Could wheat & sugar be the root cause of your eczema?

Hi everyone!  I hope you are keeping warm in this icy cold weather!  You might be experiencing some skin issues often associated with cold weather – skin can become dry, sensitive and flaky.  In Part 1 & 2 I discussed how sugar and wheat could contribute to skin ageing and acne.  Today in my final part on How what you eat affects your skin, I cover a common skin concern which also often flairs up during cold winter months:


Dermatologist Dr. Satish Bhatia states that the consumption of excess sugar is bad for the skin. “Increased sugar levels can cause a build-up in the liver or colon giving rise to the majority of fungal infections and eczema.” states:  There’s one food that all eczema sufferers should try to limit. Sugar, especially in its more refined form, may be the common culprit behind many inflammatory conditions. When we consume foods that are high in sugar, our body releases insulin. Harmful free radicals are released along with the insulin hormone and then have the potential to damage our cells. This damage promotes an inflammation response as our immune system attempts to fight the free radicals.

Many people who have eczema have food allergies, so eating a healthy diet may help reduce inflammation and allergic reactions. Eat fewer refined foods, and sugar. These foods contribute to inflammation in the body. Source: Eczema | University of Maryland Medical Center

Food allergies associated with eczema are typically: Dairy products, Eggs, Nuts and seeds, Soy products, Wheat

Have a look at my previous blog for some tips on treating sensitive/eczema skin and how your mind and stress levels might be causing and/or aggravating this skin condition.

Another interesting read… US News – Health News: Healing your skin with your mind – The solution to your skin issues, from eczema to psoriasis, could be in your head.

Short term solution: Try and get to your dermatologist for a short term solution in the form of medication (internal or topical). STOP using any active cosmetics e.g. products containing VIT A/FRUIT ACIDS/High concentrations of anti-oxidants etc. Rather get yourself a cleanser and moisturiser for very sensitive skin conditions. I like Bioderma’s Sensibio range. Uriage also has products for sensitive and irritated skin.

I have tried these products…

Bioderma (Available at Dischem and online at Dermastore):

Soothing, Purifying Cleansing Gel R189.95

2015-05-16 15.53.26I like the fact that this cleansing gel foams up and gently and effectively removes all my make-up (including eye make-up). I can highly recommend it to anyone with sensitivity and combination to oily skin.

Water Cleanser R179.95

h2o_250This is one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITES.  The best eye make-up remover around and a great way to remove heavy make-up before your second cleanse.  I can highly recommend this product to anyone!

Cream R189.95


This day/night cream has a light cream/gel consistency.  I have an oily skin and still found it a bit too light for me.  It felt as if my skin being so irritated and flaky needed something with more moisture.  I will recommend this to anyone with sensitive and very oily skin or men who prefer a very light texture.

SkinMedica (available at Skin Renewal branches and other medical practises nationwide):

Redness Relief CalmPlex

skinmedica-redness-relief-calmplexThis is a product I thought I would personally never have to use.  Well, in skincare emergencies like I’m having you will try anything.  The cream has a rich texture and causes tingling upon application due to the active ingredients.  Although it has a heavy texture, it didn’t make my oily skin more oily and I actually enjoyed the comfort of cream.  This is a pricy product, but I can recommend this to anyone with red and sensitive skin conditions.

I wish you beautiful and healthy skin!

Chat soon

Helene x x x

How to – look after your skin during winter

On a recent shopping outing – I spotted this The Body Shop product which I just couldn’t resist. The name Warming Mineral Mask (R155) begged me to get into a warm bath and slather this baby onto my face. The description tempted me even more: “Self-warming, deep cleansing kaolin clay treatment.” How can you NOT want to try this mask especially as the days have turned into lovely chilly autumn?

This is the type of mask that I envision applying while lounging around in my gown and slippers sipping a cup of hot tea, hot chocolate or coffee… and maybe a rusk too? You get the idea 😉

2015-04-11 07.27.55

Here are a couple of Winter Skincare Tips (followed by my personal review of The Body Shop’s Warming Mineral Mask):

HOW TO look after your skin during winter:

1.  Now is the perfect time to try out those skincare treatments e.g. chemical peels/laser that you have been wanting to try out.  Some of these treatments are more ablative than your normal facial treatments, which means that it removes more of the upper skin layers – therefore exposing your skin to more harmful UV radiation.  It is advised to rather do these types of treatments during the colder months when the sun is not so harsh.  BUT remember that you still need to be careful of sun exposure and apply your sunblock even during autumn and winter!

2.  Due to the colder air, your skin might become more dehydrated leaving it feeling dry, tight and flaky.  It might even feel more sensitized.  To minimize this – be careful of exposing your skin to drastic temperature changes all the time e.g. coming from a cold environment outside to blasting hot air onto your face in your car or home.  Even something like a sauna or steam room – both super nice during colder months – could dehydrate your skin.  Make sure that you always drink plenty of water and protect your skin with a good moisturizer (to both prevent moisture loss and provide moisturizing ingredients to your skin).

3.  Pamper your skin with regular at-home mini facials.  This could include a facial scrub and a mask depending on your skin type.  You can’t go wrong with a hydrating mask as most of us are dehydrated especially during winter.  For your more oil-dry skin types – I would recommend a nourishing mask (these masks usually contain an oil component as well as other active ingredients to nourish the dry skin type).  My skin type is oily (even though I am 37 years old) – and I struggle with dehydration at the same time.  The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask therefore sounded perfect for my oily, yet dehydrated winter skin needing some TLC.

The Beautiful Truth PRODUCT REVIEW: The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask

I noticed on the instructions at the back that they recommend application onto a clean wet skin.  I soon realized why the recommended wet skin.  The consistency being quite thick and sticky made it a lot easier to apply onto a wet skin.  As soon as I squeezed out a reasonable amount (about a teaspoon) onto my hands, it immediately and magically turned warm!

The amazing warmth of the mask on my skin lasted a little while longer and it felt invigorating – not too tingly at all but rather a warm and refreshing sensation at the same time.  The Kaolin also gives it that warm, earthy and cleansing sensation which I love!  I left it on for about 5 – 10 minutes, dampened my finger tips to slightly emulsify the mask before rinsing it off with warm water.  I finished my at-home mini facial with toning and applying a serum (hydrating) and moisturizer to work during my beauty sleep. I recommend doing your at-home facial before going to bed.  Your serum can optimally penetrate after you have done an exfoliation and mask and your skin is designed to absorb products and regenerate itself while sleeping. That’s why it’s called the “beauty sleep”!

The warm feeling of the mask reminded me of a product which I have used in the past: the Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant which has the same warming effect upon application.

They recommend to use the mask once to twice a week which is fine, unless you feel that your skin is a bit sensitive.  I do not really keep track of how often I use products like these – so I normally just grab it when I feel like it, but try to do it at least once a week to get the full benefit of using the product regularly.

Main benefits:  The warming effect and cleansing ingredients like the Kaolin help to open the pores for a deep cleansing effect.  Essential oils of ginger and cinnamon make it an invigorating mask which is good to “wake up” a dull skin by stimulating micro-circulation.

The Beautiful Truth Star rating: 4 out of 5.

The bottom line:  I like this product and can recommend it to anyone (including the guys!) who struggles with an oily skin type and is not too sensitive.  The warming effect of the mask adds to its appeal for winter skincare.  Enjoy!!

Look out for more winter skincare tips in the weeks to come!  I will be writing about popular treatments such as micro-needling, peels and yummy winter warming facials…

Ingredient Deep Dive:

PEG-8 (Humectant), Zeolite (Warming Agent), Glycerin (Humectant), Kaolin (Absorbent), Methyl Gluceth-20 (Viscosity Modifier), Zinc Oxide (Sunscreen), PEG-220 (Binder/Humectant/Solvent), Algae (Seaweed Extract) (Natural Additive), Methylparaben (Preservative), Propylparaben (Preservative), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant), Curcuma zedoaria (Zedoary Oil) (Skin Conditioning Agent), Zingiber officinale (Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil) (Natural Additive), Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Cinnamon Oil) (Fragrance), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Eugenol (Fragrance Ingredient), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Benzyl Benzoate (Solvent), Citral (Fragrance Ingredient), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Cinnamyl Alcohol (Fragrance Ingredient).