How I Nipped My Adult Eczema in the Bud Before It Really Became an Issue

It started a few months ago. At first, I didn't think much of it. Yes, my lips were as dry and flaky as a stale croissant, but that happens every winter, so I persevered, layering on the same lip balm that usually gets me out of this mess—La Mer The Lip Balm (£50). But something about this bout of dryness was different. No matter what I did, it wasn't going away.

I became increasingly self conscious of the situation. My lips were physically flaking off as I spoke, and I could have sworn it was all people could look at when I spoke for weeks. And it got worse. The dryness spread quickly to my chin, covering the area the size of a plum around the outer corner of my mouth.

I soon realised I wasn't just dealing with a bit of dry skin. This was eczema, a condition I hadn't experienced since its signature pinot noir tone and maddening itch plagued my inner arms and the back of my knees when I was at primary school. I thought I had left it behind.

My knee-jerk reaction on this realisation was to do what any self-respecting beauty editor never, ever would—I went in on that bugger with the harshest exfoliator I could find, swiping AHAs over the patch like I was watering a flowerbed in drought.

Of course, my skin didn't like this, and the eczema around my mouth got angry—very angry—turning a deeper shade of red and a more ferocious shade of itchy. The only thing I found comfort in was Skinowl's Lavender Beauty Drops (£24) but while this oil took the sting away, the eczema remained.

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Photo:

Shannon Peter