Help Me Choose:
Help Me Choose Products For Eczema & Psoriasis
What is it?
Eczema and Psoriasis are both chronic conditions and may present with similar symptoms. But they are not the same.
According to the National Eczema Association, "Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed, or have a rash-like appearance." It is often a very general term for many types of dermatitis in which the skin is irritated. Eczema is caused by triggers that produce inflammation in the body.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, "Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disease," that causes dry, itchy, and thick patches of skin. It is caused by an overactive immune system that speeds up skin cell growth. There are numerous types of psoriasis and the symptoms vary from mild to severe, depending on the type. There is no cure for psoriasis. While skin plaques and irritations may come and go, psoriasis is always there.
How can natural skin care help?
As a skincare company, we are not trying to treat the disease, the best we can hope for is to help ease the inflammation and discomfort associated with eczema or psoriasis. By switching to a natural, more gentle skin care regimen we hope to avoid further irritation caused by irritants in commercial products.
We wish we could recommend a product that we know would help--unfortunately, there is no one single answer to help with irritated skin conditions, not everything works for everyone and what works well for one person might be ineffective for someone else.
Symptoms of Eczema
Often, the first symptom of Eczema is intense itching usually followed by redness and a rash. Some areas will blister, weep or peel. The affected area is usually very dry and can appear thickened or scaly. Severely affected skin may develop painful, deep cracks, called fissures.
The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis. It is a chronic and usually begins in childhood. Atopic dermatitis starts with dry skin patches that are very itchy. Scratching causes the dry skin to become red and irritated.
Contact dermatitis is another common form of eczema. Contact dermatitis happens when the skin touches irritating substances or allergens. These make the skin inflamed, causing it to burn, itch and become red. Contact dermatitis often appears on the hands or any part of the body that touched the allergen or irritant.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis can present as thickened patches or plaques of red, inflamed skin often covered with loose, silvery scales. These patches can itch, burn, crack, bleed and become very painful. The plaques may grow together creating large areas of irritated skin.
Folks may also experience discoloration, thickening, and pitting of the nails. Psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in the joints.
Although psoriasis most commonly occurs on the knees and elbows, it may occur anywhere including the face, scalp, and neck.
Helping with Eczema & Psoriasis
One of the most common triggers of a psoriasis or eczema outbreak is dry skin. Skin affected by these conditions is typically very dry and needs moisture—especially in cold weather when the combination of the cold outdoor windy weather and dry heat in buildings will lead to very dry skin. During the winter months, you may need to apply a moisturizer several times a day.
Moisturizers will not heal these conditions, but keeping skin well lubricated on a daily basis can help reduce dryness, itching, inflammation, and scaling and encourage healing. Dry skin can also lead to scratching which can make the condition worse.
Choose a wholesome natural moisturizer. The base should be made with pure emollient oils and butters. The synthetic ingredients and fragrances in commercial moisturizers often exacerbate skin problems. The type of moisturizer you use depends on the dryness of your skin. Generally, products with more oil are more emollient and provide greater long-lasting protection.
To get the most from your moisturizer, moisturize immediately after a bath or shower while the skin is still moist. We recommend: Organic Salves, Organic Bath & Body Oils, Organic Body Balms, Organic Body Butters, and Shower Lotion Butter Bars.
Soaking in a warm (not hot) bath for 15 minutes can help loosen scales, reduce the itching and inflammation and calm irritated skin. Here are some tips:
- Add oatmeal, natural bath oil, or a natural bath salt to a warm bath water. Try our Simply Salt Bath Salt.
- Organic Herbal Bath Teas are a soothing addition to a warm bath and can also be used as an "herbal washcloth."
- Gently pat skin dry after a bath or shower. Vigorous rubbing can make irritated skin worse
- To get the most from a moisturizer, moisturize immediately after a bath or shower
Use a mild natural soap and shampoo. Commercial soaps not only strip natural oils that dry out skin, the harsh detergents, fragrances, dyes, and preservatives cause irritation on skin that is already sensitive and inflamed.
Our Moisturizing Organic Natural Soap Recipes Are Meticulously Developed to Produce a Mild, Skin-nourishing Soap
- No harsh detergents, dyes or fragrance/perfume oils
- Our goat milk soaps (Goat Milk Oatmeal, Castile & Shea and Carrot and Honey Complexion Bar) often get mentioned by our customers with irritated skin conditions
- Irritated skin also enjoys simple natural soaps like Chocolate & Honey, Chamomile Calendula, Castile & Cocoa, and Honey Butter
- Our Sea Buckthorn Soap has also been helpful for inflamed skin conditions
- See our Help Me Choose page for sensitive skin
There seems to be a lot of debate as to whether exfoliating is helpful to psoriasis or eczema sufferers. Gentle exfoliation is a way of washing away dead skin to help reduce scaling and encourage healing. However, folks with psoriasis need to be especially careful not to aggravate their already sensitive skin by scrubbing too hard or using harsh products.
Sugar scrubs are helpful because they exfoliate by both physical and chemical means. The sugar crystals work as little mechanical scrubbers, but sugar also contains glycolic acid, an Alpha-hydroxy acid which, when applied to the skin, helps loosen the “glue” that holds the dead skin cells to the surface of the skin and thus helps to facilitate the removal of dead cells.
If you decide to try an exfoliating scrub, here are a few suggestions:
- Irritated skin may better tolerate using facial scrub for the body. Facial scrubs use finer-textured sugars and grains that are gentler on sensitive skin
- Be sure the scrub is made with natural moisturizing oils or butters
- Do not use on broken or irritated skin
- Use a very gentle, massaging action
- Although salt baths may be helpful, salt scrubs can be very irritating
- If you are seeing a health care professional it is always advisable to consult them before starting to using sugar scrubs or any home remedy
Read our blog, "The Nitty Gritty of Exfoliation"
Things to Avoid
Fragrances, Dyes & Preservatives
Synthetic preservatives, needed to give commercial creams, lotions and cosmetics a long shel-life, can also cause irritation and inflammation especially to folks with sensitive skin conditions.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes, even in small amounts, can trigger eczema flare-ups and worsen psoriasis symptoms.
Soaps & Shampoos Made With Synthetic Detergents
The detergents used in commercial soaps, shampoos and shower gels, and bars are potentially irritating surfactants. They also synthetic emulsifiers and preservatives. These harsh detergents strip natural oils that dry out the skin.
Be careful of some "natural" soaps and skincare products.
It is not enough for a product to contain wholesome, natural ingredients. It is important for a product to contain ONLY wholesome, natural ingredients!
Petroleum Based Products
Be careful with skin care products, often moisturizers, that contain petroleum based ingredients. Folks with irritated skin conditions, especially eczema sufferers, often find that products with petroleum-based ingredients can exacerbate these skin conditions.
Products that contain sulfates, like the sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) family, are often very irritating to sensitive skin types. Sulfates are often found in commercial soaps, shampoos and body washes to create lather and suds.
Don't forget cleaning products. Products like dishwashing liquid are often the most irritating products.
We often receive emails and phone calls from customers with chronic irritated or inflamed skin problems.
We have learned that for some people simply switching to a natural product may help.
We believe that natural ingredients are milder, healthier and gentler on the skin. I often say that it’s what's NOT in our products, that is often the most helpful.
While we cannot promise that our products will help heal your inflamed or irritated skin conditions, we have received a lot of feedback from customers telling us that our products have helped soothe irritated skin problems.
We have used this feedback to create "Help Me Choose" pages for a variety of skin issues.
Pure essential oils, herbs, and other natural ingredients have been used for centuries. Their folklore and uses have been passed down through generations.
Please note that our products are NOT drugs or medicines meant to treat or cure illness, which would require FDA testing and approval. Our products are intended to help soothe irritated skin.
If you have sensitive skin issues, always try an allergy patch test before using a new product.
Remember, the skin is the body's largest organ
and it needs to breathe as part of its
important role in maintaining overall health!
Well, first of all, it's an all-natural product. Commercial lotions are NOT. Our Whipped Shea Butters only contain the ingredients that they need. Creams and lotions created in a lab often clog pores, aggravate acne, trigger allergic reactions, and make skin feels heavy and greasy.
The organic oils and butters we use do NOT contain petroleum based chemicals (Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin), chemical emulsifiers (DEA, MEA, TEA), chemical preservatives (Parabens, Urea), Propylene Glycol, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrances.
Lotions have a very high water content. Once water is added to make a lotion, it is almost impossible to create an all natural product and still keep the bacteria and mold out.
No Alcohol or Petroleum Ingredients
Have you ever noticed that when you use your body lotion your skin never stays moist and you find yourself going back to the lotion bottle over and over?
Look at the ingredients. Often times water is the main ingredient. Commercial lotions often contain isopropyl alcohol and/or mineral oil. Both of these actually are very drying to your skin. The alcohol gives a temporary sense of coolness due to evaporation.
Mineral oil is found in lotions, soaps, baby oil, cosmetics, and motor oil. Mineral oil is a clear, liquid oil with no scent and will not spoil. It is very inexpensive because it is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. It is great for oiling your wooden cutting boards--but not your skin. Mineral oil does not penetrate to soften. It is difficult to absorb, coats your skin and clogs the pores. If you would like to have healthy skin, stay away from mineral oils, animal fat, petroleum, and synthetic oil based skincare.
No Propylene Glycol
Commercial creams and lotion often contain propylene glycol, which acts as a “humectant, preservative or stabilizer. Commercial skin-care products are stored and shipped and must have a very long shelf-life. Propylene glycol helps the fragrance, consistency and product appearance to remain attractive throughout its long life.
While the FDA has categorized propylene glycol as "Generally Recognized as Safe," and some say that
Your Natural Cream Has So Many Uses
We know that natural body butters make great moisturizing body creams. But here are some other ways we have used these balms and butters:
- Get rid of those cracked heels
- Gently massage into very dry areas on your face
- Soothe and smooth skin after shaving
- Add a dollop to your hot bath water instead of using synthetic bath oils
- Massage some into your cuticles to soften them
- Massage into your lips for a great all natural lip balm
Trying to choose the right natural soaps or skincare products can be a bit overwhelming especially when you have allergies and/or skin sensitivities.
Since we proudly list every ingredient in all of our products, reading the ingredient list will help to eliminate ingredients that may cause you problems.
We always recommend doing a patch test before using any new products especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
We receive so many emails asking for help with allergies, we created categories in our “Help Me Choose” section to provide information for those with allergies or sensitivities to nuts, coconut, shea butter and gluten.
Aren't all handmade natural soaps the same? . . .
The answer is NO!
Saying a soap is "handmade" says nothing about quality of the ingredients or the knowledge and skill of the soapmaker!
Chagrin Valley is not just another soap and skincare company. We are committed to healthy skin, healthy people and a healthy planet.
We are a USDA Certified Organic Company specializing in luxurious, organic, handmade natural soaps and shampoo bars rich in natural glycerin for healthier skin and hair.
It's all about the ingredients! Inspired by our love of nature, we use organic herbs, seeds, flowers, vegetables, fragrant spices, fruits, pure essential oils and purifying clays for their exceptional skincare benefits and to provide natural color, aromatherapy, texture, or gentle exfoliation. Nothing artificial, nothing synthetic, no GMO’s, just natural wholesome ingredients.
Chagrin Valley's Natural Soap & Shampoo Bars Are...
- all natural
- made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients
- handcrafted in small batches using the old-fashioned Cold Process Method
- made with sustainable and fair trade ingredients
- certified cruelty-free
- free of detergents
- free of synthetic fragrances
- free of synthetic colors
- free of artificial preservatives
- free of artificial foam boosters
- free of alcohol and petroleum products
- free of synthetic additives
- free of GMOs
- mild and nourishing
- rich in natural glycerin
- magnificent long-lasting lather
- cured for 8 to 10 weeks
Our soap making process uses only natural and organic ingredients. Why add artificial ingredients to a handmade product?
The answer is, YES!
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve is a USDA Certified Organic company.
The most important consideration in any business is its customers. Today's world of misleading claims, false advertising, and simple deception, often leaves consumers trying to discover the truth about personal products and their ingredients.
- We want our customers to know that we are committed to transparency in everything we do.
- We want our customers to know that when we say "organic," we mean it.
- We believe that in becoming a USDA Certified Organic company, our customers do not have to wonder if we really use certified organic ingredients or if our organic products are truly organic.
- So we choose to be a certified organic company and abide by the strict standards required for organic certification.
Whether you call them "bath teas," "bathing herbs," or "bathtub teas," soaking in a warm fragrant herbal bath provides a quiet sanctuary in which to retreat, reflect and refresh.
The healing properties trapped in the herbs and released by the water can help boost your mood, calm the mind, soothe sore muscles and joints, opens pores, soften skin, and promote more restful sleep.
As the beneficial properties of the herbs are released into the water, a pleasant aroma fills the air which provides soul therapy, skin therapy, and aromatherapy all in one.
So, draw a warm bath infused with fragrant or therapeutic herbs, light a few natural candles, play soothing music, and relax. It may just be the perfect medicine for whatever ails you.
Discover Your Creative Spirit
Herbal bath teas are perfect all on their own but anytime you prepare an herbal bath you can combine bathing herbs with other great skincare additives most of which can be found in your kitchen cupboards.
For more Bath Tea Recipes read our blog "Bath Tub Tea Recipes: Simple Additions"
A Few Important Notes:
Despite the many advantages, a warm bath may not be recommended for everyone.
- Do not use very hot water
- Do not soak for more than 15-20 minutes each time
- If you have a heart condition or any medical condition, consult with your doctor before beginning a new bathing routine
- If you are pregnant, please discuss baths with your doctor or midwife
- Keep some cool drinking water nearby
- Even a healthy person may begin to feel dizzy, or not well when taking a bath. If this happens, slowly get out, rest and drink some water as you may be dehydrated. If you do not feel better soon, please seek medical advice.
Customer Tips for Help Me Choose Products For Eczema & Psoriasis
Goat Milk Honey Oatmeal Soap
"Wow...thank you again Sam & Co.! After just 3 days my eczema is almost gone. Like the biblical 10th leper I say THANK YOU!!! I talked with Sam at Cleveland Flea on Sunday. Bought the Goat Milk Oatmeal & Honey soap and some Calendula salve...today WEDNESDAY my skin is almost clear. It is nothing short of miraculous! And it's winter time...with dry cold air outside and dry hot air inside. Since childhood, I have been prescribed steroidal cremes, soaking in blue-chemicals, detergent, and ultraviolet light. I have taken fish pills. No more!!! No more itch! No more scratching! No more eczema! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
The content and information on this website, provided by The Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended and should not be construed as medical advice to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information regarding folklore or health-related benefits of certain ingredients is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.
The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professionals. Do not use the information found on this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. If you have medical concerns regarding yourself or your family you should seek the advice of qualified, licensed health professionals. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Read our Full Medical Disclaimer.
People with severe allergies--please note: If you have severe anaphylactic-type reactions to ANY of the ingredients in ANY of our products, please do not buy our products. We have dedicated soap rooms and product rooms that are kept meticulously clean, but we cannot guarantee against possible cross-contamination of individual ingredients.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft is not responsible for any individual reaction to any particular ingredient. Each product description on our website includes a complete list of ingredients. People with sensitivities to any listed ingredient should not use the product. In case you are in doubt always try an allergy patch test and if at any time irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product.