As someone who has suffered from eczema my whole life, I know first-hand how daunting and frustrating this journey can be. After 27 years of using steroid-forward products to cope with my eczema, I realized I wasn’t seeing any improvement in my skin or body. Like many others, the conventional approach to treating eczema wasn’t working for me. I knew I had to find an alternate solution.
In 2010, having grown tired of the ineffectiveness I was experiencing with traditional approaches, I figured there must be an alternative way to heal my skin and decided to embark on a new journey. I packed my bags and moved to Toronto to start studying aromatherapy, holistic health and herbal medicine.
At Province Apothecary, we take a holistic approach to skincare. Part of this approach means understanding that the skin acts as a window into what’s happening inside the body. What we’re eating, how much water we’re drinking, how much rest and exercise we’re getting, etc, are all connected to our overall wellness. This approach was pivotal in my recognition that eczema isn’t just a surface issue–it’s deeper.
For example, I’m not immune to flare ups. I’m literally writing this with eczema balm on, hand covered in a nitrile glove to help occlude it. What I have learned is that my eczema is tied to my stress and diet. I have grown to become grateful for my eczema. It acts as my barometer and shows me when I haven’t been taking care of myself. l have found that when I listen to these physical cues, so many other things in life seem more manageable–sleep, happiness, fatigue, anxiety, stress.
Lately, my skin has been trying to teach me about letting go of stress. I have been trying new routines and rituals like meditating, walking, gardening and sleeping more. It’s been amazing to see how my skin reacts, in a positive or negative way.
With this newfound perspective, I was determined to find a product that would heal my eczema. I quickly discovered that although I was learning a holistic perspective to skincare, there weren’t many products on the market that echoed this approach. I decided that if I couldn’t find a product that would help manage my eczema, then I would make one. Introducing the Healing Eczema Balm: the product that started it all.
How I manage my eczema:
This is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Healing takes place most powerfully when we’re asleep. Aim for 8 hours a night.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated helps keep your body happy and healthy. Our vital organs need plenty of water in order to function properly. If you’re not a fan of water, some other ways of staying hydrated are through herbal teas like red raspberry, oat straw, nettle, fennel, peppermint, or through foods rich in water like lettuce, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberries. Another way to promote hydration is starting your day by drinking a big glass of water. Try squeezing half a lemon into your water to help encourage your body’s water retention.
Digestion is key to healthy, beautiful, clear skin. Listen to your body and feed it what it needs. Make sure you are having at least one bowel movement daily. If you need assistance determining which foods are tied to your flare-ups, we recommend consulting a holistic nutritionist or naturopathic doctor.
Find healthy ways to manage stress
This can look different for everybody. Some activities I’ve found helpful are: journaling, going for walks, spending time in nature, meditating, gardening, sleeping more. Try making one daily promise or commitment to yourself and see how it feels after a couple of weeks.
Healing Eczema Balm
For effective topical relief, try our Healing Eczema Balm. This balm is blended using Colloidal oatmeal–an ingredient known for its ability to relieve itchiness and inflammation caused by extreme dry skin. This ingredient is amazing because it forms a protective layer that holds moisture and promotes hydration in the skin. We love this product because it delivers powerful relief from flare-ups of eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns, bites, blemishes and more. When my eczema is exceptionally cracked and dry, I love to layer this balm on top of our Hydrating Rescue Balm so that it acts more like a treatment.
It was important for me to develop a product that provided an alternative to traditional eczema products. Take comfort in knowing you will not find steroids, hydrocortisone, parabens, alcohol, petroleum, synthetic fragrance or toxic ingredients in our Healing Eczema Balm. This balm was made by someone with eczema for people with eczema.
In my journey, I discovered that everything always comes back to gut health, your lifestyle and using natural products that encourage and support your skin’s natural ability to heal. I had a really hard time accepting that I needed to change my diet and life at first, because I didn't want to, though I really, really needed to. My skin was literally crying out in pain (inflamed, cracked, painful, bleeding with eczema).
Once I started making small dietary changes, healing my gut from the inside out and shifting my lifestyle: journaling more to reduce stress and anxiety, sleeping more, drinking tons of water, making my own meals and reducing processed foods, using our eczema balm I was blown away by the change in my skin, mood and energy levels.
Our skin is like a mirror to our internal health. Now I see it as a teacher telling us when our body is out of balance (acne/eczema /rosacea) and that we need to pay attention to our body to help it and heal it. All it wants is a bit more love, hydration, nutrition, digestion and rest.
It is not always easy to listen or even follow it’s guidance, but everyday I try my best to show it the gratitude and appreciation it deserves. It feels like the greatest teacher that is interwoven into my whole life, showing me constantly that everything is connected and that, when I’m willing to pay attention, the opportunity for healing is made possible.
Julie Clark, Founder + CEO