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If you have suffered from some form of allergy before, you will empathise with these scenarios. Nasty red rashes, flaky skin, swollen eyes, dark patches and an insatiable itch that either keeps you from falling asleep or wakes you up in the middle of the night.
I have been pretty much a hermit since eczema struck five months ago. How could I leave my house when my face undergoes some form of change every now and then? My hunt for a solution is as follows: I have tried an anti-inflammatory diet, supplements, juicing, aloe vera gel, masks and a range of pharmaceutical, dermatologist-approved face wash, lotion and sunblock. These have helped calm the skin down, but the cursed eczema continued its regular visits to me.
Life was pretty depressing, you can imagine. But things started looking up when I stumbled upon squalene – the one ingredient that saved my life and self-esteem.
What is squalane?
Now, let us break it down. Squalane is found in sharks, olive, wheat bran, rice bran and amaranth oils. Rest assured that most skincare brands using squalene as the main ingredient, like the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream that I am using (and saved my life), is plant-derived and sustainably sourced.
Why is it a skin-loving ingredient?
Squalane vs squalene, are they the same? Squalene is a natural oil that already exists in our epidermis. However, with age, our body produces less and less of it. So when squalene is extracted and hydrolysed for skincare, it becomes squalane. It mimics our skin's natural oils which explain why squalane is a highly effective moisturiser for all skin types.
Does squalane help with eczema skin?
Squalane has proven its worth based on my personal experiment. As you can see, I was desperate and tried numerous (too many) skincare. But squalane was the only ingredient that gave me significant improvement in my skin. So here's my recovery journey, thanks to squalane.
I was alerted to this ingredient by my Editor-in-Chief, Reta Lee, who tried the top-rated Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel. Read more about it here. Biossance is the king of squalane and has based its entire product range around this one ingredient. A quick research yielded rave reviews about the brand, so I decided to give its moisturiser a try.
As mentioned, I was desperate and willing to give anything a try at this stage.
Packaging: Its rose gold lid gave the product a classy vibe. I liked that the cream came in a glass, and of course, it is plant-derived and used none of the shark liver (say yes to sustainability!).
Look & smell: The opaque white cream looked clinical, and I had no qualms about it. However, even though it is marketed as no fragrance added, there's a distinct smell about it that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant. Perhaps I am too used to the usual products that come with some fragrance or other.
Feel: Upon application, the smell was no longer a matter of concern. The cream was instantaneously soothing. I felt an immediate relief that I had not felt in almost half a year. In addition, my dehydrated skin took to the nourishing cream very well. Within the hour, my itch was completely gone while the redness dissipated tremendously. It may sound incredible, but that was precisely what I experienced and how I felt.
I had found my magic potion.
In a matter of three days, I was out and about. I even applied makeup (something I couldn't do with my flaky skin) and went trigger-happy.
Is it worth a try?
One caveat for restoring damaged skin is the constant reapplication of moisturisers to the afflicted areas. My skin improvement came about with careful reapplication, around three to five times a day. But, to be honest, on days when I lapsed, eczema returned. So a word of caution to those suffering from similar ailments as me and would like to get back on track: Reapply moisturiser as often as you can and monitor your skin frequently.
However, do note that everyone's skin make-up and conditions differ, so do your research and experimentation before overhauling your skincare routine.
I would like to pen a haiku to the unwelcome visitor (if you will indulge).
You come as you wish
No one ever asked for you
Please leave, eczema
- Cadence Loh
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