Today I want to talk to you guys about the main reason I started Lilasuds: All of my life I have been very allergic in general, but for the past 7 years or so I have been struggling with severe eczema. I am the textbook definition of BAD ECZEMA. I'm talking huge red patches all over my body constantly burning and itching. Yeah, not pretty. Last year I reached my tipping point. Eczema not only affects your body, it affects your life and mind. My eczema got to the point where it hurt to lay down in bed in the same position for too long. I had to take Benadryl every night to fall asleep because the itching wouldn't stop. I would break down crying on the floor because nothing I ever did stopped the pain. I would have to wear eczema sleeves all the time at home. It hurt to hold my cat in my arms because she was causing my allergies to flare up. I could barely focus at work because I was constantly trying to find a solution to stop the itch.
Eczema is your body's reaction to many things but most commonly it's an allergic reaction to different triggers, it's a manifestation of issues with asthma, it's inflamed by weather conditions and environmental changes, and it's also hereditary. In my case I check every one of the boxes. After one dermatologist after another and no successful results, I decided to go to an ALLERGIST. A dermatologist will try to treat the itch with a few steroid creams and topical ointments, but their interest doesn't really lie in getting to the source. An allergist will track down what are your triggers and help you tackle them to control the allergic reaction. BINGO. A few allergy tests later and I found our what are my triggers: I'm allergic to some dogs, cats (ouch), some tree nuts, hops (bye beer), dust, peppermint oil, buckwheat, and a VERY common ingredient in most skincare products: propylene glycol. That stuff is ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE. I would react even to some medications because the junk was in the stuff! Showering was incredibly painful. See, when you wash your skin you're removing the skin's oils and when your entire body is one big red blotchy dry mess, it pulls and burns.
So I worked with my allergist to use a new medication in the market that I have to inject myself every two weeks. I cut out my triggers (except my cat, DUH). I made some lifestyle changes and got my life back together. I decided to tackle my skincare product stash and do something about it. I eliminated every item that contained irritant ingredients. I started learning about soap making. I started reading about ingredients that help calm and soothe irritated skin. And thus, Lilasuds was born with its first soap: Ave-nah! After waiting what felt like one looong month to try it, I finally did. I loved it. It wasn't the worlds' fanciest bar, nor did it have a scent at all, but my skin felt calm and supple. It was exfoliated and clean without any tugging or pulling. I swear by that soap and to this day it's one of my favorites to use. That's when I knew that Lilasuds was going to be about making shower time fun again.
I realized that before my skin was reacting to the harsh detergents and surfactants used in commercial brand soaps. After I while I ventured into using soaps with fragrance again and even then my skin was taking it well because the base of a handmade soap is natural and gentle. Although I still have to be vigilant with my skin regimen, I can sneak away with using fragranced soaps every now and then.
Now, I'm not a medical professional so I can't make ANY claims about my soaps treating anything. Soap just cleans. That's its purpose. The way I see it is that the soap you are using does not have any of the junk and detergents used in commercial brand soaps. So you're not introducing irritating ingredients in to your skin. So with time using a handmade bar of soap will actually calm your skin down. When you hear the term superfat, it means that there are some oils in there that have not saponified (or turned into soap). Those are the ingredients that help your skin feel moisturized after use. I make sure to use a nice superfat percentage in each bar to leave your skin feeling clean, but not pulling.
So every month I bring out a soap or two designed for sensitive skin types. Ave-nah! was the first. Then came Cafecito, Oaty Goaty, Detox, Guac Star, Goldie, Hempie, and Cocopure. All of these soaps are 100% fragrance free or made with a small amount of gentle essential oils. Some don't have a scent but if they do, they're made with the mentality that sensitive skin care does not have to be boring. It can be fun, colorful, and creative. Shower time doesn't have to be a snooze! My skin is somewhat back to normal and I feel good again!
To nab your own sensitive solution, head over to the Soaps for Sensitive Skin and nab yourself a bar of handmade soap!