NES: Dry SkinThis week is National Eczema Week – and no that doesn’t mean everyone starts itching at the same time; it means that we are trying to raise awareness of what can be a serious problem for adults and children alike. I should know…

My son is just like me…we don’t use soap with him in the bath..and have to be careful with anything we put on his skin. We discovered early in his life that he had inherited his mother’s tendency for dry skin, eczema and strange, mysterious rashes that appeared and disappeared without warning.

When I was born only 21 years ago *ahem, 40* my mum discovered some very odd things about small people – not least that eczema could be serious, so much so that I was hospitalised with it not too long after I had been born. Red, raw, itchy, and not much fun at all; for me or for her.

I still suffer with very dry skin, and need to be careful what products I use – we can’t use particular washing detergents otherwise my son starts itching and goes an interesting red colour. My chequered eczema past is why we have designed a little star for our to encourage kids to stop scratching using our reward charts.

We were therefore delighted to be offered the chance to review Dove’s Pure and Sensitive Cream Bar, which is a new moisturising cleanser specifically designed to be gentler on the skin in partnership with the National Eczema Society. I am a busy mum, so don’t look after my dry skin as well as I might. The bars are fragrance and preservative free, as well as being pH neutral and hypo-allergenic, all with a view to making sure that skin isn’t irritated. My daughter snapped a picture of the cream bar – insisting on adding the shoes for some reason…they look rather cute I think, but are a little small for me..!

Dry Skin - Dove

According to my mum, I spent a lot of my formative years without a nappy on, as this meant that I was prone to less bouts of eczema and dry skin. I suspect it did cause my mum to be rather prone to bouts of terror. Can you imagine a one year old without a nappy let lose in your house!?!!?

Through the years I think she learnt to minimises the itchiness, and reduce the irritation in my skin. I suspect she followed advice similar to these key tips from Dove for helping to care for dry skin:

  1. Pat your skin when drying it – don’t rub
  2. Wash in warm, not hot, water
  3. Moisturise regularly *take note Mummy!*
  4. Your routine should reflect the weather – use a heavier moisturiser in the winter
  5. Don’t subject your skin to sudden changes in temperature – wrap up warm, and put the heating on in winter
  6. Wear sun screen and don’t use sun beds
  7. Use non-bio washing products, and potentially an extra rinse to get the washing as clean as you can
  8. Self-test new products first
  9. Keep stress to a minimum *easier said than done with kids*
  10. Try not to use soap based cleansers, preventing your natural skin barrier from being damaged
  11. And the BIG ONE FOR ME – make time to car for your skin, you are important, and so is your skin *listens intently and looks at knees*

I bet my mum could have done with this advice all those years ago. Could have saved her an awful lot of washing don’t you think?

The cream bar itself comes in a simple package – which is good – no frills and no fuss. I have to admit to having a rather limited beauty regime, despite my dry skin. I do get my legs shaved though, and have often heard my beautician sarcastically remark:

“Nice to see you’re keeping up with moisturising those knees again, Helen”

Mums of younger children spend a lot of time on their knees you know. Picking up toys, searching for toys, breaking up fights, praying to the god of calm *etc etc*

So, I decided to use the Dove and focus on those knees; I’d like to impress my beautician see? On using it, I was pleasantly surprised at how soft to the touch it was, and a bit confused by the lack of lather because its not soap based…but this is probably because I am used to washing my knees with soil and sand! My knees are a bit of a lost cause as you can see:

Dry Skin: Knees

Joking aside, it was a pleasant change for me generally. Its a bit early to tell if it has had a positive effect on the knees too, and I do plan on trying to continue to use it…though my daughter is probably going to have to remind me to put it on. I am not one to remember those beauty tricks.

I am not sure a before and after photo with one application would make a “real” difference, so I am going to spare you another photo of my knees. *audible sigh across the country*

I am going to persevere with the product though. It certainly seems like it could make a difference in a few weeks, perhaps this time next year I might be willing to wear a dress without leggings, and boast about my knees to my beautician – who knows?! *unlikely but you never know*

The idea behind the Dove Cream Bar is a good one – soap based products are hard on my skin, which is why I have stopped using them both on myself and my little boy. Even to my scientifically-trained brain, the bar appears worth a go. I may even use it with my son.

Here is to hoping my knees never look back….

….well, you know what I mean.

I was compensated for writing this post, and sent products for testing. All the knees, nappy tales are chaos associated with mine and my son’s skin are my own. I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I have been paid expenses and supplied with a product sample for this review but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

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