Practical tips from experienced Eczema Warrior
I looove clothes and shoes and bags and beautiful objects in general AND I’m a deep believer that when you wear clothes you love, you act different, think different, and feel different emotions (which btw was scientifically proven by psychologist Prof. Karen Pine).
The truth is: clothes are my armour, my second skin that I choose every day to wear, a tool to boost my self-esteem, confidence, and to embrace my skin condition. I’ve been experimenting with my style since I was little. Over the years I learnt what serves me and my skin and what doesn’t, and I made a conscious decision to ban everything that is not safe for my skin. I plan to dedicate a full post to clothes that are right for eczema, and the one you should avoid like the plague, so stay tuned.
Today I want to share with you the lifestyle habits that help me keep my eczema under control since my last medical option failed.
LIFESTYLE HABIT 1: READ THE CLOTHES LABELS.
I need to admit, I haven’t read the labels before until I got a huge rush on my legs from new jeans, I’ve bought from famous fast-fashion brand many years ago. This is how my skin reacted to the toxic dyes that brand used to dye the jeans in deep blue colour. Since then I study all the clothes labels very carefully and I encourage you to do so too.
Make sure you understand what your clothes are made from and how you can clean them. Try to avoid buying clothes that must be dry cleaned because you never know how you will react to the chemicals the cleaners use. The second reason is practical, these types of clothes require extra financial investment for dry cleaning.
I chose only pure, soft, 100% natural fibres like Pima cotton, silk, Tencel®, bamboo, linen, cashmere, and camel wool, or a mix of them.
LIFESTYLE HABIT 2: ALWAYS WASH YOUR NEW CLOTHES.
Did it happen to you that you slipped in this gorgeous new dress the same day you bought it? I am definitely guilty until one day I read an article in women’s magazine about something that strongly resonated with me: washing will prevent an allergic reaction from chemicals and irritants but also transferring lice, scabies, bacteria, and fungus from one person to another when clothes are tried on. Yes, yes, my friend, you never know what the person that tried this cool t-shirt before you, has suffered from.
LIFESTYLE HABIT 3: FALL IN LOVE WITH IRON. SERIOUSLY.
Before you start complaining that you have no time for ironing or that you don’t like doing it, please hear me out: it’s absolutely necessary that you avoid the no-iron clothes if you have sensitive skin. Look, the antiwrinkle finish of these clothes comes from a resin that releases formaldehyde, the chemical that causes itchy skin, rashes, blisters AND aggravates eczema. I’m sure ironing is a reasonable price to pay for flare-free skin. Put your headset on, play your favourite music or podcast, and dance with the iron. That's at least how I change this daunting housework into more joyful activity.
LIFESTYLE HABIT 4: OPT FOR LOOSE YET STYLISH CLOTHES.
Relaxed cut equals more comfort, higher breathability, and less friction. The tight clothes, on the contrary, can worsen the symptoms of eczema. There are many ways to wear loose clothes and look sophisticated. I will definitely tell you more how to rock loose clothes with the elegance of Victoria Beckham in my next post.
LIFESTYLE HABIT 5: HAVE A POWER OUTFIT ALWAYS READY. YOU KNOW, JUST IN CASE.
Create a Power Outfit that will act as your survival kit for bad skin days. Instead of sweatpants and buggy top, buy yourself a Superhero shirt and wear it with soft and comfy loose wide-leg pants. Wearing a Superman shirt bestows feelings of superpower, boosts your self-esteem and confidence (this is scientifically proven). So, if you want to feel better, ditch the sweatpants and this old t-shirt. C’mon do it now, I’m waiting. I throw away mine months ago and replaced them with super-soft, loose straight-leg Tencel® jeans. I pair it with equally soft pima cotton t-shirt. You simply can’t feel blue too long in this outfit.
LIFESTYLE HABIT 7: STICK TO LIGHT COLORS IF YOU HAVE LIGHT SKIN AND EARTHY DARKER TONES IF YOU ARE A WOMAN OF COLOR
Light colors lower the risk of allergic reaction to dyes, plus they make the human glitter (aka dead skin)invisible, if you have light skin. If you’re concerned about skin flakes appearing on your clothing, here is the thing to remember : light colors and patterns typically hide flakes better than dark colors (now you get why I love white clothes), unless you are a woman of color then stick to earthy tones.
Ok, now it’s your turn to form these habits (sorry to tell you this but no, they won’t form themselves, my friend). Science shows that it takes 66 days to develop new habits but don’t get discouraged. From my experience, I know that when we really care about something, creating new habits is more like a pleasure rather than arduous work. We talk here about your health and happiness and what can be more important in life than that?
Now, I’d love to hear from you. Tell me, which habit mentioned here, is the one you plan to form as the first?