or body butter based moisturiser on your skin before and after you shower.

  1. Water!

Drink enough water!

It’s important to stay hydrated both on the inside and the outside.  Don’t neglect one over the other, as looking after the body and the skin are equally as important for the prevention and care of eczema.

Where necessary, work with your health practitioner to find the right treatments for you.

Alison x

For more information, check out our YouTube video; 

10 Tips to Prevent Reoccurring Eczema @ Tigs and Moo Naturals 

Also check out our Instagram and Facebook @tigsandmoonaturalskincare

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE ECZEMA: DIFFERENT TYPES OF ECZEMA

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE ECZEMA: DIFFERENT TYPES OF ECZEMA

What is it?  What causes it?  How to I know I definitely have it?

If eczema look different on different skin tones, and even appears differently on the skin, depending on its severity or type, then your first port of call is going to be seeing a doctor, or even your local pharmacist or naturopath.

Itching skin is often, but not always the first, symptom followed by dry patches, inflamed skin, rough, thick skin and if itched, broken and also infected skin.

Eczema can vary in intensity when it comes to how irritating the itch can be and it also varies in time when it comes to how long it lasts.

In some cases of eczema, the skin can react to tap water, but the most common triggers are detergents, skincare, body soaps, food products, grass, allergens and lack of humidity, stress, or a combination of these elements.

For some sufferers, the main cause of worry is that reaction can occur without any apparent reason, even if a person isn’t exposed to the usual triggers. This is where triggers such as stress or lack of sleep can also be looked at.

THE BEST TIME TO DEAL WITH THE SYMTOM OF ECZEMA IS STRAIGHT AWAY, BEFORE IT SPIRALS OUT OF CONTROL AND GETS WORSE. HOWEVER, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO GET STARTED

Check out: How Do I Know If I Have Eczema? on YouTube

SEVERAL TYPES OF ECZEMA YOU WILL HAVE HEARD OF:

Atopic Dermatitis The most common and most painful, frustrating itch. Can leave skin prone to infection, inflammation and can appear anywhere on face & body.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis Happens when your skin comes into contact with a specific substance. The substance can trigger an abnormal reaction in the immune system.

AVOID: Fragrance in skincare, detergents, laundry cleaning products, wool, citrus, grass, vinegar.

Cradle Cap (Infant Seborrheic Eczema) Looks crusty but isn’t itchy. It mostly affects babies up to age of 1 year old.

Adult Seborrheic Eczema: Appears on scalp as mild dandruff but can end up on ears, face, and chest. Normally found in 20-40 year old. It looks flaky and can become inflamed. Normally cause by an increase in yeast, and if it becomes infected it will need anti-fungal treatment.

Dyshidrotic Eczema: More common in women than men. Appears as small fluid blisters on hands and feet. Blisters can itch and hurt and skin can crack and become flaky.

Caused by: Allergies, stress, damp hands & feet, exposure to substance like nickel, cobalt & chromium salt.

Hand Eczema: Dry and itchy, may form blisters or cracks. It is triggered  by exposure to irritant causing chemicals. Using antibacterial gels can trigger hand eczema as well.

Nummular Dermatitis: They look like a round coin shaped dots on the skin, it can itch a lot and become scaly. It is triggered by insect bites or an allergy reaction to metal or chemicals. Atopic dermatitis is also a trigger for nummular dermatitis.

Stasis Dermatitis: Triggered by fluid leaking out of weakened veins into the skin. It causes swelling, itching & pain. It mainly effects the lower leg and feels achy and heavy. Possible for people who suffers varicose veins with dry itchy skin over the veins, which may develop open sores.  

For all of these, don’t think there is nothing you can do about it if you have been told it is genetic or it keeps reoccurring. As well as treating the symptom itself, you will need to start looking at what is causing your eczema.

We are all unique, so what triggers one person’s eczema, may not be the same for another person.

It is definitely useful to keep a food and lifestyle journal to document everything.

  1. WHAT YOU ATE THAT DAY, WHERE YOU ATE, WHO COOKED
  2. PRODUCTS YOU USED: SKINCARE, HAIRCARE, SUNSCREEN, PERFUME, MAKEUP
  3. JEWELLERY WORN THAT DAY
  4. WHAT YOU DID: SWIM, WALK IN CITY, WALK IN WOODS, CLEAN HOUSE
  5. LENGTH OF TIME AND TEMPERATURE OF BATH WATER
  6. STRESSFUL DAY, FUN DAY, GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP, EXERCISE, AIR CONDITIONING, CENTRAL HEATING
  7. SYMTOMS OTHER THAN ECZEMA EG. STOMACH PAIN, SINUSES, HEADACHE, SINUS PAIN, ARTHRITIS PAIN

If something as simple as sweat can be a trigger for your eczema, then is is definitely worth documenting for 2 weeks before starting your exclusion diet. Removing all known eczema triggers for 2 weeks then reintroducing one at time to see if there’s a reaction.

Check out What Causes Eczema, Exclusion Diet and Creating A Healthy Food Diary on YouTube.

Once food, skincare and your environment have been addressed, you can also look at gut health and possible supplementation to help your gut, skin and overall body health.

See Eczema, Supplements & Powders Part 1 & Part 2 on YouTube.

Once you deal with the triggers and the possible cause of your eczema, you will start to suffer less and less. It isn’t a one cure fits all condition, as we are all unique and eczema is multi factional.  It won’t be cured or healed overnight but the symptoms will start to reduce and calm down.

For more information, check our YouTube channel to help with your skin journey! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, like, comment & share!

@ Tigs and Moo Naturals

Also check out our Instagram and Facebook @tigsandmoonaturalskincare

Eczema In All Age Groups

Eczema In All Age Groups

Did you know that rates of eczema/atopic dermatitis for adults and kids have more than tripled in the past 20 years?  Experts believe this massive increase is due to industrialization.

Although eczema is a genetic condition, it is a multi-factional disorder that can be triggered by an overactive immune response to environmental and other factors.  As it can be triggered by many different things, then controlling the external factors can help to control and keep eczema at bay.

I’ll explore a handful of reasons of why it appears on the skin of babies, kids and adults.

BABIES

  1. The foods, drinks, or medications that mother consumes during pregnancy can cause enfant eczema from a very early start.
  2. Whether a baby is born via birth canal or c-section can make a difference.  Babies born via the birth canal pick up the necessary different bacteria from the mother which will help to build the immune system.  This isn’t the case for babies born via c-section
  3. Bottle fed babies can be susceptible to eczema if they have an intolerance to cow milk.
  4. What the breast-feeding mother is eating or using on her skin can impact her breast milk and therefore trigger eczema on the baby’s skin.
  5. Antibiotics or any medication given to the baby at a young age can affect the gut or skin.
  6. Skincare – baby skincare products with fragrance/synthetic chemicals can trigger eczema.  One fragrance in a product can have over 30 synthetic chemicals and does not have to be included on the ingredients label.
  7. Bed linen – synthetic bed linen can cause itching and can cause the skin to become too warm which can trigger eczema
  8. The flame retardant in/on the mattress and pillow can be a trigger for eczema, as the chemicals are slowly released over the years.  You can purchase natural mattresses and pillows.

KIDS

  1. Food colouring/food dye – These are all known eczema triggers, due to the inflammation they cause in the body and because of their artificial nature.
  2. Ultra processed /processed foods – these foods are so far removed from their natural food state with added chemicals, that as well as offering very little nutritional value, they cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to eczema
  3. Inflammatory natural foods – As foods that contain gluten are so far removed from their original traditional origin to what is now just really another highly processed food, more and more people are becoming allergic or intolerant.  They are also known triggers for eczema.
  4. Processed sugar – This is a known trigger for eczema.  Unfortunately, more and more of our foods contain sugar to make the processed foods more addictive.  Any ingredient that ends in ‘ose’ or is a syrup is also sugar.
  5. Pollution – This can be both indoor and outdoor pollution.  The harsh chemicals in our indoor cleaning products can be a trigger, as well as air fresheners and even our own perfumes.  Outdoors, things out of our control such as car fumes and industrial pollution can cause irritation to skin and trigger eczema.
  6. Skincare and haircare products – You will need to become more label savvy, as the myriad of chemicals that are added to even children’s products nowadays, can trigger eczema and other dry skin conditions.
  7. Clothing with dyes or synthetic materials – you will never know what chemicals have been added to create the dyes in the clothes you are wearing.  If you have already changed your laundry detergent and it has made no difference, then its time to look at organic cotton or other natural materials (not wool though).  You should always wash new clothes before wearing them.
  8. Stress & no sleep – Although we don’t like to believe our kids can become as stressed as adults, they too can have eczema breakouts from stress and lack of sleep.  Stress and lack of sleep can trigger the stress hormone cortisol and then can lead to eczema as well as other health conditions.
  9. Bed linen – Just like clothing the quality of bed linen, natural or synthetic or the dye can make a difference to the comfort of our skin.

ADULTS

  1. Hair products – As well as affecting the scalp, the shampoo or conditioner can drip onto the neck and body to trigger off eczema on the skin
  2. Skin products – too many skin irritating chemicals are added to make our products look, feel and smell enticing without doing any actual good to the skin.
  3. Perfume/ Fragrance in products – As mentioned previously, there can be over 30 separate chemicals in one fragrance.
  4. Laundry detergent or fabric conditioner comes with a toxic warning on the label for a reason.
  5. Stress from work – not getting stressed is easier said than done, but it definitely adds to reoccurring eczema.
  6. Cleaning products – the smell catches on the back of the throat for a reason.  And just like many products…if they have toxic warnings, why would you choose to use them?  Good old fashioned white vinegar didn’t need that toxic warning when our grandmas cleaned with it.  Our grandmas in the 1940’s also didn’t have eczema.
  7. Bed linen – keep it simple with cotton, bamboo or if you can afford it…silk.  Cotton can be drying to eczema but none of these materials cause irritation to eczema unless they are dyed.

Two very important facts with all of these lists is

Don’t be seduced by clever marketing

And

Do your own research.

Alison x

For more information, check our YouTube channel: @ Tigs and Moo Naturals

Eczema: Babies, Kids & Adults

Also check out our Instagram and Facebook @tigsandmoonaturalskincare