I love to exfoliate even though I have very dry skin and scars from eczema. It wasn’t always this way but as I became an adult I began to notice that my skin was very dry. While in college I got the crazy idea to shave my legs with a dry razor. It didn’t take long before I was paying a visit to the campus nurse because my legs had developed a rash and were itching like cray. I don’t know why I never associated the dry shaving with the reaction my skin was having. When I finally mentioned it I remember the nurse saying “Well, that’s the problem hun!” I was so embarrassed. Safe to say that I never dry shaved again.
When my kids were younger we moved from an apartment to a house and my skin took a turn for the worse. I still can’t say that I know for certain what caused the problem though I suspect it had to do with the cats that lived in the house prior to our moving in. When we moved into the house the back porch still had items on it from the previous tenant includng a friendly cat. Our new neighbors told us, with all too much excitement, that the previous tenant had several cats. So many, in fact, that the neighbors called animal control to set traps in order to catch the numerous cats that had begun to live outdoors. This information was incredibly enlightening for me because I discovered in high school that I was allergic to cats and since moving into the house I was suffering with allergies non stop. A few weeks after moving into the house I developed a rash on my legs. The rash worsened and my skin was in a horrible state, or so I thought. The itching was unbearable and while I slept I would scratch until I bled. I was eventually diagnosed with follicular eczema.
We lived in that house for a year and I suffered the entire time. It took moving to reduce the severity of the flare ups and by the time we moved I had dark brown scarring on my legs. To make matters worse during a really sever flare up I picked up a staph infection in one leg and unknowingly, while scratching at night, infected the other leg. Things went from bad to worse.
I began strong antibiotics for the infection and it cleared up but the original site of the staph infection had turned into a 2 inch black hole on my left calf and the existing eczema scars were nearly black. The skin on my legs looked horrible. I was so embarrassed. I tried to never wear skirts and if I had to wear a skirt I tried to cover the scars with make up. I knew that I had to keep my skin calm and moisturized in order to let it heal but I wondered if it would ever clear up.
During this time I lived near the beach. One day I took my kids to the beach and sat in the salt water playing with them. During this time my legs were recovering from a mild flare up that had begun a week earlier. As I sat in the salt water playing with my sons I noticed that the mild itch that was a constant sensation had lessened to a tingle and then stopped. I remembered when I was a child on vacation at the beach, hearing my grandfather tell me that the salt water was good for me when I complained to him about mosquito bites stinging as I entered the water. He said the beach water would help to heal them. I sat there in the water, rubbed my legs in the sand and let the water wash over me. I wasn’t sure if the soothing sensation was temporary or permanent but I figured only time could tell so I just enjoyed the relief and rubbed salt water and wet sand on my legs.
That evening when I got ready for bed I noticed that my oldest scars that were thick, bumpy and black seemed to have softened and lighted just a little. It hit me like a bag of rocks. The salt water had dried out the current flare up but the sand had begun to exfoliate the dark, old, thick scars.
I instantly knew that exfoliating was the way I was going to reduce the scarring on my legs and beach water was a great treatment for current irritations. I remember like it was yesterday. I was so happy. I knew that exfoliating would be a tricky situation because the wrong exfoliant could irritate and cause a break out so I started looking for thick moisturizers that I could use directly after exfoliating and for exfoliants that were gentle yet effective.
I bought thick lotions and creams but what I found was that my skin still seemed thirsty. I began to experiment with oils and vegetable glycerine. After many different trials I discovered that, for me, the most moisturizing application I could achieve was oil applied directly to my skin after showering and before drying off.
It took lots of trying and lots of experimenting but I learned how to care for my dry sensitive skin. Today I use almond oil for light days and avocado oil for days when I need lots of moisturizing. My legs still have scars but nothing like they used to have. I never thought I would be grateful for brown scars until I had black ones.
I eventually developed natural skin care items to use at home and I sell those items at The Ladybug Market. Most of our products are organic, natural, virgin and cold pressed. We sell oil blends, 100% unblended oils, lotion bars, sugar scrubs for exfoliating, foaming hand soap, aromatherapy tins and bath salts. I love our products with a passion!!
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Enjoy and happy moisturizing!!
3 Comments Add yours
What beautiful products 😀 xx
Thank you! Love your post on Neutrogena! That scuba looks awesome.
Thank you! 😀 xx