If there are words you don’t want used to describe your skin, “dry”, “red” or “itchy” are top contenders. They’re also common symptoms of a skin condition known as eczema. While it’s mostly affects babies and children, it by no means excludes adult skin. Sadly, there isn’t a known cure yet for eczema.
There are many products and ingredients designed to treat eczema-ridden skin, but which one’s best for you? When it comes to lasting results, the Korean beauty industry dominates at treating (and preventing!) eczema. Read on to find out what causes it and the 8 best ingredients found in Korean skincare for eczema.
What causes eczema in the first place?
Just as there isn’t a cure right now for eczema, it’s also unclear as to the cause of the skin condition. According to nationaleczema.org, eczema affects over 31.6 million people in the U.S. There are several variations of it, ranging from the most common (atopic dermatitis) to reactionary ones caused by touching certain substances (contact dermatitis).
Dyshidrotic eczema, caused by factors like stress, allergies and damp skin, is more common in women than men; it blisters the skin on your hands and feet. On the other hand, nummular dermatitis is more common in men. It’s noticeable for its dry, round-shaped patches. Insect bites or allergic reactions to metals or chemicals are common culprits for this type of eczema.
If you’ve never heard of mugwort before, start getting used to hearing it in the world of K-beauty. From the plant family Artemisia vulgaris, mugwort is an herb effective in healing sensitive skin, redness and dryness. As a result, it’s been used for many years. In other words, it’s literally the perfect ingredient for treating eczema!
Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, mugwort has recently become a popular ingredient in Korean skincare products. You can find many ways to incorporate mugwort into your skincare routine, from mugwort-based face washes and face masks to creams infused with the beneficial ingredient.
When reviewing the ingredients a Korean beauty product contains, look out for words like “artemisia extract” (aka mugwort) or “capillary wormwood”, which is a type of mugwort. Besides eczema, mugwort is also a top pick for people looking to treat rosacea, acne prone skin, and psoriasis.
The name sounds fancy, but colloidal oatmeal is simply ground oatmeal. One of the benefits that makes colloidal oatmeal so affective for treating eczema is that it acts as a skin shield against the environment. Whether you’ve inherited eczema-covered skin from your family tree or the weather dries your skin, colloidal oatmeal helps protect when your skin isn’t doing its job properly, says an article from byrdie.com. It also helps absorb UV radiation.
Additionally, colloidal oatmeal soothes your skin (an obvious benefit for treating eczema!). It’s also a reliable anti-inflammatory ingredient that also cleanses due to containing saponins, an anti-fungal property.
Evening Primrose Oil
Oil from an evening primrose seed contains omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E, main ingredients for treating eczema, redness and other skin conditions like acne. When it comes to results, scientific studies have been mixed. The Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that more research needs to be done to more closely examine the oil’s contribution to treating eczema, says wise-geek.com. A study from the University of Maryland Medical Center in the U.S., however, has seen benefits. It reports that more than 30 human studies have revealed positive effects from the oil for treating eczema.
When used to fight against eczema, some people take oral supplements while others apply evening primrose oil directly onto their skin. Avoid this oil if you’re pregnant (it’s known to induce labor) or prone to seizures. If you’re still unsure if you should try evening primrose oil, consult your doctor to see if your body would react well to it.
Geranium oil is another great ingredient to look out for when reviewing products for soothing eczema-fueled skin. Like other ingredients on this list, this antioxidant plant contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent oil cleanser.
To use it, skincareorg.com says to mix 8 drops of geranium oil with a carrier oil (used to dilute essential oils). After you’ve already washed your face, gently apply the oil to the skin affected by eczema. Wash your face again once the oil has dried.
Ceramides are great for restoring your skin’s natural protective shield from unwanted conditions like eczema. They’re fat molecules located in your skin that protect it from outside sources, while also moisturizing the skin.
If you’re an eczema sufferer, you’ll find that you have a lower count of ceramides in the top layer of your skin (specifically, the stratum corneum). This means that you’re more susceptible to skin dryness and sensitivity. So it’s only natural that including products that contain ceramides will help balance your skin.
Like the evening primrose oil, there aren’t many studies that have proven that aloe vera as an official ingredient for treating eczema. However, it contains both antibacterial and antifungal properties. Eczema also shares common symptoms with other skin conditions that aloe vera is used for (like rashes, psoriasis, and burns). As a result, you can make an educated guess that it can provide some soothing relief to eczema, according to healthline.com.
Aloe vera is usually safe, and if you’re not allergic to it, it’s an ingredient worth trying. To test its affect on your skin, you can do a patch test by applying a small amount to a small area. If you don’t experience any adverse reactions over the next 24 hours, you can apply aloe vera to a larger portion of your skin.
Peel away your eczema to reveal fresh skin with our Bubble Peeling Pad C450. It’s rich in alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), vitamin C, aloe vera extract and more. Along with clearing eczema, the pad is great for removing dead skin cells, reducing lines and hyperpigmentation. Want more? Try our similar product, the Bubble Peeling Pad C200, which is infused with aloe vera leaf juice powder.
It may sound…not so effective, but snail mucin is wildly popular in K-beauty. It contains both vitamin A and C, which are essential for keeping your skin hydrated. Snail mucin also consists of the compound allantoin, responsible for repairing and smoothing skin. Like its name implies, elastin keeps your skin supple. Another component of snail mucin, peptides, reinforces your natural skin barrier from harmful, external forces.
If moisture is your best friend when it comes to preventing and treating eczema, then so is hyaluronic acid. Products containing hyaluronic acid are excellent for adding moisture to your skin.
Not only does it hydrate your skin, hyaluronic acid heals your skin; it also reduces itchiness. You can apply an essence, serum or cream filled with hyaluronic acid to relieve your skin of eczema.
Want to hydrate your skin while you sleep? Our Night Night 365 Sleeping Pad is a sleeping mask that nourishes dry or rough skin. In addition to hyaluronic acid, the pad also contains aloe vera leaf extract, macadamia seed oil, and more!
Eczema affects so many out there, but the good news is that you have options when it comes to skin care. Whatever you choose, the most important part is how your skin feels afterwards. Have you tried any of the ingredients in this article? Are there other ingredients that you’ve used to help with eczema? Drop a comment below to share your experience!